Friday, September 30, 2011

Cuba Legalizes Used Car Sales

HAVANA (AP) — "Cuba legalized the sale and purchase of automobiles for all citizens on Wednesday, another major step in the communist run island's economic transformation and one that the public has been clamoring for during decades. Under the law, which takes effect Oct. 1, buyers and sellers must each pay a 4 percent tax, and buyers must make a sworn declaration that the money used for the purchase was obtained legally.

Unrestricted sales had previously been limited to cars built before the 1959 revolution, one of the reasons Cuba's streets are about the only place on the planet one routinely finds a multitude of finned American classics from the 1950s such as Chevrolets Bel Airs and Chrysler Imperials, all in various states of disrepair (see photo above)."

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez offers these comments:

"Even with this new legal reform, however, the great majority of citizens are only allowed to buy a used car, which in Cuba means vehicles more than 15 years old, and in particular Russian Ladas or Moskvitches, or Polish Fiats, which were previously marketed through a meritocracy. Some modern cars in State service will be sold to those who meet the strict requirements of belonging to an institution and demonstrating their fidelity to the Government. And those impeccably new ones, recent imports, are destined for a Revolutionary elite that has in their pockets money sanctified through official channels. To drive a shiny Citroen or a late model Peugeot will continue to be a sign of being a member of the powers-that-be."

HT: Matt Bixler

16 Comments:

At 9/30/2011 10:11 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Even with this new legal reform, however, the great majority of citizens are only allowed to buy a used car ... Some modern cars in State service will be sold to those who meet the strict requirements of belonging to an institution and demonstrating their fidelity to the Government. And those impeccably new ones ... are destined for a Revolutionary elite ..." -- Yoani Sanchez

Which demonstrates one of the greatest failings of socialism - the ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor. :)

 
At 9/30/2011 10:25 AM, Blogger Jon said...

They're just so evil.

Meanwhile the US has engaged and enabled an ongoing 50 years terrorist war against Cuba. Mark has never thought to blog about that.

 
At 9/30/2011 10:54 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"How many people know about what was the most severe terrorist incident that involved a commercial airliner in our hemisphere? Very few. That's bad enough. But how many know that the two people responsible for planning this attack have been residing comfortably in Miami? Orlando Bosch (now deceased) in fact enjoyed a Presidential pardon from George Bush." -- excerpt from Jon's ignorant, leftist rant on his blog

Hey, genius, "the most severe terrorist incident that involved a commercial airliner in our hemisphere" took place on 9/11/2001 and the U.S. was the target. If you can't get even that simple fact right, why should we read the rest of your drivel?

 
At 9/30/2011 11:04 AM, Blogger Michael Hoff said...

Time to open a store in Cuba selling plaid sport coats.

 
At 9/30/2011 1:20 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Yeah, it's not an oversight or typo. I've actually never heard of 9-11. Except of course the 1973 version.

 
At 9/30/2011 5:06 PM, Blogger Marko said...

It's funny how all the folks crying about oppression here and unfairness there seem to never mention the real oppression in Cuba.

This just makes me sick - however says communism is a good idea in theory never thought about it in any depth. It's a good idea in theory to abolish private ownership of goods? Really? Different concept of what is a good idea . . .

 
At 10/01/2011 2:25 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Given how bad the Citroen/Peugeots are versus the US-derived cars, I'd think that it'd be a step down for anything more recent than the 1950's. That is, if the car still has its original drivetrain.

 
At 10/01/2011 3:00 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Given how bad the Citroen/Peugeots are versus the US-derived cars, I'd think that it'd be a step down for anything more recent than the 1950's. That is, if the car still has its original drivetrain."

Wow! Sethstorm finally approves of something - and it's an action by the Cuban government.

 
At 10/01/2011 8:34 AM, Blogger Jon said...

It's funny how all the folks crying about oppression here and unfairness there seem to never mention the real oppression in Cuba.

It's tough in Cuba, but not as bad as it could be. In Haiti the US has successfully prevented leftist governments from coming to power and has imposed their own preferred governments.

Our government has been unable to do that in Cuba. The logic of Vietnam is that if you can't take away the government of the people, instead just smash them so that nobody likewise tries for independence. The threat is the threat of a good example. If we didn't smash them they'd probably be successful, and then others would follow suit.

 
At 10/01/2011 8:35 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Here's an excerpt from Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival".

The reasons for the international terrorist attacks against Cuba and the illegal economic embargo are spelled out in the internal record. And no one should be surprised to discover that they fit a familiar pattern -- that of Guatemala a few years earlier, for example.

From the timing alone, it is clear that concern over a Russian threat could not have been a major factor. The plans for forceful regime change were drawn up and implemented before there was any significant Russian connection, and punishment was intensified after the Russians disappeared from the scene. True, a Russian threat did develop, but that was more a consequence than a cause of US terrorism and economic warfare.

In July 1961 the CIA warned that "the extensive influence of 'Castroism' is not a function of Cuban power. . . . Castro's shadow looms large because social and economic conditions throughout Latin America invite opposition to ruling authority and encourage agitation for radical change," for which Castro's Cuba provided a model. Earlier, Arthur Schlesinger had transmitted to the incoming President Kennedy his Latin American Mission report, which warned of the susceptibility of Latin Americans to "the Castro idea of taking matters into one's own hands." The report did identify a Kremlin connection: the Soviet Union "hovers in the wings, flourishing large development loans and presenting itself as the model for achieving modernization in a single generation." The dangers of the "Castro idea" are particularly grave, Schlesinger later elaborated, when "the distribution of land and other forms of national wealth greatly favors the propertied classes" and "the poor and underprivileged, stimulated by the example of the Cuban revolution, are now demanding opportunities for a decent living." Kennedy feared that Russian aid might make Cuba a "showcase" for development, giving the Soviets the upper hand throughout Latin America.

In early 1964, the State Department Policy Planning Council expanded on these concerns: "The primary danger we face in Castro is . . . in the impact the very existence of his regime has upon the leftist movement in many Latin American countries. . . . The simple fact is that Castro represents a successful defiance of the US, a negation of our whole hemispheric policy of almost a century and a half." To put it simply, Thomas Paterson writes, "Cuba, as symbol and reality, challenged U.S. hegemony in Latin America." International terrorism and economic warfare to bring about regime change are justified not by what Cuba does, but by its "very existence," its "successful defiance" of the proper master of the hemisphere. Defiance may justify even more violent actions, as in Serbia, as quietly conceded after the fact; or Iraq, as also recognized when pretexts had collapsed.

 
At 10/01/2011 8:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Here's an excerpt from Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival".

You might want to broaden your reading list a little. You may be surprised to learn that there are other historical views.

I'm not saying better, mind you, just different. Try them out. you could benefit from a contrast to the tedious, single theme rhetoric of Chomsky.

 
At 10/02/2011 3:41 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


...and it's an action by the Cuban government.


Trying to put words in my mouth? I just said that the Detroit metal that's over there is far better than the European/Soviet cars - however old the cars are.

I don't approve of Cuba's Communist government, as I do not approve of China's government or those that associate with either country.

 
At 10/02/2011 3:51 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


The simple fact is that Castro represents a successful defiance of the US, a negation of our whole hemispheric policy of almost a century and a half.

Yet China represents the same thing, and the US doesn't rightfully oppose China. The only thing that happens with China is that it (and totalitarian countries like China) are used as leverage against US citizens.

 
At 10/03/2011 10:25 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Chomsky is not the issue. The issue is the sources he cites. Internal records show that the Soviet threat was a ruse, as it was in Guatemala and Iran prior to Castro. The real concern is successful defiance.

You must recognize the distinction between the pretexts and the actual reasons. Pretty much every violent action comes with the claim that it's being done in self defense. That was the Nazi claim when they invaded Poland. That's the Japanese claim when they bombed Pearl Harbor. Given that this kind of claim is reflexive for every government it should be dismissed as uninformative in every case. Might be true, but you can't know it just because it is stated. In the case of Cuba the pretexts have completely evaporated, yet the antagonistic policies (harboring terrorists, retaining the illegal and harsh embargo) remain. At what point do you recognize that the Soviet pretext was a ruse? If the reasons no longer make sense but the policy doesn't change you can be sure that the policy is in place for other reasons. Those are revealed in the internal record.

 
At 10/04/2011 4:26 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Those are revealed in the internal record."

And how can we access this internal record? Is this something that you are aware of but no one else is?

 
At 10/04/2011 4:27 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

As I said, Jon, try reading someone else. If Chomsky is the only source of the truth for you, there is a problem.

 

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