The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Cuba Si

Because I live in South Florida, the current situation in Cuba is front page news. Most Americans, particularly those on the Left, believe that the US embargo is responsible for Cuba’s dismal economy—an economy that allows little individual incentive and virtually no entrepreneurship. In reality, the Left’s romantic image of a small, struggling country whose woes are due to US pressure, conflicts with the harsh reality of a repressive Communist regime that has put a failed ideology ahead of the welfare of its people. Stratfor (subscription required) comments:
The Cuban economy is not in its current condition because of the U.S. embargo. That embargo is meaningless, since virtually every other country in the world is prepared to trade with Cuba. The Cuban problem is the same one that other rigid communist regimes had. The economy doesn’t work and the regime must be systematically repressive in order to control unrest.

The problem with Cuba is the same one we have seen in other Marxist countries. Reforming the economy requires political loosening. In the Soviet Union, that political loosening caused the regime to collapse. In China, at least for the last 30 years, it has not. The issue for the Cuban Communist Party is how to shape a Chinese course after Fidel. While Fidel was in charge, the regime was frozen. Without his charismatic force, that no longer will be an option. The regime will try to preserve itself while restructuring the economy.

Now that Fidel is gone after fifty years of ruinous reign, we can only hope that his brother, Raul, allows an industrious people to build a better country. Time will tell.