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Cuba: Figuring Out Pieces of the Puzzle

Cuba: Figuring Out Pieces of the Puzzle thumbnail

Cuba is an unusual country for quite a few reasons:

  • The United States has had an embargo against Cuba since 1960, but there has recently been an announcement that the US will begin to normalize diplomatic relations.
  • The leader of Cuba between 1959 and 2008 was Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro is a controversial figure, with some viewing him is a dictator who nationalized property of foreign citizens without compensation. Citizens of Cuba seem to view him as more of as a Robin Hood figure, who helped the poor by bringing healthcare and education to all, equalizing wages, and building many concrete block homes for people who had only lived in huts previously.
  • If we compare Cuba to its nearest neighbors Haiti and Dominican Republic (both of which were also former sugar growing colonies of European countries), we find that Cuba is doing substantially better than the other two. In per capita CPI in Purchasing Parity Power equivalent, in 2011, Cuba’s average was $18,796, while Haiti’s was $1,578, and the Dominican Republic was $11,263. In terms of the Human Development Index (which measures such things as life expectancy and literacy), in 2013, Cuba received a rating of .815, which is considered “very high”. Dominican Republic received a rating of .700, which is considered “High.” Haiti received a rating of .471, which is considered “Low.”
  • Cuba is known for its permaculture programs (a form of organic gardening), which helped increase Cuba’s production of fruit and vegetables in the 1990s and early 2000s.
  • In spite of all of these apparently good outcomes of Cuba’s experimentation with equal sharing of wealth, in recent years Cuba seems to be moving away from the planned economy model, and much more of a “mixed economy,” with more entrepreneurship encouraged by individuals.
  • Since 1993, Cuba has had a two currency system. The goods that the common people could buy were in one set of stores, and were traded in one currency. Other goods were internationally traded, or were available to foreigners visiting Cuba. They traded in another currency. This system is being phased out. Goods are now being marked in both currencies and limitations on where Cubans can shop are being removed.

our finite world

10 Comments on "Cuba: Figuring Out Pieces of the Puzzle"

  1. Davy on Tue, 26th May 2015 6:47 am 

    Cuba is well placed for the coming collapse with a history of self-reliance through collapse. They are an island in a warm climate. Food can be grown in Cuba easier without production Ag. Cuba’s one problem is overpopulation per the islands size but its rate of growth has dropped remarkably.

    We need to be looking to places like Cuba for mitigation and adaptation strategies. Cuba is the positive future of a collapsed world. The negative will be all too apparent soon. Many areas will soon degenerate into chaos and destructive policies.

  2. paulo1 on Tue, 26th May 2015 7:38 am 

    With a thawing of relations between US and Cuba, the country is on its way to being another Florida. Watch, Club Meds and Sandal resorts coming to an Island near you. Plus, the ‘all you can eat’ buffets. What a shame.

  3. buddavis on Tue, 26th May 2015 8:53 am 

    yes Paulo, if only Cuba could maintain that workers paradise they have created, they could show us greedy capitalist pigs what freedom really looks like.

  4. Rodster on Tue, 26th May 2015 9:15 am 

    Cuba for the most part was self reliant even if it was poor. All that will change with thawing relations with the West. It will see a spike in investments which will initially raise the standard of living for the poor. The trade off will be that they will become less self reliant and more reliant on the failed Western system which is failing.

  5. Davy on Tue, 26th May 2015 9:35 am 

    While it is legitimate to have concerns over Cuba opening to the west I will remind you this BAUtopian thinking. It is quite possibly that we are in the bumpy plateau/descent time frame. If so I would speculate a crisis soon that will limit any foreign direct investment anywhere as the global financial system greatly contracts and decays. It is normal to think BAUtopian that is all we have known since birth.

    Even if Cuba opens up it will be in niche areas related to tourism and Ag. Even on the Ag side the impact will not be great. Cuba is not a grain producing area. That has been where the majority of the intrusions have been by industrial Ag globally.

  6. Solarity on Tue, 26th May 2015 9:57 am 

    Castro was a “dictator who nationalized property of foreign citizens without compensation.” Also, Cuban bonds amounting to several hundred million dollars remain overdue and in arrears. Normalizaiton will probably allow all of these issues to be re-litigated in US courts. Ultimately the US military will need to invade to recover all compensation and damages.

  7. Northwest Resident on Tue, 26th May 2015 10:14 am 

    TPTB won’t be happy until Cuba is once again returned to its former pre-revolution status of being a mafia run gambling casino paradise and its people whores and slaves serving the pleasures and profits of the financial lords.

  8. Jerry McManus on Tue, 26th May 2015 11:58 am 

    Just wait until the IMF, World Bank and other global financial terrorists get their hands on Cuba, it will be a bloodbath.

    They must be circling like sharks right now, salivating at the chance to move in and “restructure” Cuba’s economy.

    Say goodbye to social spending on housing, education, health care, and any other program that diverts even so much as a dime from the pockets of the wealthy elite.

    Say hello to debt servitude, multinational corporate overlords, poverty, unemployment, extreme income inequality and other “austerity” measures.

    Anyone who doesn’t like it can get a taste of “democracy” from a death squad of US military jackboots.

  9. Northwest Resident on Tue, 26th May 2015 12:14 pm 

    Jerry — No doubt, once in, they’ll go with the tried and true “divide and conquer” game plan. Find a few well-placed individuals, appeal to their greed and ego and lust for wealth/power, buy them off, start funneling money through them to create dissent, confusion and animosity. Build it to a crescendo. Then pull of a coup, package it as “freedom and democracy”, then proceed to rape and plunder. Same old story, different day.

    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

  10. Rodster on Tue, 26th May 2015 2:26 pm 

    “Say hello to debt servitude, multinational corporate overlords, poverty, unemployment, extreme income inequality and other “austerity” measures.”

    Don’t forget MonSatan’s GMO crops. Hmm boy, I bet the Cubans can’t wait for poisoned corn and other crops from the one and only MonSatan.

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