Unlike the world’s news media, which tend to believe every lie spewed by the Castro Ministry of Truth, Cuban farmers can spot a lie when they see one
From The Thompson Reuters Foundation via Brinkwire:
Cuba’s decision to change its constitution and allow private property ownership has been shrugged off by small farmers, who says the island will never feed itself without far broader reform of state-run agriculture.
Economists would expect farmers to welcome the shift towards private property after decades of strict government control left the island dependent on food imports and farmers unable to earn a decent living.
And though older Cubans are wary of change, younger farmers have indeed welcomed the recent reforms to recognise private property ownership, even if few expect huge dividends.
With 30 hectares of well-maintained guava trees, sweet potato plants and concrete pig pens, Alexei Gonzales has a deep desire to buy the farmland he currently rents from the state.
But a complex web of bureaucracy – be it currency controls, fuel shortages or a lack of private credit – mean Gonzales and six other farmers who spoke with the Thomson Reuters Foundation do not expect to reap big gains from owning their own land.
“Making it easier to buy land won’t really change much if I can’t get diesel,” said 41-year-old Gonzales, pointing to his idle Soviet-made tractor. “They (lawmakers) give lots of speeches but nothing changes… My whole life is working on the land, and I have nothing to show for it.”
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