Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cuban Economist Omar Everleny Perez Fired For Maintaining Contacts With US

Cuban Economist Omar Everleny Perez Fired For Maintaining Contacts With
US / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 21 April 2016 — Economist Omar Everleny Perez was
expelled from the Center for Studies of the Cuban Economy at the
University of Havana, accused of maintaining contacts with
representatives of the United States and passing on information about
the work of the Center without authorization. An academic and a
consultant on the reforms promoted by President Raul Castro, Everleny
Perez had been critical of some government measures.

According to a senior academic source, the rector of the University of
Havana is responsible for the firing, being the "one who pulls the
strings behind the curtain."

The news of the expulsion began circulating last weekend, although it
occurred a few days after US President, Barack Obama's visit to the
island in late March.

In December 2014, after the announcement of the reestablishment of
relations between Cuba and the United States, the expert was excited
about the repercussions it would have on the island. "I think the change
will be much faster than we think, because the possibilities are endless
because it will unlock one of the main problems of Cuba, which is the
inflow of foreign exchange," he said.

Obama's recent trip to Cuba raised a wave of criticism from the
authorities that reflect the concerns of some sectors of the regime to
the new situation created by the resumption of diplomatic relations with
Washington. The first to speak out, at the end of March, was former
president Fidel Castro, who reproached the US president for his "syrupy"

On Monday, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told the Seventh
Congress of the Communist Party Obama's trip was "a visit in which there
was an all out attack on our conception, our history, our culture and
our symbols." The voice of the number two man at the Cuban embassy in
Madrid, Miguel Moré Santana was added in a video that recently spread
through the social networks, where he called the coverage of Obama's
visit by the Spanish media "a display of cultural, psychological and
media war without parallel."

Everleny Perez, 56, has been viewed for years as an example of what can
be done from within the system. His criticisms have been directed on
many occasions to the excesses of centralism and he has ensured that
Cuban state companies "have many ties to the non-state sector, which has
advanced much more." He has also been a champion of cooperatives,
especially in the non-agricultural sector.

In an extensive interview with the magazine Palabra Nueva last February,
he called on the government not to establish price controls on
agricultural products, and the government decided to do at the beginning
of this year, "because we already tried that in the long run the results
are not what was hoped for."

The resolution of dismissal from the Center for Studies of the Cuban
Economy, signed on 8 April, speaks of the "permanent separation" of
Everleny Perez after more than three decades of collaboration with the

Specializing in development economics, Perez met on numerous occasions
with foreign scholars, especially Americans, as part of his work at the
Center for Studies of the Cuban Economy.

In 2013, he was removed from the management of the institution for
defending employees who wanted to publish in unofficial media and he
also withdrew his membership in the Communist Party.

This reckoning, rather than an individual matter, is seen as a warning
to those excited about an eventual deepening of reforms, similar to what
happened when many were enthusiastic about Soviet perestroika in the
late nineties.

Source: Cuban Economist Omar Everleny Perez Fired For Maintaining
Contacts With US / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -

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