Havana Cuba Business Travel Culture and Politics

Havana Cuba News

Cuba Business News

Posted April 30, 2008 by publisher in Business In Cuba

Email this article | Print this article | Search Havana Journal        

By Circles Robinson

Cuba’s economy is not easy to understand, especially for those that have never lived under a similar system where government plays a lead role. To begin with, it doesn’t go by the usual market codes of supply and demand and corporate profit isn’t its driving force.

Coming from North America or Europe to a typical Cuban urban neighborhood, the visitor’s first impression might be one of poverty: crumbling or poorly maintained buildings, pot-holed streets, ancient cars, homes where there are few “extras” etc.

On the other hand, if you arrive from Latin America or another developing country, other aspects of Cuban life might get your attention: no street kids, no malnourished faces, no beggars and people walking the streets at night with almost no fear.

In fact, in the more than six years living in Havana, I have yet to see ONE working child, an astounding contrast to other Latin American countries where I witnessed the daily parade of hungry kids scrambling to shine shoes or hawk a host of products at markets and traffic lights, in parks and door-to-door. Many are glue snuffers before they become teenagers.

Simply speaking, that doesn’t happen in Cuba, and that difference alone should make anyone think twice before buying into the corporate media’s image of Cuba as a country of acutely deprived people.

Yet, technically speaking, the foreign news stories are correct when they talk about salaries in that are the equivalent of US $10-30 a month.

Rich in some ways, poor in others, Cuba has insisted in running its economy on a different model.



  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 04, 2008 by Shagun Bhardwaj

    With the recent change the the economic policies in cuba under the new ruler,rether say the reforms in the economic policies is ther any kind of business that you think is rising in the market.Any king of import or export,domestic supplies,etc.

    Please do reply at my e-mail.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on May 26, 2008 by ERIC,NYC

    That does not mean that the country needs to continue to collapse…..Cuba can be a model for other countries and be beautiful….and rich .

  3. Follow up post #3 added on August 23, 2009 by Really?

    Articles like this really frustrate me. Talk to some people that really had to live through that, like my parents. I STILL have family over there and you aren’t allowed to say a word against the government without being put in a political prison.

    My grandma’s dying cause she can’t get medicine, so my dad has to send it over to her by mail.
    I doubt she even gets it.

    Don’t be fooled. Castro’s Cuba is a prison, and not even the people there are allowed to tell you how much they suffer, because they are afraid of being arrested.

    Hell, I remember my mother told me the police came over to their house to question my grandmother about ILLEGALLY PURCHASED MEAT.
    I’m not even kidding you. My family almost got in trouble for trying to feed themselves.
    I seriously mean it when I say to talk to some Cuban exiles. They’ll tell you what really goes down under that system, and it’s not pretty.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on August 24, 2009 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    I dont think what you describe reflects the current Cuba.
    I’m not kidding myself - Its a dictatorship, has severe shortages and you can find yourself in serious trouble, including jail time, if you cross lines.
    But ..
    You will find people being critical of the system now and meat and other produce can now be legally bought in open markets (for CUP).

    If you can, why not take a trip down to see for yourself.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on August 24, 2009 by Eric

    I know it’s just getting worse…..I must have been in a “my cup runeth over” mood of wild optimism.
    I would love to go but I know ,as always,I will come back needing Valium and Effexor.

Would you like to add more information?

Only members can add more information. Please register or log in

  • Advertise at Havana Journal Inc
We recommend this AirBnB Food and Drink Experience... Cuban flavors: Food, Rum and Cigars
Images of Cuba
Caribbean Bird - Cuban art - Painting by Wifredo Lam
Follow Havana Journal
SUBSCRIBE to our Cuba Watch newsletter
LIKE us on Facebook

FOLLOW us on Twitter

CONNECT with us on Linked In

Section Archive
Havana Journal, Inc. BBB Business Review

Member of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy