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The Caribbean Sugar Crisis: Consequences and Challenges

  • Scott B. MacDonald and F. Joseph Demetrius


“Being in Sugar is like collecting Confederate currency”. This assessment, offered by anthropologist Sidney Mintz (1985), is shared by many sugar industry observers, insiders, and, increasingly, by many Caribbean officials. King sugar, instrumental in shaping the diverse political, economic, and social histories of the Caribbean since colonial times, confronts a seemingly intractable crisis: a severe, and sustained, disequilibrium between global demand and supply which makes export of sugar very unattractive. Except in those cases where preferential arrangements exist between producers and consumers-the Lomé Convention, the US sugar quota system, and the Soviet guaranteed purchase of Cuban sugar-world prices for sugar are at a record low, well below production costs.



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Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) (1985b) Quarterly Economic Review: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico; Annual Supplement. London, UK: The Economist Publications Ltd.
Evanson, R. (1985) “Soviet Political Uses of Trade with Latin America.” Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 27, 2 (Summer): 99126.
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Mintz, S. (1985) Lecture delivered at University of Connecticut-Storrs. April.
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Latin American Politics and Society
  • ISSN: 0022-1937
  • EISSN: -
  • URL: /core/journals/latin-american-politics-and-society
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