Reuters headlines: “‘Reality’ bites: Cuba plans more austerity as finances worsen.”
Cash-strapped Cuba plans fresh austerity measures and will pressure the sluggish bureaucracy to tighten its belt and cut red tape to address weak growth, falling export earnings and rising debt.
So “Cuba” is going to “pressure the sluggish bureaucracy” to deliver better results? Who is “Cuba,” other than the Communist apparatchiks–bureaucrats–who supposedly will be pressured?
The economy has averaged 1 percent annual growth over the last three years…
That is only slightly worse than the rate of growth the U.S. achieved during the Obama administration.
…compared with a 5 percent to 7 percent rate economists say is needed to recover fully from a 1990s depression caused by the fall of its former benefactor, the Soviet Union.
The communist-run country has more recently been hit by the economic collapse of its new sponsor and strategic ally, Venezuela, which began to send fuel and cash its way in exchange for doctors and medicine 18 years ago.
Cuba’s Communist economy has always been a disaster. It was kept afloat for decades by the Soviet Union, until the Soviets’ economy collapsed. Later, socialist Venezuela propped up Cuba, until Venezuela’s socialist economy collapsed. Does Reuters see a pattern here?
“The 2019 plan is one of adjustment to current realities. We cannot spend more than we earn,” Economy Minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez said at a session of the National Assembly last week.
To be fair, that recognition of reality is one that America’s liberals have not yet achieved.
Diaz-Canel and Gil said plans for the economy to grow 1.5 percent, after an anemic 1.2 percent this year, were based in part on doing away with bureaucratic habits and cutting waste and theft.
“The plan must be executed immediately. We have to review the system to insure there is no room for bureaucrats to maneuver,” Diaz-Canel said, threatening to replace them if they stuck to their old ways.
There is an element of black humor in Communist bureaucrats pointing the finger at waste and theft by bureaucrats. What was their first clue? Perhaps the fact that Fidel Castro stole his way onto the Forbes list of the world’s richest people who enjoy unearned income, a little way down from the Sultan of Brunei.
Western diplomats who met with top officials recently said the Cubans said little about how they planned to surmount the crisis and gave no indication they would allow more private initiative and capital accumulation by citizens.
My prediction: they’re not going to “surmount the crisis.” Another prediction: the socialists who are now taking over the Democratic Party will learn nothing from the examples of Cuba, Venezuela, the Soviet Union, or any of the other countries that have tried socialism, with equally disastrous results.