IS THERE A MIAMI AFTER CASTRO’s DOWNFALL?
BY MANUEL CEREIJO
This is a question in the minds of many people. There are all kinds of predictions about how many Cuban-Americans will be returning to Cuba once the Castro regime is over and a democratic and capitalistic Cuba is born again. The downfall of the regime is now very close.
Actually, is very difficult to make such predictions because it depends on such factors as when it happens, how it happens, and the psychological and emotional impact on the Miami Cuban population. However, there is no question that a substantial amount of persons will return to Cuba. Another substantial amount will do business in Cuba as well as in the USA.
Possibly, there will be a floating population between Cuba and Florida, and between US and Cuba, via Miami, where native Americans and Cuban Americans will go back and forth as tourists, businessmen, visitors, and this flow will create a more dynamic economy in Miami.
The economic recuperation of Cuba should be fast and it will bring an extraordinary growth in the economy, not only of South Florida, but the State as a whole. All activities related to the economic development of Cuba will be related to import/export, services, manufacturing, construction, technology transfer, and tourism. The USA-mainly Florida-and Cuba will develop a mutual and beneficial economic relationship.
Also, based on the declining production and deterioration of existing industries in Cuba, a new industrial environment will be developed that will restructure existing manufacturing companies, attract new manufacturing companies, and stimulate the creation of new companies. Cuba, because of its geography, and its strategic geographical location, will be effective in developing and establishing high tech companies, especially those that manufactures products of high cost and small size and weight.
The types of information and assistance needed are likely to vary also. However, the assistance will have to come from Florida, not only on parts, raw materials, and equipment, but also on technology transfer. Our Institutions of higher education will play a vital role in the future of Cuba. In the new Cuba there must be the ability of adapting to change, in acquiring new knowledge, in accommodating technology, and in adjusting to new management process.
When success is achieved, Cuba should move into those areas of specialization in which she can do best. Of course, the USA will maintain an absolute lead in overall technology, and therefore Cuba will depend on technology transfer from Florida in order to sustain economic growth and global competitiveness.
The transfer of technology from Florida to Cuba’s economic activities would be in a form essentially noncompetitive with activities in Florida and, further, will complement Florida activities. In such cases, these transfers will benefit Cuba, the private firms, and the Florida economy at large.
The establishment of an effective and competitive manufacturing process that implements the development of complex high technology products will have to be done in close cooperation with the technical organizations in Florida. Perhaps, for very complex products and processes only after the first manufacturing plant is successful in the USA, should the plant be established in Cuba.
The entire infrastructure of Cuba will have to be totally revamped and constructed. Electrical energy, telecommunications, housing, transportation, water and sanitation, health related industries. Where are the expertise and the resources? They are in Miami, and in Florida in general.
Yes, definitive there will be a Miami-and Florida-after Castro. In fact, there will be an even more successful and ebullient Miami, and Florida, with a completely restructured economy; different from the existing one, but larger and better.
The fall of Castro, and the system, which is close, will be fortunate, not only for Cuba, but also for Florida, and the United States.