February 21, 2008


Cuba expected to turn over new leaf in farming: Reforms are also seen as likely in the oil industry and monetary system in the post-Castro era. (Carol J. Williams, 2/21/08, Los Angeles Times)

Without Fidel Castro as president, Cuba is more likely to launch reforms to boost food production, create oil industry jobs and put more pesos in citizens' pockets, analysts said Wednesday.

Some changes, probably starting with efforts to help farmers, are likely to occur during the next year, some analysts said.

Raul Castro, the president's 76-year-old brother and potential successor, and other Cuban leaders for months have indicated that farmers may receive legal rights to their land and guaranteed market prices for their produce.

Those changes and other economic improvements could happen more quickly following Fidel Castro's announcement Tuesday that he would step down as head of state after nearly half a century running the island nation, analysts said.

"I don't know that Cubans would be expecting something in the next two weeks. But I do think Raul has raised expectations to a degree that they're expecting something in the course of this year," said Phil Peters, Cuba analyst for the Lexington Institute think tank near Washington.

Raul has been so honest about the failings of the regime that he's left himself little choice but to change it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2008 8:48 AM

Besides, what little brother isn't convinced that he can do everything better than his big brother can?

Posted by: Brandon at February 21, 2008 2:38 PM

Andropov listens to jazz...

Posted by: Ibid at February 21, 2008 2:48 PM