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Posted December 21, 2009 by publisher in Cuba-World Trade

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Once again, Cuba has to renegotiate its debts.

How can the Cuban government continue to bitch and moan about the US Embargo decade after decade when they have free trade WITH EVERY COUNTRY ON EARTH except the US?

Decade after decade the Castro brothers lie about Cuban business practices and steal money owed to foreign businesses.

Back in 2003 Cuba had to “discuss a repayment schedule” with Mexico. Well, even those negotiations took many years because Mexico didn’t agree to restructure the Cuban debt until 2008. Even Spain joins in with more renegotiation of Cuban debt.

In 2004, Cuba was making “restructured short-term debt payments to some governments”.

Cuba owes Russia $22Billion in debt yet Russia still gives them a $350million loan and Serbia wants to do more business in Cuba too so long as Serbia agrees to negotiate Cuba’s debt to that country.

In 2007 Cuba had active and “inactive” debt of Billions of dollars.

Cuba is unable to pay Pebercan and Cuba is unable to pay Sherritt.

Don’t forget about me too says France and China.

I won’t even get into the “oil for doctors” deal that Cuba has with Venezuela or all the purchases on “credit” from China for buses, appliances and Billions of dollars of other stuff.

Poor Cuba. Poor, poor Cuba. Hey Fidel and Raul, how about letting your people own their house and their car and letting them start a business instead of shackling them with your stupid centrally controlled, failed Communist “Revolution” that no one cares about anymore.

You can do it by choice or you can do it by force.

Okay, that’s all I have to say… now onto the story Cuba renegotiating more debt.

By Marc Frank | Reuters

Cuba managed to stop the hemorrhaging of foreign exchange that left it unable to pay many bills the past year, officials said this weekend, but creditors who are owed an estimated $2 billion do not expect to be paid in full any time soon.

Cuban officials told the National Assembly over the weekend the country’s economic crisis had stabilized, but government spending would be limited in 2010 as the island continues to deal with effects of devastating hurricanes in 2008 and the global financial meltdown.

Cuba, which is heavily dependent on imports, stopped paying many suppliers last year and froze the Cuban bank accounts of most foreign companies operating on the island as the crisis drained its cash reserves.

Economy Minister Marino Murillo told the assembly that the government had turned 2008’s $2.3 billion trade deficit into a surplus of $400 million by cutting imports 37.4 percent, or $6 billion, this year.

That, he said, helped offset a 22.9 percent drop in exports, or $3.1 billion, caused by plummeting prices for Cuba’s key export products including nickel, tobacco, lobster and technical assistance to oil producing clients such as Venezuela and Angola.

Murillo said Cuba’s overall economy grew 1.4 percent in 2009, down from 4.2 percent the previous year, and would put in a similar performance in 2010.

Murillo did not say if the government had improved the country’s cash reserves, which are never publicly disclosed, but did tell the assembly that spending would be dictated by a simple principle.

“The amount of foreign exchange we plan to spend in 2010 will be less than the income we expect,” Murillo said.

Regarding debt, he said, “Negotiations with some countries and suppliers to restructure debts and guarantee payment under more favorable conditions have begun.”


His words brought little cheer to creditors, who had hoped for a signal that the money they are owed would be forthcoming.

“I see nothing in Sunday’s report that indicates significant amounts of money will be generated or put aside to pay fresh debt racked up to suppliers and banks this year,” a foreign businessman, who asked his name not be used, said on Monday.

“Further, I see nothing indicating fresh money flows from current or new exports,” he said.

There was a little bit of good news from President Raul Castro, who told the assembly that the government had unblocked about 30 percent of funds of the frozen bank accounts of foreign companies.

There have been estimates that as much as $1 billion has been locked up in the accounts.

Castro, who took over for his ailing brother Fidel Castro in 2008, has repeatedly called for making the communist system more productive and efficient to ease its chronic economic problems.

Murillo said in his speech the government would loosen its stranglehold on the finances of export industries such as nickel and tobacco, and foreign exchange earners such as communications and tourism.

Few details were provided, but it appears that the change will allow state companies to retain a percentage of their earnings instead of handing all profits over to the government, which then allocates them as is currently done.

Osvaldo Martinez, head of the National Assembly Economic Commission, said the new system was aimed at ensuring that the companies will have the foreign exchange they need to guarantee production “with priority over any other use” by the state.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on December 21, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Can you read this article from Jens Erik Gould of Bloomberg and tell me if he knows what he is talking about?

    Cuba Cash Crunch Eases as Communist Isle Pays Mexico Exporters

    I’m not sure that he has ever reported on Cuba before. He seems confused.

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on December 21, 2009 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Pub, If you read Raul’s speach from yesterday you will see what he means.
    “Hoy puedo anunciar que se han reducido en mas de un tercio las retenciones de pagos acumulados en aquella fecha y, a la vez que reiteramos el agradecimiento a nuestros socios por la confianza y comprension expresadapor la mayoria de ellos.”
    Rratificamos la firme voluntad de proseguir honorando hasta el ultimo centavo de los compromisos asumidos, en correspondencia con las posibolidades de la economia.” (He says, more or less, he can anounce today that they have paid off one third of their accumulated debt and with the understanding of most of their debtors,  that in time they will pay off every last cent of the rest dependant on the state of the economy etc.)

  3. Follow up post #3 added on December 22, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “one third of their accumulated debt”

    To whom? from when?

    “with the understanding of most of their debtors”, what does that mean?

    Remember now we are talking about Cuban economics and a centrally controlled economy where unconventional accounting is the norm AND the Cuban government does not allow independent auditing so, as usual, we cannot believe what the Cuban government says.

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on December 22, 2009 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    To whom? from when? I have seen no info anywere yet, but apparently the Mexicans may be one of the lucky ones.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on December 22, 2009 by pipefitter with 275 total posts

    Pub, “cuba L direct” of New Mexico has a report by a Jen Erick Gould in Mexico City on the repayment of debt by Cuba to Mexico that started last month and says it may signal a turnaround in Cuba’s debt crisis. http://cuba-l.unm.edu/?nid=74047

  6. Follow up post #6 added on January 11, 2010 by Miguel

    Did the editor of Havana Journal really write the introductory lines to this article? It is simply false that ‘Cuba have free trade with every country on earth except the US’. The US embargo legislation also has provisions on sanctions against non-US companies dealing economically with Cuba, and they are being used. And who told the editor that Cubans cannot own their houses and their cars – of course they can.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on January 12, 2010 by pipefitter

    Miguel, the editor likes to put emphasis on any negative aspects of Cuba while not reporting a lot of the good things or things that really make it difficult for Cuba to operate. He didn’t report on the recent U.S. Government fine of over half a billion dollars put on a swiss bank for doing money transfers with Cuba. He didn’t report on the U.S. stopping Philips in europe from selling parts to Cuba for medical equipment. He didn’t report on the U.S. making threats to Delta Hotels forcing them to sell their hotels in Cuba. He didn’t report on the U.S. trying to force Canadian Sherrit to get out of Cuba but fortunatly they told them to go to hell and are still doing buisiness in Cuba. (by the way, Sherrit is going to build another waste gas power plant in Cuba),  Or how about the American law that won’t let ships that have dropped cargo in Cuba from entering a U.S. port for a period of 6 months after without applying to the government for special permission. Rediculous and outrageous impedaments to progress!  My family in Cuba all own their own homes and cars in Cuba. By the way some people do have small buisinesses in Cuba now and are doing well.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on January 12, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    Your post makes you an immediate friend of pipefitter. You, like him, are a reliable Communist propagandist thanks to the tried and true method of changing the subject when the heat is on.

    I am not going to bite on your bait to change the subject of ownership or trade.


    We did cover most of those news items but thanks for changing the subject again. Nice to see you continually trying to defend your boss by deflecting the argument.

    Not going to work. Fidel has made Cuba a deadbeat country by his own choice.

    Cuba consulting services

  9. Follow up post #9 added on January 12, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    What kind of ownership is that when you can NOT sell your house or your car and the government confiscate if you try to sell them or if you leave the country, even when the actual constitution of the country does not say anything about that.

    The goverment is in a dire need of cash but continue the policy of doing business with anybody except Cubans living outside of Cuba.

  10. Follow up post #10 added on January 12, 2010 by pipefitter

    Yeyo, you know that they do sell their cars and houses in Cuba and unlike some countries Cuba is starting to pay off some of their debt as reported above. Most countries are in dire need of cash but very few can choose to just print more.

  11. Follow up post #11 added on January 12, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    No, Cubans do not sell their cars and houses because they don’t own them.

    They can use the car and house but one wrong step and the car and house are taken away. You know that pipefitter.

    Why do you keep changing the subject?

    Cuba is starting to pay off their debts? Like unfreezing foreign business accounts? Yeah. Great start.

    Again, here we go with other countries…

    Cuba consulting services

  12. Follow up post #12 added on January 12, 2010 by pipefitter

    Yeyo, you are starting to sound like one of Pub’s trained seals now. My family have sold a vehicle before and they all own their own houses. What, you don’t like to hear the truth maybee?

  13. Follow up post #13 added on January 12, 2010 by Miguel

    Publisher: I noticed that the premises of the exclamations in your introduction contained some grossly erroneous statements.
    Does that authorize you to label me ‘a Communist propagandist’?
    Can that justly be called ‘to change the subject while the heat is on’?
    I was surprised at your errors. I am disappointed at your reply. I was sure you would confess having made a slip, as I have till now considered you a serious observer. What will you obtain by a couple of primitive invectives?

  14. Follow up post #14 added on January 12, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “Publisher: I noticed that the premises of the exclamations in your introduction contained some grossly erroneous statements. “

    For example?

    I know you Fidel lovers hate the facts and love to explain away the truth but I won’t put up with endless propaganda and your argumentative tactics designed to deflect and change the subject.

    So, once again… Cuba is a deadbeat nation by design. It’s Castro’s fault, not the Embargo’s fault.

    Cuba consulting services

  15. Follow up post #15 added on January 13, 2010 by Miguel

    Publisher: I must refer to my comment above (# 6). You are wrong, when you say that Cuba has free trade with all countries except the US, because of the extraterritorial provisions of the US embargo provisions. You are wrong, when you say that Cubans cannot own houses and cars.
    You refer vaguely to the absence of a free real estate market (when you buy or sell a house in Cuba it can only be done legally exchanging one house for another and paying/receiving the value difference). This is a limitation of the right of property, but to term it an annulment would be exaggerated and arbitrary. I have never heard of such restrictions, when it comes to cars.
    You are free to consider Cuba ‘a deadbeat nation by design’, but you would convince more without invectives. You have no basis for terming me ‘Fidel lover’.

  16. Follow up post #16 added on January 13, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Pipefitter and Miguel,
    Selling houses is prohibited in Cuba. Period. No one is alow to sell or buy a house unless is “given” by the goverment.
    Even people that own their houses from before 1959 can not sell them.
    Regarding cars, cars from before 1959 can be sold, most newer cars can not be sold and/or transfered the ownership.
    In addition to that if you decide to leave the country the goverment confiscate your properties, i.e. house and car if you have it.
    If by anychance your car is sealable for any reason, and you sell it before leaving the country, the goverment confiscate it from the person that bought it.
    If you changed house before leaving the country, the goverment can confiscate the house or not allow you to leave the country.
    All this measures are completely arbitrary as they are not included on the present constitution.
    In other words there is no true ownership of either houses or cars in Cuba.
    If you deny this you simply do not know the reality. Go there and check it by yourselves.

  17. Follow up post #17 added on January 13, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Thanks Yeyo. Well said.

    Cuba consulting services

  18. Follow up post #18 added on January 13, 2010 by pipefitter

    Im not talking about people who leave the country, Im talking about real Cubans, the ones that live there.

  19. Follow up post #19 added on January 13, 2010 by Miguel

    Yeyo: Thank you for the information about restrictions on private car sales, which I did not know. I believe you, for the cases I know actually deal with pre-communist cars. I have seen new Citroën cars on display for sale in a shop on the Malecón of Havana and was told that anyone who can pay one can buy one. Is that true, and do restrictions apply in such cases?
    Still restrictions on the right of property is not the same as non-existence of that right – if the right did not exist, there would be no need of restrictions. You yourself talk about cases, where the Cuban government “confiscate your properties”, when you emmigrate.
    So to say that Cubans cannot own their houses and cars is an agitative exaggeration, which I would not have expected from the publisher of this journal.

  20. Follow up post #20 added on January 13, 2010 by pipefitter

    If you don’t think they sell cars in Cuba, look at this website. cu.clasificados.st

  21. Follow up post #21 added on January 13, 2010 by pipefitter

    Also look at http://www.revolico.com for autos for sale

  22. Follow up post #22 added on January 13, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    So now we have to debate what one means by the term “own” and “sell”.

    Congratulations, you have changed the topic from Cuba being a deadbeat nation by design.

    Now you want to debate whether Cubans own their home and if they can sell their cars.

    My definition of ownership is:

    1. Legal in the sense the the title of ownership is transferable.

    2. The government cannot take the property away simply because you are not a good Communist.

    3. That you can sell the property for a profit whenever there is a buyer.

    Clasificados.st is not based in Cuba and anyone in Cuba found using that site would probably have their property confiscated.

    Revolico.com is banned in Cuba.

    So, let’s not think there is some sort of ebay in Cuba.

    Now go ahead and change the subject and tell me how the US government will take your property if you don’t pay your taxes on it and how there are now property taxes in Cuba.

    C’mon. I’m really looking forward to this one.

    Cuba consulting services

  23. Follow up post #23 added on January 13, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Pipefitter, I’m not know about you, but while I do not live presently in Cuba Iam a real Cuban that loves my birth country to death and exudes Cubania.
    Furthermore the laws and regulations that I’m talking about applies to the people living in Cuba right now.
    Miguel, you are right there are cars on display but they are not for sale for everybody as you were made to understand. In order to buy it you need a special government authorization letter. For example my sister lives in Cuba and have a job for which she is paid legally in hard currency, however she does not have the letter and even when she have the means to buy it she cannot buy a car.

    I agree with you that people can own a house in Cuba, I mean the word exists. However I feel that what the Publisher was trying to say is that even when you own a house, you do not have the right to sell it. Also you cannot buy a house legally. Still there are people buying and selling houses but it is illegal and if the government catches them they confiscate the house and the monies involved. Houses can be exchanged (permuta) but even in those cases the government has to approve the transactions and if they like the house they void the exchange and take the house on account of government interests.

    There is an excellent example of what house ownership means in today’s Cuba, a well know house called Villa Lita on Paseo Avenue,  in Vedado neighborhood, that house was confiscated few years ago from the original owners (from before 1959) on account of government interest. The government simply alleged that it was too big for the amount of people living on it.

  24. Follow up post #24 added on January 14, 2010 by pipefitter

    Didn’t do your research again hey Rob, revolico is workig today Jan 13/2010. It doesn’t matter were a website is based, you love Yoani’s website for example and it isn’t based in Cuba is it?

  25. Follow up post #25 added on January 14, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    No non-government websites are based in Cuba. Fidel would never allow it.

    Also, look what happened to http://HavanaTimes.org ... open minded thinking from Cuba. Funny. Circles Robinson got kicked out of Cuba for blogging GOOD things about Cuba.

    Are you seeing revolico from home or work or a hotel? Big difference, right?

    Cuba consulting services

  26. Follow up post #26 added on January 14, 2010 by pipefitter

    Yeyo, If you look up Ley de vivienda y propiedad personal it tells you what the laws in Cuba are. It calls the owners of a house “propietarios”. As you know that means owner of the property. It says that you can sell or trade your house but the price has to be reasonable not inflated like happens here in Canada. It says that your house can be left to your children or relatives as long as they are going to live in it and they don’t own another house etc. The ownership of the property has to be registered with your gov., the same as anywhere else etc. If you leave the country your house is left to the remaining occupants but they have to pay for that persons portion of ownership.

  27. Follow up post #27 added on January 14, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    When you said revolico was working, I assumed you meant from Cuba.

    Revolico is banned in Cuba.

    First law of Cuba, Fidel’s law supersedes all other laws so please don’t refer to the “laws” as if they matter.

    Cuba consulting services

  28. Follow up post #28 added on January 14, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Pipefitter your own explanation (by the way biased, taking the best of it) shows what I was referring to. Also, you did not addressed the fact that hundreds of houses in Cuba are been confiscated by the government on different but illegal accounts. There are cases where the owner has gone to court to defend his rights and even when the Cuban courts had decided on their favor the government still confiscated the houses going again the judge decision.

    The first organization that violates the constitution, the same constitution that was written by Castro, is the Castro government.
    The present regulations (mostly not laws) are imposed by Castro, and he change the regulations whenever he wants.

    1.  You cannot sell your own house on the market.
    2.  You cannot buy a house on the market.

    The above two points are sufficient to show that the whole housing policy is a piece of garbage. The ownership of something commence with the human right of being able to do whatever you want with it.

    I own my house and can sell it, trade it for gain or do whatever I want with it. That is what ownership means, other than that is bull….

  29. Follow up post #29 added on January 14, 2010 by pipefitter

    Yeyo. you are living in Canada were paying inflated prices for housing is the norm. In Cuba they like to see housing as a necesity and not something to make people wealthy. I just pointed out that the housing law says you can sell your house as long as you charge a reasonable price and are not leaving Cuba for the land of milk and honey with a bag full of money. Even foreigners buy the second floor of houses as you know to live in Cuba. The ground floor can’t be bought by a foreigner because they can’t own the land.
    Yes Pub, I don’t think everything the Gov. in Cuba does is right nor do I think a lot of things both of our countries do are right but lets not put inacuracies into an article to spin it into something negative that you favor.

  30. Follow up post #30 added on January 15, 2010 by Miguel

    Agree that deficient rule of law and severe market restrictions contribute to Cuba’s problems. But it appears to me that cases of grave abuse are relatively rare, although I have personally witnessed one. I too know of confiscations of houses, but all those cases dealt with property acquired through bribe and falsified documents. I know of other cases, where draconic regulations have been administered with leniency. To say that you risk lose your house “if you are not a good communist” (publisher, comment # 22) is misleading to any reader not familiar with Cuba, the same way as publisher’s very polemic introduction, which started the whole debate.

  31. Follow up post #31 added on January 15, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    “lets not put inacuracies into an article to spin it into something negative that you favor.”

    Are you talking to me or is this a note to yourself. I deal in facts, not propaganda. I know you good Communists like to debate and argue away the errors of Fidel’s Communism and when that doesn’t hold up you blame the US. So I’m the one putting inaccuracies into articles and spinning the truth? Nice try.


    “To say that you risk lose your house “if you are not a good communist” (publisher, comment # 22) is misleading to any reader not familiar with Cuba”

    Not misleading at all. I stand by my statement. We are here to educate people about the truth of living in Cuba, the bad and the good but I won’t have the truth hijacked by propagandists, brain washed liberals or people who think Cuba is some sort of worker’s utopia.

    Cuba consulting services

  32. Follow up post #32 added on January 15, 2010 by pipefitter

    “Cuba has free trade with every country in the world except the U.S.” is that not a tad inacurate Pub?

  33. Follow up post #33 added on January 15, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Pipefitter, I do not know what housing law you are referring to. It looks to me that you read it on an old history book.

    Right now in Cuba is forbidden to sell or buy a house, period. Furthermore the housing law does not matter because the government does not follow the law in Cuba; they follow their own regulations many of which contradict the constitution of the land.

    The foreigner that you know bought the second floor is the one that married a Cuban (many of whom are gineteras). They simply exchange the ginetera small shack on the outskirts of Havana (likely inherited from the ginetera’s aunt) together with a bag of money to get a big house in Miramar, Nuevo Vedado, Vedado etc. In the way they gave tips to a bunch of people on the Housing administration (Instituto de la Vivienda) to make things easier. Corruption on the housing administration is rampant. Very often they sell illegally houses that had been confiscated.

    All those draconian regulations do nothing but to create a huge corruption system. Now days in Cuba whatever you want to do, most likely you have to “grease” (tocar) somebody.

    Maybe the system was created with the idea of being fair and not allowing the rich to abuse the poor but the fact and the matter is that the government is a terrible administrator and housing as mostly everything in Cuba does not work.

  34. Follow up post #34 added on January 15, 2010 by pipefitter

    Yeyo, You don’t gain any respect by calling people you do not know whores. It is obvious to me that you haven’t kept up to date on what is going on in Cuba.
    Look at this BBC report with reference to how people own and repair their own homes in Cuba. blogstephanie.com (surviving the storms)

  35. Follow up post #35 added on January 15, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Dear Pipefitter, do not change the subject, I call them what they are, couple of posts before you were asking about the Cubans that live in Cuba and that is what Cubans that live in Cuba call them: Jineteras, women that had married foreigners for economical interest rather than for love.

    Your BBC report has nothing to do with the housing in Cuba. Yes, Cuba is well organized to fight hurricanes and other nature events. But is one of the worst places on earth to find a house. The reference that the people receive free materials to build their homes, I would not say that is a lie because maybe few have received it. But how many people you know that have received the materials for free to build their house in Cuba, I bet not many. The amount of construction materials that the government provides for sale, is extremely controlled, are insufficient and via such a bureaucratic process that is not accessible to most of the population. Most Cubans buys the construction materials on the black market at exorbitant prices compare to their salaries. On the other hand I know for a fact that Cuba confront a huge housing deficit, which the government has promised to eliminate for decades but cannot even cover 10% of it.

    The draconian housing regulations rather than try to resolve the problem help to make the issue worst. That’s why is very common to se three and even four generations of Cubans living under the same ceiling.

  36. Follow up post #36 added on January 15, 2010 by pipefitter

    Yeyo, you disapoint me, calling my wife and also my sister in law “Jinateras” I am pretty sure that my sister in law was not one and can guarantee you that my wife wasn’t.
    The reason that I thought you might be interested in the BBC video was so you could see what is happening in Cuba seeing as you are obviously not up to date and to see how the guy refers to “his house”. 3 out of five of my relative families in Cuba are getting or have gotten their houses repaired from hurricane damage. One with a house of about 1200 square ft had most of the roof blown off and they have had the gable roof replaced with a re-enforced concrete slab and done some extra work inside. This work done by a “brigada” included were ,new concrete roof, new tile floors, new windows,new bathroom tiles, paint etc. Some of the work included extras that they wanted done and I sent them can. $180.00 (the cost for the extras). No Yeyo, they are not members of the communist party. Another I sent them can. $150.00 for similar work on their house. The other ones said they didn’t need any help with money, they could manage on their own. These people all own their own houses. It is true that Cuba has a housing shortage but unlike many countries they are doing something about it.

  37. Follow up post #37 added on January 16, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Dear Pipefitter, you disappoint me in taking my posts personally.
    If you look nicely to what I posted, I said “The foreigner that you know bought the second floor is the one that married a Cuban (many of whom are gineteras).”
    I did not say that all Cubans that married foreigners were gineteras and obviously I did not say or imply that your wife and sister in law were gineteras. As a matter of fact I did not know that you were a Canadian married to a Cuban or that your sister in law was a Cuban married to a foreigner.

    We all make posts about what we feel is the Cuban reality. For instance you said in your post that I am “obviously not up to date in Cuba” while I just returned from Cuba last week, and again I’m Cuban born and raised in Cuba and have lot of family living across several provinces in Cuba.

    Your family is obviously very lucky; I guess they are among the luckiest Cubans living in Cuba today, not needing to buy the construction materials on the black market, no wonder they want to stay there. Whenever you want to see the real Cuba with millions of people not receiving construction materials from the government whenever they need them most or with 3 or 4 generations of family living on the same two bedroom apartment because there is no apartments for sale or for rent, you let me know, we can arrange a visit to Cuba together and I would walk you around.

  38. Follow up post #38 added on January 16, 2010 by Miguel

    Pipefitter: Thank you for the link (comment # 34), a very well-made and interesting report.

    Yeyo:  I think you are wrong. People, who had their houses destroyed by the hurricanes in 2008, do get them rebuild by the state – which is what pipefitter is telling. The debate made me remember when I was in Cuba this autumn, and a lady of many years’ acquaintance, who had her house damaged by the hurricane, told that “now they finally started to repair my house” – she is a retired widow and could never afford such a thing by herself. And do you really think that the very extensive rebuilding all over the island is paid by the house owners?
    This is a special situation after the hurricane devastations, which you apparently are not aware of (although you returned last week), but which deserves consideration, both when you debate Cuban housing policy, and when you debate the country’s economic problems.
    It is true that several generations often live under one roof due to housing shortage. That is why you see so many houses amplifying “by gemmation”.

  39. Follow up post #39 added on January 16, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “Cuba has free trade with every country in the world except the U.S.” is that not a tad inacurate Pub?”

    Free trade and free gifts from China, Venezuela, Russia, Spain, Qatar, Dubai etc etc.


    For those who like to change the subject because the truth hurts, this post is about Cuba being a deadbeat nation by design. Now pipefitter wants to talk about hurricane preparedness. Pretty soon we’ll be talking about how bad Batista was and how Fidel saved everybody. Geesh.

    Cuba consulting services

  40. Follow up post #40 added on January 16, 2010 by pipefitter

    Yeyo, I’m sorry if you thought I was serious about the Jineteras, I was just jocking with you.
    I know that the housing situation in Cuba is a serious problem But you know that it can’t be solved overnight and it doesn’t help any having hurricanes destroy what housing there is. A lot of building materials are expensive and have to be bought with dollars. Two of the relative families are retired and needed extensive repairs. How can a Cuban afford to buy cement at $10.00 a sack like we pay here? Three of my relative families have their married kids also living with them for lack of housing. But that is not all bad either as they have the “abuelas” to help with the kids and cook etc. I will be going to Cuba in the spring for a month.
    So what is it Pub, is it the free gifts part that realy pisses you off? Lots of countries get huge debts forgiven by the IMF isn’t that a gift? How do you see Cuba having free trade with the rest of the world when the U.S. stops foreign companies from trading with them and restricts shipping companies from going to Cuba? All this does is to cut off the connection with western countries that is necesary for development.
    Miguel, look up the mondragon experiment it is a very interesting video and a concept Cuba could follow.

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