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Several factors can increase or decrease military-economic involvement in communist regimes. This anomalous form of military behavior, labeled as the Military Business Complex (MBC), emerged in various communist regimes in the 1980s. However, in early 2000s, the communist governments of China and Vietnam began to decrease the number of military-managed industries, while similar industries increased in Cuba. This paper explains why military industries in Cuba have increased over the last two decades, while they decreased in the Chinese and Vietnamese examples. This question is answered by comparatively testing two hypotheses: the Communist Party and the Bureaucratic-Authoritarian (BA) Hypotheses.

The Communist Party hypotheses helps explain how the historical and current structures of Party oversight of the military have been lacking in strength and reliability in Cuba, while they traditionally have been more robust in China and Vietnam. The BA hypotheses helps explain how, due to the lack of a strong civilian institutional oversight, the Cuban military has grown into a bureaucratic entity with many political officers holding autonomous positions of power, an outcome that is not prevalent in the Chinese and Vietnamese examples. Thus, with the establishment of a bureaucratic military government and with the absence of a strong party oversight, the Cuban military has been able to protect its economic endeavors while the Chinese and Vietnamese MBC regimes have contracted.


"The views, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report (paper) are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision unless so designated by the official documentation.

Funded by the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE), ID W91WAW-09-D-0022, delivery order number 0616."



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