Thursday, June 12, 2008

Market Wages Introduced in Cuba After 50 Years

Cuba took another leap away from Fidel Castro's creaky egalitarian model yesterday when it swept away the wage restraints that have kept surgeons and taxi drivers on much the same salaries for the past 50 years. The latest and most dramatic liberalisation by Raul Castro appears to be aimed at bringing to communist Cuba the Chinese-style economic reforms he admires so much.

The decision to scrap one of the fundamental pillars of socialism, in place for the past 50 years, was revealed in an eye-popping item in the Communist Party newspaper, Granma, yesterday. In its deadpan style, Granma stated that "the socialist principle of distribution will be achieved wherein everyone earns in accordance with his contribution, in other words, pay in accordance with quality and quantity."

The measure is part of the government's policy to get the moribund economy on the move again. The idea is to give people earning a typical salary of just $17 a month an incentive to work hard and make money. Cuban salaries are too low for families to survive on and are supplemented by a crude system of rationing.

Every Cuban family gets a single bar of soap a month, a portion of rice and "ground beef" that is more than 50 per cent soy. The ration system has given the Communist Party tight control over families, but it is widely abused and open to corruption.

Thanks to Carlos in Bogota, Colombia for the link.


At 6/12/2008 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to "Death or Revolution" for you but not for me.

Progress in Cuba. Hell must be freezing over as we speak. Who would have thought that these people could cut any breaks in a totalitarian society.

It is interesting to consider how Latin America and South America have been left behind by the Asia economies. Perhaps, this movement by Cuba can begin a very long overdue process of economic liberation.

Livre le Cuba libre!

At 6/12/2008 11:11 PM, Anonymous Norman said...

Chavez in Venezula is trying to turn that country into another Cuba. Are the people of Venezula blind?

At 6/13/2008 12:15 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Are the people of Venezula blind?

No, just helpless.


At 6/13/2008 3:30 AM, Anonymous E. Harokopos said...

Roo bad. Fall of the last communist "heaven" will bring more knee-jerk reaction about the environment...

At 6/13/2008 6:23 AM, Anonymous thku4grace said...

Interesting development after 50 years. Perhaps handing control over to Raul was a face saving alternative to ushering in long needed reform to a broken useless economic model. It is also interesting how Chavez is attempting to reform their economy into what Cuba may be turning away from. Wow! Isn't that a confidence builder for Venezuelans?


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