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Vene-Cuban relations

Crafting the ‘Vene-Cuban’ Relationship

Brandeis IBS Dean Bruce Magid

Brandeis IBS Dean leads discussion on future of Cuban economy
March 19, 2013

By Adam Rabinowitz '14

Last month, as part of the Hassenfeld Fellows Immersion Program, Brandeis International Business School (IBS) Dean Bruce Magid led a contingent of students in a hands-on exploration of the Cuban economy.

On March 5, the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez passed away, sending ripples throughout the international business community.

Magid, then, had the opportunity to lead an invigorating discussion at his fourth annual Dean’s Forum this past Friday, applying his experiential findings from Cuba to focus on the vital economic potential of the Cuba-Venezuela relationship.

“The ‘Vene-Cuban’ relationship is an intriguing one, a link steeped in history and with great economic ramifications,” he said.

From its Communist roots with Fidel Castro to the nation’s current interactions with Latin American exporters, Magid presented a timeline of Cuba’s growing economic potential and, in turn, the corresponding influence of the United States embargo.

He further explained that the implications of this island nation’s fate are closely tied to Venezuela’s uncertain political status. Acting president Nicholas Maduro vows to maintain a strong relationship with Cuba, while as a member of the opposition, Henrique Capriles wishes to establish a drastically new economic foundation for Venezuela.

Professor Alfonso Canella, moderator of the event’s student panel, elaborated that the goal of the Dean’s Forum was to inform and educate about the profound economic impact of Cuba.

student panel

MBA and MA students prepare for their presentation on the Cuban economy.

“The forum let people that did not go to Cuba learn about the situation there, [conveyed] what our students think of Cuba, and [explained] what might happen in the wake of the death of Hugo Chavez,” he said.

Following Magid’s presentation, a diverse set of students presented their findings on various aspects of the Cuban economy.

Marcos Sandler, ’12, MA ’13 headlined the presentation with an overview of the island nation’s fiscal growth. Debra Butler, MBA ’13 then led a discussion on Cuba’s human capital, primarily from her own experiences with the Hassenfeld program, elaborating on its cultural significance and key exports.

Jerica Bradley, MA ’14 and Ricardo Villa Pita, MA ’14 teamed up to lead a discourse on Cuba’s growing prowess in international commerce. Gerson Morales, MA ’14 discussed the impact of Cuba’s agricultural sector while Jaime Saleta, MBA ’13 concluded with a presentation on the future status of the Vene-Cuban relationship.

Canella, explained, following the set of presentations, that he hoped the forum would encourage discussion of this critical economic issue.

“Hopefully, this will open up the minds of people to Cuba and other countries that they may not have thought of for future initiatives,” he said.


Marcos Sandler '12, MA '13 discusses Cuba's macroeconomic potential.