Now that the U.S. has re-established diplomatic relations with Pearl of the Antilles, interest in Cuba is rising. While there are no crystal balls about Cuba’s future, here are a few things we do know about the island-nation’s economy, thanks to Pew Research.
1. Cuba was doing business with the U.S. even before the embargo was lifted. A partial repeal of the embargo allowed for this, and Cuba really needed food, medical supplies and medicine.
2. Cuba’s economic growth has slowed dramatically in the past few years.
The CIA estimates that Cuba’s GDP grew just 1.3% last year in real (inflation-adjusted) terms – 177th out of 222 countries ranked. One big reason: With global oil prices still well below their pre-recession highs, the heavily discounted oil that Venezuela sends Cuba – some of which Cuba re-exports – is less valuable.