Duh, it’s the communism silly!

HEADLINE:

Cuba running huge trade deficit – minister

Excerpts of story by Reuter’s commie correspondent.

Cuba continues to run a huge trade deficit and the country’s 2008 performance was worse than previously reported, the official Granma newspaper said Friday, quoting Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca…

The Communist country’s foreign trade is expected to decline significantly this year due to lower prices for key imports oil and food and the country’s main export nickel. Other key exports such as cigars and lobster are also being hammered by the international economic slowdown, the government said earlier this week.

Financing is an additional problem due to the international crisis and late payments to governments and traders, western business sources said…

The mounting services income — officials say more than half comes from leftist ally Venezuela— had enabled Cuba to more or less balance its external finances in recent years, but in 2008 fell well short of what was needed, local analysts said…

Based on Malmierca’s statement on Thursday, exports were just under $4 billion last year, and imports $15.8 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $11.8 billion

[Interim dictator] Raul Castro, who formally replaced older brother Fidel Castro as president in February 2008, has expressed frustration with state company performance…

Nickel prices have plummeted worldwide amid rising production and falling demand to around $10,000 per tonne from a high of around $50,000 in 2007…

Cuba reported a debt of $17.8 billion and current account balance of payments surplus of $527 million in 2007, the last time official figures were made available.

Gee, I wonder what could help get Cuba out of this economic hole? Maybe drastic economic reforms that spur private industry and productivity? Of course why do that when there’s still a chance of bagging the elephant that is the United States, it’s army of potential tourists, it’s naive politicians and its institutions like the Export-Import Bank?

Bailout of castro, inc. here we come!