Down in Cuba, “lo mismo de siempre”! “Mas miseria y mas mentiras” or my mother’s favorite description of the regime that destroyed the island that she was born in.
As appointed head of state Diaz-Canel gets ready for the 60th anniversary of what they call “la revolucion”, the regime has little to show for it.
In other words, 60 years of “revolucion” have been great for Castro, Inc. and the party elite who send their wives shopping to Montreal or Mexico City. (By the way, I saw this in Mexico City during my time there. They were usually driven to expensive boutiques by cars from the Cuban embassy. Again, I saw it)
The rest of Cuba lives in a different reality, or a “Special Period” that never stops.
This is the latest from the Cuban economy, according to The Miami Herald:
Cuba’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by slightly more than 1 percent in 2018 but the growth “still does not help the people like what we need,” Díaz-Canel told the National Assembly at year’s end. The government predicted a 1.5 percent GDP growth in 2019, but its figures are not comparable to the rest of the world because Cuba includes spending on health, education and social services.
“Cuba’s productive machinery does not totally collapse, but it also doesn’t create economic progress in the last 30 years,” economist Pavel Vidal wrote in an article published on the digital site, Cuba Posible.
The island has still not recovered from the withering economic crisis in the 1990s known as the Special Period, Vidal added, “but it must be acknowledged that it is a system that has proven to be effective at managing the crisis and avoiding economic collapse, just as it has been ‘effective’ at limiting private initiative, innovation and increases in productivity.
“It is a system that holds the record for the lowest levels of investment in Latin America,” he added.
Díaz-Canel’s recent visits to Russia, China, Vietnam and other Asian countries — with stops in the United Kingdom and France — also did not bring the expected benefits. For 2019, the confirmed foreign investments will account for barely 6.2 percent of all planned investment in the country.
So Diaz-Canel is having trouble selling Cuba to foreign investors? Wonder why?
Diaz-Canel faces a difficult challenge. You can’t reform Cuba without admitting that the whole system is a failure. You can’t improve the lives of Cubans without dumping the system.
Another “Enero primero” comes and the band will play the usual tunes. My guess is that most Cubans are not paying attention at all.
How much longer can this madness go on? I’ve been wrong before but we are down to the end.
My guess is that the lack of “foreign investment enthusiasm” in Cuba is a sign that most countries know that the end is coming.