The Cuba experts pontificate and all that comes out is mierda

“As Cuba gives capitalism a try” — isn’t that the cutest headline ever?

The government layoffs, amounting to 10 percent of the 5 million state employees in Cuba, represent the most significant economic changes since President Raul Castro took over from his ailing older brother, the semi-retired maximum leader Fidel, in summer 2006.

“It is a major step forward,” said Wayne Smith, former chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba and a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy. “But they have little choice but to try something because the economy is going down the tubes.”

Since assuming power, the younger Castro, 79, has pointedly complained that the Cuban state can longer employ its bloated workforce. “We must erase forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where you can live without working,” he said.

Many workers in Cuba barely show up and do very little productive work when they do. In government offices in Havana, coffee and cigarette breaks last hours, sometimes days. State-run cafeterias open for a few hours, suddenly run out of bad food and close as lines of customers wait.

It is not that Cubans are lazy – just the opposite, economists say. But even with their food ration cards, the average Cuban government salary of $20 a month barely provides enough to live on, though the state provides housing, education and medical care.

As Cubans like to say, “The government pretends to pay us and we pretend to work.”

3 thoughts on “The Cuba experts pontificate and all that comes out is mierda”

  1. And of course, leave it up to Wayne Smith to claim that these lay-off’s are a sign of the Cuban gov’t moving forward. Does Smith ever say anything that is even slightly critical of the regime? Does he ever offer a sound or balanced analysis of the Cuban situation? If he has, I’ve missed it. It seems that everything he has to offer is a useless spin that falls prostate at the tyrant’s feet. He’s worst than one of those obsequious nobles who used to grubble at Henry VIII’s feet. It’s almost as if the tyranny owns this man’s soul.

    By the way, did anyone miss this sentence that was casually stuck within the article?

    “The Cubans were so desperate that they froze the accounts of foreign investors on the island earlier this year.”

    Oh!! So they FROZE the accounts of foreign investors! This is the country that all Cuba “experts” claim that not investing in it is a lost opportunity.

  2. Those who groveled before Henry VIII at least had the excuse that if they didn’t, they’d wind up headless. Smith, of course, may be the subject of extortion, just like Ortega, but I tend to doubt it. I think he’s just an SOB who’s found a way to be a “name” by, basically, acting like what he is.

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