For more than six decades, Cuba’s socialist economy has been in shambles, dependent on foreign capital to survive and maintain the Castro dictatorship in power. The totalitarian Cuban regime’s stranglehold on the economy has not only kept Cubans hungry and in poverty, but it has utterly destroyed a once vibrant and prosperous nation rich in national resources.
But when you combine the COVID-19 pandemic with sugar daddy Venezuela on the verge of collapse and the increase of U.S. sanctions on the Castro dictatorship, the Cuban regime finds itself between a rock and a hard place. Either it maintains its death grip and risks a nationwide uprising or it loosens up a little bit and hopes it doesn’t get away from them.
It seems, for now at least, the corrupt regime has chosen the latter (via Reuters):
Cuba’s Communist government said late on Thursday it would scrap a list that sets out a tight definition of business activities permitted in the island nation’s fledgling private sector, a move seen boosting self-employment, small firms and start-ups.
The move follows a string of measures loosening restrictions on the private sector over the past month as the government turns to limited reforms to tackle an economic crisis in the wake of key ally Venezuela’s implosion, increased U.S. sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.
Labor Minister Marta Elena Feito said during a televised roundtable that the pandemic had proven the list was too restrictive, citing unauthorized production of personal protective equipment by private sector workers.
Cuban economists and private sector backers welcomed the move, but said much would depend on implementation. Cubans must still apply for a license to work in the private sector, giving authorities a high degree of discretion over what is allowed.
Funny how the Castro dictatorship only loosens its deadly grip when it is pressured and does the exact opposite when its coddled. It’s almost like sanctions actually work. Imagine that.