Institutional Coping Strategies Transition and Decentralization

In Cuba more than most other countries, the farming system is both planned and managed by the state. This means that changes in farming practices and processes were both partially determined by, and would affect, state institutions, which would themselves be impacted by the conditions of the Special Period. As Sinclair and Thompson (2001) explain:

Rural life in Cuba is not the litany of misery it is for campesinos in so many Latin American countries. Cuban farmers can count on rural institutions designed to support them, free, widely accessible social services, an impressive physical infrastructure, access to land, some inputs and a stable market and strong national cohesion in terms of social values.

These agricultural institutions had to deliver the new state reforms whilst at the same time respond to farmers' new demands and undergo internal changes themselves in order to survive. Although without private financial interest, agricultural institutions held substantial power and control, and some of this had to be relinquished.

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