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Cuba's Energy Future

Strategic Approaches to Cooperation

foreword by Vicki Huddleston. edited by Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado

Publication Year: 2010

Approaching an uncertain future without Fidel Castro, and still reeling from a downturn at the end of the cold war, Cuba must act decisively to improve its economy and living conditions. One of the major challenges facing the impoverished island nation is securing access to energy resources that are sufficient to meet the needs of its revitalization and development goals. What steps can Cuba take to achieve both short- and long-term energy sustainability and self-sufficiency? In this timely analysis, Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado and his colleagues answer that question.

Cuba's Energy Future sets the geostrategic context within which Cuba is operating. The book provides an overview of the evolving relations among Caribbean states and explains why Cuba and its longtime nemesis the United States should look for ways to cooperate on developing energy resources. The possible role of oil companies is explored, as is Cuba's energy relationship with Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.

The second section of Cuba's Energy Future features economic and technical appraisals, economic projections, and trends affecting Cuba's energy needs, including oil and natural gas potential, the country's antiquated electric power sector, and the role of biofuels such as sugarcane ethanol. The concluding section focuses on the conditions necessary for, and the mutual benefits of, greater cooperative engagement with the United States.

Contributors: Juan A. B. Belt (Chemonics International, formerly USAID), Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado (University of Nebraska–Omaha and University of Georgia), Amy Myers Jaffe (Rice University), Jorge R. Piñón (Florida International University), Ronald Soligo (Rice University).

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Front Cover

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Copyright Information

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p. iv-iv

Table of Contents

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p. v-v

Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-ix

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1. Evaluating the Prospects for U.S.-Cuban Energy Policy Cooperation

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pp. 1-20

These two quotations, dated nearly five years apart, distill the essence of why the United States should be looking carefully to the development of energy resources in Cuba. For the past fifty years, U.S. policy toward Cuba has relied on the application of cold war measures—economic sanctions, technology denial, and political isolation—in an effort to push Cuba over the tipping point of regime collapse and toward the peace and prosperity that would follow from embracing democracy...

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2. Extracting Cuba's Oil and Gas: Challenges and Opportunities

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pp. 21-47

Potential offshore oil deposits were identified in Cuban waters in 2004, yet amid widespread speculation as to their magnitude and potential, there has been little exploratory work undertaken to evaluate the actual amount of oil and gas reserves that are present, the feasibility of extraction, and the deposits' eventual productive capacity. In the recent as in the more distant...

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3. The Electric Power Sector in Cuba: Ways to Increase Efficiency and Sustainability

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pp. 48-79

Since the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, the electric power sector of Cuba has been managed with little regard for financial and economic issues. This approach to the power sector has a long history in the Communist bloc, as the sector was considered to have a preeminent political dimension. Lenin famously noted in 1920, "Communism is Soviet power...

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4. Energy Balances and the Potential for Biofuels in Cuba

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pp. 80-109

In 2002 we published a paper on Cuban energy that began with the observation "Cuba is considered a promising growth energy market in the Americas."

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5. Prospects for U.S.-Cuban Energy Engagement: Findings and Recommendations

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pp. 110-129

Mahmoud Amin El-Gamal and Amy Myers Jaffe partially answered that question for us in their paper “Energy, Financial Contagion and the Dollar,”1 by setting out a detailed analysis of the tasks that a strategic energy policy should accomplish, among them: —To ensure that markets operate efficiently so as to develop the infrastructure necessary to meet growing energy requirements...


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p. 131-131


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pp. 133-143

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815704591
E-ISBN-10: 0815704593

Page Count: 143
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Energy policy -- Cuba.
  • United States -- Foreign economic relations -- Cuba.
  • Cuba -- Foreign economic relations -- United States.
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