Monday was an historic day in socialist Cuba. The Cuban government announced that it will be effectively ending socialism in Cuba, accomplishing what once seemed unfathomable.
Cubans have lived under the restraints of socialism since Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959.
Apparently, socialism sucks. Who knew?
The BBC reported, “Cuba has announced it will allow private businesses to operate in most sectors, in what is a major reform to its state-controlled economy.
Labour Minister Marta Elena Feito said the list of authorized activities had expanded from 127 to more than 2,000.
Only a minority of sectors would be reserved for the state, she said.
The communist country’s economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and US sanctions introduced by the Trump administration.
Last year its economy shrank by 11% – its worst decline in almost three decades – and Cubans have been facing shortages of basic goods.”
Of course, the BBC put their liberal spin on the true reasons for the economic decline. It wasn’t the pandemic that spelled doom for the Cuban economy, every nation on earth has had their economy negatively affected by the pandemic. The seeds of failure were sowed long before.
The year before the pandemic makes it abundantly clear that it wasn’t COVID-19 that caused Cuba’s economy to spiral into disaster.
In 2019, the Associated Press reported the following:
“In recent months, a growing number of products have started to go missing for days or weeks at a time, and long lines have sprung up within minutes of the appearance of scarce products like chicken or flour. Many shoppers find themselves still standing in line when the products run out, a problem the government has been blaming on ‘hoarders.’”
It should, because these scenes are similar to those happening on a daily basis in Venezuela.
The AP continued: “Food stores in Cuba are government-run and sell products ranging from highly subsidized to wildly overpriced by global standards. Every Cuban receives a ration book that allows them to buy small quantities of basic goods like rice, beans, eggs, and sugar each month for payment equivalent to a few U.S. cents.”
Prior to the rise of Fidel Castro in 1959, Cuba was a prosperous economy. Prior to the start of the Cuban Revolution, Cuba had a gross national income similar to Puerto Rico. By 2000, Cuban gross national income had fallen almost two-thirds relative to Puerto Rico.
Socialism is notorious for lacking incentives to produce. Because wage rates are set by the government, there is very little relationship between labor productivity and income.
Upon rising to power, Fidel Castro nationalized 70 percent of the nation’s farmland.
The results were a disaster.
According to the Council of Economic Advisors, production of livestock fell between 14 percent (fish) and 84 percent (pork). Among major crops, production fell between 5 percent (rice) and 75 percent (Malanga). The biggest crop, sugar, fell 35 percent. There was not a major Cuban famine, however, because of Soviet assistance and emigration.
It is baffling how socialism could still exist anywhere on planet Earth after the depredations that the system caused in the 20th century. Over 100 million people died, and many more starved as a result of socialism.
Cuba has finally tacitly admitted socialism’s failure. Sadly, it was six decades too late. But at least, for the good of the Cuban people, socialism is ending.