Cuba has a national economic crisis on its hands. The island nation is facing widespread rationing of many products. Products ranging from soap to beans and eggs are being distributed on a limited basis to Cuban citizens.
The nation has been under the rule of a socialist regime since 1959.
If only there were an economic system that could prevent shortages like this one from happening…
Oh, wait … there is.
It’s called capitalism. Cuba might want to give it a try.
Products That Are Being Rationed In Cuba
Cuba hasn’t been a self-sustaining economic nation for decades. The socialist regime survived for years due to subsidies from the now-defunct Soviet Union, and Venezuela during the oil boom.
The oil industry has tanked in Venezuela under the weight of socialism, and the nation is no longer able to bail the Cubans out.
The Cubans are blaming the Trump administration for reintroducing the trade embargo that had been in effect until the Obama administration weakened it.
Of course they are. When countries are in crisis, they blame America. Cuba is no different.
If they had a capitalist economy, they wouldn’t need to worry about an American trade embargo. However, they don’t — and shortages are the result.
The Associated Press reported:
“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 good s like rice, beans, eggs, and sugar each month for payment equivalent to a few U.S. cents.”
Cuba’s History of Socialism
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 is still trying the system, hoping that it will finally work.
They can keep on trying — the results won’t change.