Despite assurances from ‘Cuba Experts,’ actual Cubans see no improvement from dictator’s ‘reforms’

Despite assurances from “Cuba Experts” that the economy in Cuba is rapidly improving, a recent poll taken of Cubans living on the island indicates that the vast majority of them (85%) have seen no improvement in their lives as a result of dictator Raul Castro’s so-called economic reforms. Moreover, close to 75% of those polled say their dire and miserable economic situation has remained static or has worsened since the unveiling of the Castro dictatorship’s magnanimous and breathtaking reforms.

Apparently, no “Cuba Experts” were included in this poll, which is no surprise since the first and most important requirement in becoming a “Cuba Expert” is that you must not be Cuban.

Juan Tamayo in the Miami Herald:

Cubans tell pollsters that Raúl Castro’s reforms are having little impact

Five in six Cubans say they have not benefitted from ruler Raúl Castro’s economic reforms and nearly 75 percent say their family’s economic situation is the same or worse than a year ago, according to a poll made public Monday.

The survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI) also showed the growing disgruntlement among huge majorities of younger Cubans, hinted that optimism is creeping up, and showed an odd slip in those who favor capitalism and democracy.

IRI’s figures backed up the complaint from Cuba analysts that Castro’s reforms have been too few and too slow to fix the sluggish economy. But they also hinted that the reforms have sparked some level of optimism on the island.

It was the seventh Cuba poll conducted since 2007 by IRI, a Washington nonprofit that works to advance freedom around the world. Like its counterpart, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, it is technically nonpartisan.

The poll involved face-to-face interviews of 787 Cuban adults Feb. 29-March 14, and has a 3.5 percent margin of error. IRI says it works “discreetly” in Cuba because the communist government bans independent surveys, but declines to provide further details.

Eighty-five percent of those polled said they have not benefitted directly from Castro’s reforms, and three-quarters said the economic situation of their families is the same or worse than last year and 60 percent expect it to stay the same in the next year.

Asked more generally how things are going, those who said “well” dropped from 27 to 19 percent while those who picked “so-so” rose from 24 to 37 percent. Cubans who replied “very badly” slipped from 9 to 8 percent.

“After more than a year of hearing about reforms in Cuba, adults over 18 don’t see any differences in their lives economically, nor are they especially more confident about the year ahead,” said IRI Latin American director Alex Sutton.

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