Monday, March 30, 2009

Dirt Poor in Cuba, The "Workers' Paradise"

In Cuba, ration coupons allow for only about half of the needed calories, and agriculture is so inefficient that Cubans spend about 50 to 70% of their gross income supplementing the food available through the state system (MP: Compared to about 6% for Americans).

More than a quarter of the Cuban work force is involved in agriculture (MP: It's less than 2% in the U.S. and hasn't been 25% here since the early 1900s).

A recent article in the Cuban press, noted in a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Global Analysis, quoted a high-level Cuban ministry of agriculture official who revealed that 84% of all food consumed in Cuba is imported.

From the Weekly Standard, via NCPA.


At 3/30/2009 9:44 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

I only wish we didn't have the embargo in place. I don't think communism/socialism works, but the embargo ruins Cuba as an example of its failings.

Better to have let it fail on its own...

At 3/30/2009 10:32 AM, Blogger xcaverx said...

Does our embargo prevent Canada or Europe or Venezuela or any other country from trading with Cuba? Cuba is simply living in a world of trade where the U.S.A. minimizes its impact/ presence, just as the Cuban government asks or tells us to.

At 3/30/2009 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than a quarter of the Cuban work force is involved in agriculture ...

Communist Cuba: 50 Years Of Failure

"Cuba is unable to increase food production to meet its needs and now imports 84% of its food. Cuba produced 7 million tons of sugar in 1952. This year, it's 1.5 million tons. This is the result of economic policy of collectivization, killing of individual incentive, inefficiency, constant changes of policy."


At 3/30/2009 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Workers Paradise"

Three Cuban men forced to work 16-hour shifts at 3 ½ cents an hour repairing ships for a Cuban joint venture in Curacao won an $80 million judgment Monday in U.S. federal court in Miami.

Alberto Justo Rodríguez, Fernando Alonso Hernández and Luis Alberto Casanova Toledo -- Cuban nationals who now live in Tampa -- sued the Curacao Drydock Co., alleging the company conspired with the Cuban government to force them into virtual slave labor.

Lawyers called the deal a ''Faustian bargain'' hatched so the Cuban government could pay off its debt with Curacao Drydock by providing free labor, and at the same time skirt the U.S. embargo by working on American ships in a third country.

The Miami Herald

At 3/30/2009 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only 25% of Cuban-trained physicians pass the medical exams required to practice in the U.S.

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

At 3/30/2009 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deposing the corrupt Batista regime in 1959, Castro brought something far worse. According to Humberto Fontova, author of "Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant": "In 1958, that 'impoverished Caribbean island' had a higher per capita income than Austria and Japan and Cuban industrial workers had the 8th highest wages in the world. Cuba also had the hemisphere's lowest inflation rate and her peso was always equal in value with the U.S. dollar."

Today? The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom finds that Cuba is one of the most repressive economies in the world, ahead of only North Korea — another country where revolution has blossomed.

The Denver Post

At 3/30/2009 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only wish we didn't have the embargo in place.

There is no embargo. The U.S. does billions of dollars of business with Cuba every year, mostly in agriculture products. The problem for Cuba, and the reason the American left is so upset, is that they must pay cash.

Castro is the worlds greatest dead beat. He has defaulted on loans from every country he has traded with. If the U.S. lifts the "embargo", he would qualify for trade credits, or loans from the U.S. government. While I'm sure that would make leftists and agriculture companies, like ADM, happy. it would probably mean taxpayers getting stuck with the bill.

At 3/30/2009 12:35 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

I second the assessment of anon 11:27. I too was under the mistaken impression regarding the embargo. I want free trade for Cuba as much as anybody, but I don't want to subsidize their government while doing so.

At 3/30/2009 12:51 PM, Blogger Audacity17 said...

This video must go viral.

At 3/30/2009 1:53 PM, Blogger Bloggin' Brewskie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/30/2009 1:54 PM, Blogger Bloggin' Brewskie said...

A fair number of educated Cubans - doctors, teachers - become taxi drivers or waiters. Why? Because of generous tips, one can make a better living serving foreigners, as opposed to more civic oriented professions such as doctor or teacher. A saying among Cubans goes, "One works for pesos, but exists on dollars."

Like other communist regimes, past and present, Cuba would have long ago collapsed into disarray if it weren’t for generous food supplies from America and others.

At 3/30/2009 1:57 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

How terrible it is to live in a country with such tasty food, but where no one has the means to afford it.

At 4/01/2009 6:31 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> According to Humberto Fontova, author of "Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant"

Fontova is great. He wrote a wonderful treatise years ago regarding that idiot Timothy Treadwell:

Sings to Grizzlies

Fontova appears to be sort of a cross between P.J. O'Rourke and Ted Nugent. More down-to-earth than P.J., funnier than Ted.

At 4/01/2009 6:35 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> I too was under the mistaken impression regarding the embargo.

I question anon's claim, and would like him to cite a source for this interpretation of the reality of current US/Cuba relations.

I concur with the overall assessment about Cuba's creditworthiness, but it's rather blatantly clear that there would be, at the least, one hell of a lot more Cuban cigars in this country if importation of them were even vaguely legal. Hence I suspect that his claim is mistaken in some important way.


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