original title: Cuba may be considering a more market-driven economy
By Ray Sánchez | Sun Sentinel | Havana Bureau
Two dozen theater workers recently sat around a sun-splashed garden cafeteria in the Vedado neighborhood. They had been summoned by bosses to discuss Cuba’s economic woes.
Skeptics abounded. “Why ask us what we think when nothing ever changes?” grumbled one worker.
A manager opened the three-hour meeting reading excerpts from a speech Raúl Castro delivered on July 26, criticizing the state bureaucracy, low salaries and poor agricultural production.
Some theater workers were emboldened hearing Castro had publicly ridiculed the failings of the system.
“Somebody got up and said, ‘I simply want to eat steak and I can’t afford to on my salary,’” recalled José, a 42-year-old stagehand who asked that his full name not be used.
“Others got up and said their $12-a-month salaries got them through the first three days of the month,” he said. “The rest of the time they had to steal or do whatever else was necessary.”