The Associated Press can’t seem to break the habit of regurgitating every “reform” decree issued by King Raul and his knights. They are in good company, too. Trawl for news from Cuba on the internet and what you will find lately is a hall of mirrors in which the official legerdemain of the Castro oligarchs is endlessly reflected. Goebbels would have been astonished at the success of this propaganda machine.
What are these latest reforms about? Allowing farmers to lease more land from their feudal lords, and granting them the “privilege” of building houses that they cannot own. You can’t even call this neo-feudalism because there is nothing new about it. This is simply a return to the status quo of the 11th century, a full millennium ago. They might as well start calling the farmers “serfs,” for that is what they really are.
Of course, no mention is made of the fact that these leases are for land that has not been farmed for many years and is now engulfed by marabu, an invasive weed that has taken over about half of the island’s once-fertile fields.
And, of course, the Washington Post picks up the story and slaps a photo of a third world peasant over the article — replete with the obligatory starving oxen — just to reinforce ancient prejudices about the congenital backwardness of all Latin people. They were using the same photos before Castro came along. Go here for two more revolting photos.
Cuba opens way to larger private farms on fallow government land
HAVANA — Cuba has announced that it is modifying rules for the handover of fallow land to independent farmers.
The measure goes into effect December 21. It is the latest in a series of economic reforms under President Raul Castro.
The new rules allow individual farmers to lease up to 67 hectares (165 acres), up from the current maximum of 40 hectares (98 acres). They also allow farmers to build homes on the land, which was previously prohibited.
The new law published Tuesday does not change the maximum length of the leases, which remains 10 years for individuals and 25 for cooperatives. Leases can be renewed.
The law does make it easier for farmers to keep the land in their family, giving priority to next of kin when leases expire.