Or maybe not.
Our friend down under, Luis M. Garcia, who has a knack of cutting to the quick in a way that any outside observer can easily understand, ponders what the lifting of the ban on certain products in Cuba means:
According to media reports, Cubans will now be able to purchase computers and DVD and video players without first requiring written permission from the government.
Of course, the equipment will be available only from State-owned shops.
And to buy say, a new computer, Cubans will need to pay for them with convertible pesos rather than with ordinary pesos – the currency the State uses to pay wages.
Given that a covertible peso is worth 25 of the ordinary pesos, and that the average monthly wage in Cuba is about US$15.00 … well, there is unlikely to be a stampede.
What I love best about the reporting on this latest development is how the government justifies the previous ban by blaming it on electricity shortages. Well let’s see when government has to restrict consumer purchases of electronic goods because of shortages in electricity provided by the state-owned utility, then perhaps its time to change the government.