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Posted July 19, 2007 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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According to the 2007 Heritage/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, Cuba has a score of 29.7 (29.7% economically free) out of 100, and ranks 156 out of 157 countries, see the ranked list here. North Korea is #157 with only 3% freedom, and Libya ranks #155 with 34.5% freedom.

Hong Kong ranks #1 with 89.3% freedom, and the U.S. ranks #4 with 82% freedom.

From Cuba’s profile in the report: “Cuba is ranked 29th out of 29 countries in the Americas, and its overall score is so low that it is less than half of the regional average.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE Links and comments are here.

This is the text from the Heritage Foundation - Index of Economic Freedom (100% indicates the most freedom)

Cuba’s economy is 29.7 percent free, according to our 2007 assessment, which makes it the world’s 156th freest economy. Its overall score is 2.5 percentage points lower than last year, partially reflecting new methodological detail. Cuba is ranked 29th out of 29 countries in the Americas, and its overall score is so low that it is less than half of the regional average.

As an avowedly Marxist state, Cuba scores relatively well in very few areas of economic freedom. Havana performs least egregiously in trade freedom and monetary freedom. Cuba has a moderate average tariff of 10 percent but very restrictive non-tariff barriers to trade. Inflation is moderate, but government efforts to control all kinds of prices are pervasive.

Business freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom are all weak. In theory, Communist nations dictate central economic policy, and Cuba aims to fulfill this in practice. All aspects of business operations are tightly controlled and government-dominated, and the private sector is very small. There are no courts independent of political interference, and private property (particularly land) is strictly regulated by the state.

Background:

Cuba is a one-party Communist state with a command economy that depends heavily on external assistance and a captive labor force. The Castro government, in power since 1959, restricts basic human rights, such as freedom of expression, and has detained hundreds of political prisoners in harsh conditions. Little reliable, independent information on the economy is available, and official figures on per capita GDP may not reflect actual income. Venezuela supplies Cuba with up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day, and its assistance has enabled Cuba to retreat on limited reforms undertaken in the mid-1990s.

Business Freedom - 10.0%

Cuba’s government controls and regulates the entire economy, and private entrepreneurship exists only on a very small scale. The inconsistent and non-transparent application of government regulations impedes the creation of new businesses. The overall freedom to start, operate, and close a business is seriously limited by the national regulatory environment.

Trade Freedom - 60.2%

Cuba’s weighted average tariff rate was 9.9 percent in 2004. Procedures for the allocation of hard currency and centralizing of imports have resulted in delays and bottlenecks, and customs corruption is common. Consequently, an additional 20 percent is deducted from Cuba’s trade freedom score to account for these non-tariff barriers.

Fiscal Freedom - 62.8%

Cuba has a high income tax rate and a moderate corporate tax rate. The top income tax rate is 50 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 35 percent.

Freedom from Government - 10.0%

Total government expenditures in Cuba, including consumption and transfer payments, are very high. In the most recent year, government spending equaled 59.7 percent of GDP. The state produces most economic output and employs most of the labor force. The industrial and services sectors are largely dominated by the state. Revenues from state-owned enterprises are used to finance social spending and new public investment programs.

Monetary Freedom - 65.8%

Inflation in Cuba is moderate, averaging 5 percent between 2003 and 2005. Relatively moderate prices explain most of the monetary freedom score. The government determines prices for most goods and services and subsidizes much of the economy (although the retail sector has some private and black market activity that is not government-controlled). Consequently, an additional 20 percent is deducted from Cuba’s monetary freedom score to adjust for measures that distort domestic prices.

Investment Freedom - 10.0%

The government maintains exchange controls. All investments must be approved by the government, and licensing is required for all businesses. Cuba has recently backtracked on limited liberalization of foreign investment. The government has revised the terms for business licenses to include “social objectives” and has erected other deterrents to investment, such as delaying payments from Cuban enterprises, imposing onerous regulations, and increasing operating costs. Some restrictions have been loosened to permit investment commitments and credit lines from China and Venezuela.

Financial Freedom - 10.0%

Cuba has increased freedom in the financial sector incrementally over the past decade, but the government remains firmly in control. The Cuban peso is used as the domestic currency, and a separate convertible peso is used as “hard” currency for foreign exchange and non-essential retail. A 2003 law requires that transactions between Cuban enterprises must be carried out in convertible pesos rather than U.S. dollars. Over a dozen foreign banks have opened representative offices but are not allowed to operate freely. The government established a central bank in 1997 and converted the Banco Nacional de Cuba into one of a new set of state banks. Central bank authority was enhanced in 2005 to more control the use of hard currency and convertible pesos more closely. Credit and insurance markets are heavily controlled by the central government.

Property Rights - 10.0%

Private ownership of land and productive capital by Cuban citizens is limited to farming and self-employment. The constitution explicitly subordinates the courts to the National Assembly of People’s Power (NAPP) and the Council of State, which is headed by President Fidel Castro. The NAPP and its lower-level counterparts choose all judges. The law and trial practices do not meet international standards for fair public trials.

Freedom from Corruption - 38.0%

Corruption is perceived as significant. Cuba ranks 59th out of 158 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2005.

Labor Freedom - 20.0%

The labor market operates under highly rigid employment regulations that hinder employment and productivity growth. The formal labor market is not fully developed, and the rigid labor market controlled by the government has contributed to creating a large informal economy that employs considerable labor.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on July 20, 2007 by anders

    Jesus Christ, is this quasi science or what ? Does anybody with all of his senses in full working condition really believe “free economy” is something that can be objectively and impartially measured ? In order to account for anything you have to know/define what it is !
    When is a fish no longer small (international fishing quotas), what is a pitbull terrier or is 15 cases of malfunctioning foglights in a car model 5x more serious than 3 problems with brakes in another ? The significanse in a document as the above is not in its “statistics” but in its definitions, models of analyses, perspectives at large asf.

    If an analyses is to be proper ( we may demand high standards from institutions that claim to have them ) choise of vocabulary and handling of terminology must raise above unschooled levels. The following is an almost simplistic example, what we in my country call an “own goal” ( a sort of intellectual self mutilation).
    “As an avowedly Marxist state…” they wright ! What the h-l is that ? Is it related to the all american newtonian farming ? One shouldn´t use words just because they sound right. That is tacky !

    The Heritage Foundation is well-known to stand so far on the right wing it would have problems fitting in the parliamentary systems i Scandinavia. All matters above are viewed from a perspective of a pruposed aggresive employer. Employers aren´t necessarily that but the geniouses at Heritage Foundation define capitalists as unhappy if they can´t do what they please.  Maybe they know “the pig by its hairs” ! Perhaps they understand “people” from the persons they themselves are surronded by daily ?


  2. Follow up post #2 added on July 20, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Sorry anders but I’ll believe the Wall Street Journal co-sponsored report before I believe your half baked ideas on capitalism.

    You socialists should try enjoying the benefits of capitalism instead of just following the party line and discount it as evil.

    If you are wondering, George Bush is NOT a good capitalist.



    Cuba consulting services

  3. Follow up post #3 added on July 20, 2007 by anders

    well, now…
    what half baked ideas would that be ? You don´t regard strict scientific methodological requirements as something bad, do you ? Or is it intellectual standards as such that are “leftist” ?  If “truth”  is a function of status, power and authority isn´t it better be called “pravda” ?

    I take it you are pissed because I disregard an article you choosed to publices. Sorry about that, but Heritage Foundation - don´t make WSJ responsible - has never been a fountain of intellectual standards.
    What ever my private politics may be, swedish labor movement has governed our country for 85% of the last 80 years. Perhaps that is why salaries, housing, crime rates, education and living conditions here is so much higher ? Your recomendation to start “enjoying the benefits of capitalism” has no meaning to me. What should we do that we do not do already ?


  4. Follow up post #4 added on July 20, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    I’m just making the point that you don’t agree with the findings so you are implying that Cuba has a great economy with great economic freedoms?

    I’m sure Sweden is a fine country but your government and the Castro government are not the same thing.

    Wake up!



    Cuba consulting services

  5. Follow up post #5 added on July 20, 2007 by Cuban American

    I love when these apologists blab on about there socialists ideals not having ever experienced the freedom lacking “socialism” of Cuba.  If you andres are trying to argue that Cuba has a free economy, and by that I mean free-market economy, in other words the oportunities for private enterpries and personal property, then you are SADLY mistaken.  You argue the right wing tendencies of the Heritage Foundation.  Well if im not mistaken this was cosponsored by Wall Street Journal, and there about as right winged as CNN.  Open your eyes, Cuba has a serious lack of human rights, a seriously FUBAR economy.  Oh but wait they have “free education”..... the only thing about there education that is free is the price, because restricted and prohibited internet access, and limited literary resources is NOT free education.  You can defend Castro all day, but he is a failure, his policies for Cuba were and are failures, and if he didn’t have friends with big pockets his regime would of crumbled a long time ago.


  6. Follow up post #6 added on July 21, 2007 by anders

    for some reason my long response to Publishers reply has not come through !

    To “Cuban-American”. You are calling me “an apologist blabing on my socialist ideals”.  I suppose you recognized I was talking about scientific methodological requirements. Logically this must be what you refer to as “socialist ideals” ! Are you one of those that call Charles Darwin a dangerous leftist ?

    As I wrote in the unpublished note the Heritage text is not a WSJ product, only published there. It may even be a s c “journalistic ad” payd for by Heritage themself.
    My argument does not concern wether Cuba has a free economy or not. It concerns the Heritage Foundations understanding of what “free economy” means. They totally disregard the needs and understandings working citizens have. They discribe the requirements of business in such a manner capitalism can only be understood as something enourmously aggressive. This is not my, the swedish or european experience and understanding of market economy. But “market economy” is not a one faced animal either. It can be organized in thousands of ways. Respectable powers realize this, aggresive ones don´t !
    Heritage are actually cornering themselves. There way of promoting what they believe in only strengthen their opponents. Their definitions of freedom can never be supported through democratic means only by violent power and oppresion


  7. Follow up post #7 added on July 21, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Cuban American,

    You can’t reason with anders. He is always right and we are always wrong. Anything published against Cuba is always wrong or biased or flawed in some way but everything Granma publishes is always right. (or should I say left?).

    Cuba has many freedoms. The freedom to go to hospitals with no asprin. The freedom to eat the free food from the libreta. The freedom to say and write nice things about Fidel Castro. The freedom to work for government wages.

    Sure, Cuba has a free market. Problem is there is nothing in the market.



    Cuba consulting services

  8. Follow up post #8 added on July 21, 2007 by anders

    publisher,
    now you are getting a bit odd. I have not mentioned Granma once. You have twice, though. I´m talking about scientific qualities versus propaganda. You side with people that calls this socialist blabing. Now you consider yourself a part of “we” - those that critize Cuba as opposed to those that in various ways defend Cuba. In other words, when it comes to the nitty gritty maybe you are closer to CANF then the wellbeing of cubans ? or is this unfair allegations ?


  9. Follow up post #9 added on July 21, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Of course I am not on the CANF side but you want to imply that everything is open and free in Cuba so you must be a Granma subscriber. They only tell the truth, right?

    I want what is best for the Cuban people but Castro’s oppressive government is not best in my opinion.



    Cuba consulting services

  10. Follow up post #10 added on July 21, 2007 by anders

    very well,
    I´m not a Granma subscriber. Anyone who reads this PCC paper can see it is not a newspaper in the regular sense rather a publication of political documents. When I read it I read it accordingly which is not very often.
    The ordinary newspapers are ran by the movements. The best statistics and facts often come from US universities and UN publications. Thats where I get my knowledge and from travelling the country and talking to all kinds of people, ordinary citizens as well as officials.
    Very few observers of Cuba of any rank academically or in international politics would deny the amount of reforms that have taken place over a long number of years making Cuba a much more diversified society today then it was before the Special Period. This does that many of the old allegations don´t hold stake !

    If one is to support improvements in the relations between Cuba and other countries, primarily the US, I´m convinced one must describe the country for what it is. Not what one suspects or are afraid of. US critics and their international networks do not do that. The only nations that support US policy against Cuba today are Israel and a couple of coral reefs. So the main obstacles lie with them, not Cuba.

    why dont you publish all articles I have sent you ?


  11. Follow up post #11 added on July 21, 2007 by Mako with 172 total posts

    Anders , I LOVE your analysis about free economies. Ask a Cuban about “scientific methodological requirements” for THEIR “FREE” economy.
    I like you Anders !! You make me smile
    Anders ...have you been “hitting” the schnapps again?


  12. Follow up post #12 added on July 22, 2007 by anders

    dear Mako,
    You´re a funny guy ! I´m surpriced you love my analyses of free economies since I haven´t made any. But perhaps you expect a lot less than I do in order to call something an analyses ?
    My point is that no absolute scale of free economy exists. Anyone who claims that is abusing economic vocabulary, comiting propaganda and deteriorating down to quasi-science. Heritage Found. do this and so did Stalin and the sovjets in their days.
    For instance, when they define “Business Freedom” it is obvious rights of the employees and needs of society at large are only regarded as obstacles. This places Heritage to the right of most european fascists. Only odd lodges of surviving “Chicago neo liberals” would share the Heritage perspectives today. In Europe and Asia that is.

    What relevence does this have for Cuba. First of all ! the very same things where Cuba is only granted 10% by Heritage would most likely grant them 80-90 percent by Scandinavian, French or German labor unions. Take this Heritage-Cuba scheme to the steelworkers in Pennsylvania and they might want to vote Fidel their own president. Secondly, using Heritage perspectives on Cuba is a sure way of making the rest of us ( say 5.7 billion people ) asume that even s.c. moderate critics have no bl-y idea of what they are doing. And third and most important . As most discriptions of the situation on Cuba are wrong or severly twarted what might the most likely reactions from cubans be when they read this ? “Sentences like “The overall freedom to start, operate and close a business is seriously limited by the national regulatory environment” are not likely to make all that many cubans want to shout “please, come and liberate me”.


  13. Follow up post #13 added on July 22, 2007 by Mako with 172 total posts

    Anders ,please re-read your postings. You analyze almost everything. In fact, you tend to over analyze. You have great command of the english language but your rhetoric some times approaches hyperbole (although it does make me grin)
    For example;“steel workers in Pennsylvania might want to vote Fidel their own president” Since steel workers in Pa. make in one day what the average Cuban laborer makes in one year, the chances of that happening are about the same as me being voted president of Sweden. Great ananlysis
    I had to get the schnapps out on that one :- )


  14. Follow up post #14 added on July 22, 2007 by anders

    dear Marko,
    I sinserly appriciate your remarks. Maybe you have grasped a part of my comments that has past others by. I´m a great admirerer of Shakespear which I´m proud to say I´ve past on to my children.

    Of course you are right on the levels of salaries. Most cubans that have left their country for the last 25 years ( the s c Mariel migrations and onwards ) have done so for the sake of material living conditions. I´m completly aware of the fact one of the main everyday concerns of cubans is soap.

    However, you will find, if you sincerely look into what people expect out of life ( I´m a lutheran theologian with a slight interest into politics ) people do not live off bread alone. Dignity matters and a number of other things. One of Cubas main obstacles today, as I understand it, is how much poverty cuban dignity can take. In spite of their magnificent culture, democratic experiments with Poderes Populares and utterly impressive awarenes of the facts of the world. They are extraordinarily well educated but this simultaniously increase their demands of improved living conditions.

    I would love to have a serious and well founded discussion on what could be improved in cuban economy asf but this far the starting point is actually beneath me. I require fair conditions - eg a reasonable discription of cuban conditions -  and the Heritage text does not supply this. It is a shame.
    Ideologically I´m most favorable towards family business for instanse but there is no way a can see free roaming of capital interest as progress. Scandinavians are fairly pragmatic and I´m very scandinavian. On certain issues we a properly harsher than the cubans. Our open-minded society was not given to us by God. We struggled for it. And we hate parasites.

    I have commented on several issues, you are right there, but it is impossible to respond from what has been said on other strings on these issues.

    One of the main reasons americans demonise Cuba, I´m certain, is because Cuba in several respects is a better society than the US. That is way the starting point of discussions often is so crooked.


  15. Follow up post #15 added on July 22, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    anders, you’re crooked and you don’t know it. You should move to Cuba. I’m sure you’ll be very happy there with all the freedoms and state giveaways. You can work hard for the common good of the people.

    Too bad that darn Embargo kept Castro’s Cuba from being such a wonderful place.



    Cuba consulting services

  16. Follow up post #16 added on July 25, 2007 by anders

    well, publisher, from having skimmed your different forums there seems to be quite a few people planning on moving to Cuba. At least they have got a national health insurens so I would not have to trade down from scandinavian standards too much moving there.  And it is nice to know I will not be alone.
    I find the Baracoa area, Vinales and S:a Clara province the most beautiful but I´m really a city boy. Bamayo and Cienfuegos seem to be the best ordered town districts but Habana and Santiago certainly are the most fun.

    With the embargo gone I could possibly survive as a trader. With the embargo left I have plans to open a factory that produces guitar strings.
    Please help me ! What shall I do ?


  17. Follow up post #17 added on July 26, 2007 by anders

    to Mako,
    guess what I just found out…? Pittsburg has a twin town already. Where ? Matanzas , Cuba of all places.

    out of consideration to usa:ns here is an explanation of the joke :
    Mako and I earlier made humouros remarks on wether US steelworkers might consider supporting Fidel if they knew about cuban ideas on economics.
    Many steelworkers live in Pennsylvania, the traditional stronghold of your countries metal industry.
    Many plants have been closed during the last 3 decades so the laborers are accustomed to suffering. There own fault, of course….
    Pittsburg is the main steelworks city in Pennsylvania.
    Matanzas is the birth place of the revolutionary Cuban system of “Poderes Populares”..
    If you combine these pieces of information you can see a comical pattern.

    - Can you here the train acoming…”      Love it !


  18. Follow up post #18 added on July 26, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    anders, you are funny.

    My head is spinning from your variety of comments.

    Have fun doing business in Cuba?

    You seem to know so much about Cuba (just like Don and Vlasta) yet you make some ridiculous comments so I am not sure if you are just a bomb thrower making ridiculous statements just to get people to comment or if you are an agent of the Cuban government pretending to be a foreigner.

    Either way your comments are getting old just like Don and Vlasta. So anders, if you are not Don and Vlasta, you know them. I am convinced of that.



    Cuba consulting services

  19. Follow up post #19 added on July 26, 2007 by anders

    How come you so easily loose your balance ? I don´t find your last comment funny at all. Who the hell are Don and Vlasta ?
    You have called me a number of things now when you can´t handle the debate as such. Your captivity in standard US narratives sooner or later will release some ridicule. I was the one to do it this time. I think you should take that standing up !
    Accusing me of being an agent is insolent and actually incredibly stupid. I am not going to disclose identity but there is sufficient information, directly and indirectly in my comments so far for you to understand neither business community nor the political sphere is alien to me. I´m no big shot by any means but in some comfortable ways Sweden is a small country.
    I would rather suggest you interpreted my comments as informal but clear advice from someone who actually have some insights into how many europeans think. That may prove helpful in what ever the future could offer.

    There was no need for you to comment on Mako´s and my little bataille.
    Unfortunatly you also disclose tender toes and a shortage of humor. If you want me to stick to serious comments I can do that. I think a simple apology would be in order so we can move on !


  20. Follow up post #20 added on July 26, 2007 by Mako with 172 total posts

    Anders , comparing the Scandanavian health care system to the Cuban health care system is absurd. Sweden’s health care is amongst the finest in the world. In Cuba “national free health care” is wondeful if you have a headache or in grown toe nail. I know some one who has been waiting nearly 5 months for a root canal. If you are in desperate need of open heart surgery…Camaguey might not be the best place
    Also, if you want to manufacture guitar strings in Cuba, please make them edible, as more food is what they really need


  21. Follow up post #21 added on July 26, 2007 by Mako with 172 total posts

    OHHHH ,,,And Anders ... what did you mean by “twin towns” I have been to both Pittsburgh and Matanzas, if they are twins ,they are certainly not identical twins.  Pitt is a vibrant ,wealthy,clean, economically, and socially diverse city . Matanzas is a bit less ...and the antiquated soviet power plant belches some of the most noxious air pollution I have ever witnessed (when it is working)
    Pitt did go through major economic recession many years ago when some steel mills did close down due to international competition(china pays it steel workers almost as little as Cuban laborers) and the forced consolidation and modernization of its remaining mills.  Market forces made the Pitt economy diversify and now it is one of the most attractive cities in th N.E. USA( with fewer mills, and more modern mills with stringent environmental controls, there is far less air polluution) Pitt is actually a nice place to live


  22. Follow up post #22 added on July 27, 2007 by anders

    Mako,
    comedy always comes first….
    “twin town” could be a strictly english expression and usa:ans using another. The scandinavian word is closer to “Friendship Town”. Most communes/counties/townships in Sweden have one or two places around the world with close connections to. Special economic relations, cultural exchange, direct exchange of travel and news etc.
    One of our oddest examples is the mountain and forest county of Berg in central Sweden. Many years ago one of its citizens returned after a long time “at sea”, as we say (been a sailor). He organized a group that started building a pagoda and a thai garden with ponds around it. It is now concecrated by the king of Thailand (he came primarily to inaugerate the temple but evidently seem to have discussed a few business deals also )  and a point of reference in all thai-swedish relations. It has definitely been important in the process that made our countries extremely close. Today almost half of our population has visited Thailand ( around 3% of the entire population does so every year) and we absolutely love one another. You can´t hear a swede talk about Thailand without a round of applause. Maybe this is why they choose to replace their rusty aircrafts with modern swedish JAS Gripen fighters instead of other alternatives.

    There may be a lesson in this.

    So ! My thing with Pittsburg-Matanzas hasn´t anything to do with living conditions. I´m sure you are right, though. I´ve been to both places although Pittsburg was in the seventies. Sweden went through the same process in the seventies as most industrial towns here are/were connected to steel mills, shipyards and heavy manufacturing industry. It seems Pittsburg solved its problems in a similar way to us.


  23. Follow up post #23 added on July 27, 2007 by anders

    Mako,
    “On comparisons of Health Care Systems in Scandinavia and Cuba”.

    Oh, well ! The health care thing was mainly a way of slightly kicking Robs legs. Did you really miss that ? Americans mostly have such a distorted image of themselves, their country and the rest of the world it has become a global sport picking on them.

    To my experience you are wrong about the cuban health care system. In general terms, that is. They have a density of clinics matched by no other nation in the world. If cuban standards were applied in my block we would have 3 clinics of so called ” Family Health Stations”. Not even the norwiegans ( they have a grant of 45 min from alarm to hospital treatment even if you´re at the top of a glacier. So they have an impressive fleet of helicopters and crews ) come close.

    The division coefficiente of medical doctors on Cuba is 1 for 120 citizens, for dentists 1/500. Their ways of financing it all (especially directing funds ) is quite similar to ours, their control system is much more decentralized though but we are heading in their direction. Cuban system of District Health Care Centres I believe is litterally copied from Sweden as a consequense of the days when we had very good relations. The division coefficinte is 1/23 000 inhabitants and include dental care, simpler surgery, treatment of tropical deseases and rather advanced laboratory capacity. I lernt this on a semi-official visit and both myself and companions have made use of their health care during visits.

    You shouldn´t rely on my authority alone so I suggest you check with AMA, UNESCO or just about any authority in the world. Cuba is not only “better than Colombia” or something. They are top rank in the world which is remarkable considering…....
    - the economic collapse in 92/93 resulting in a shortage of funds and decline in production capacity.
    - the fact tourism sector pays much better salaries. I´ve had cuban rickshaw drivers with PhD, your USA:n “Pastors for Pease” caravan is often taken care of by a former English professor of the University of Habana asf.
    - international service has become an opportunity they apriciate.
    - the Embargo stops most pharmacutical corporations from trading with Cuba. This has pissed me off personally since me and my family were stockholders in Pharmacia. They fusioned with UpJohn and was purchased some years ago by Monzantos. I have sold all my stocks.

    The over all qonsequences are a relative shortage of medical staff and set back maintanance of buildings. Worst is an absolute shortage of medicines and supplies.
    If the US did not have all its carriers, nuclear weapons and cruise missiles there is no way they could maintain this embargo. 5 years ago Bill Clinton wrote an article in NYT I believe stating the US have a period of 20-30 years after the fall of the Wall to settle its FINAL relations to the world. He suggested respect, brotherhood, cooperation asf. We like Bill Clinton. Now, 17 years have past since the Wall fell .......

    God bless us !


  24. Follow up post #24 added on July 27, 2007 by Mako with 172 total posts

    Anders , thank God comedy always comes first with you. I was beginning to take some of your bizarre assertions seriously.
    Be careful of generalizations : “most Americans.distorted view of thenselves” The only accurate generalization is is that ALL PEOPLE have distorted views of themselves.
    Unfortunately , as much as I love Cuba,my view of the Cuban health care system is pretty dar accurate. The primary care is OK , but once you get into the more complex, they simply don’t have the medicines,knowledge or technology to provide the kind of care you can get in most western nations for the more comples medical challenges. And once you get in the really rural areas, to my dismay, I have witnessed conditons that I would be reticent to allow my dog to be treated . For numerous reasons , which have been debated ad nauseum, the resources,simply are not there.


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