Ay, mami, no quieren jugar conmigo! Oh mommy, they won’t play with me!

Castrolandia's largest privately-owned supermarket
Castrolandia's largest privately-owned supermarket

D’uh!  This is news?   Of course not, but at least some light is being shed on this issue.   Foreigners who would like to establish business ventures in Castrolandia find themselves unable to make the leap once they find out that the military junta who runs the place will not allow them to own or control whatever they create.  They are also driven insane by red tape, ever-shifting regulations, and eternal delays.

Imagine a child who brings his toys to some other kid’s house and is immediately told that those toys don’t belong to him any longer, and that all games played in that household can only follow the rules set by the kid who lives there.   Child after child goes to play there, and goes back home empty-handed, stripped of his toys, after losing every game due to the fact that the greedy playmate always changed the rules to his advantage.  After a while no one comes to play at that house.  And the kid who lives there complains loudly that he has no friends and no one to play with.

Welcome to Castrolandia

Castrolandia struggles with foreign investment, growth

Marc Frank
3:23 p.m. CDT, September 7, 2012

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba’s failure to encourage more foreign investment is crippling its economic performance and putting its goal of sustainable growth in danger unless changes are made, local experts and diplomats said this week.

The communist island is in the midst of market-oriented reforms to its Soviet-style system that supposedly will make the island more investor friendly, but potential investors say the Cubans have not yet put out much of a welcoming mat.

The National Statistics Office said this week that investment by Cuba and its foreign partners was 4.3 billion pesos in 2011, just 100 million pesos more than the previous year.

The 2011 figure is equivalent to 15.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product, which is an improvement over recent years, but far below what the country needs, according to a local economist.

Omar Everleny, head of the University of Havana’s Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy, said earlier this year that Cuba had averaged investment, or what he called “gross fixed capital formation,” of just 13 percent in recent years, compared with an average of 23 percent in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Cuba needed to “sustain a higher rate of investment,” he said in a presentation at a closed door seminar, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Everleny argued that only foreign investment could close the gap, given the country’s longstanding financial difficulties.

“International experience shows that countries that have achieved significant growth and improvement of their infrastructure and standard of living have had investment rates of not less than 30 percent of the GDP, with significant support of direct foreign investment,” he said.

The Cuban economy grew 2.7 percent last year and 2.4 percent in 2010, lagging well behind the region.

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Aaaaaaay! No one wants to play!
Aaaaaaay! No one wants to play!