Cuba Business

Are economic reforms in Cuba all talk and no action?

Posted October 08, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Business.

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.”


Member Comments

On October 08, 2007, publisher wrote:

This story begs the question is “Raul Castro going to be the reformer of the Cuban economy?”.

I say no. I say no because he either can’t or won’t.

Either he can’t because he will not have the power, support or ability to pull it off or he won’t because he will realize that it is too politically harmful to his career and to those around him.