July 23, 2008


Cuba under Raúl: Creeping toward capitalism?: Since Raúl Castro took the helm in February, he's rolled out a series economic changes, including allowing Cubans to buy cellphones and giving farmers profit-incentives (Sara Miller Llana and Matthew Clark, 7/23/08, The Christian Science Monitor

The island nation's economy has struggled mightily since losing the support of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Free-market reforms within a socialist system, like the kind embraced by China, had been rejected by Fidel Castro, who ruled for a half century. But there are signs that younger brother Raúl, who permanently replaced Fidel in February, may orchestrate a move toward a more capitalist economy.

Raúl's reputation as a pragmatist is unfurling expectations here that the era of asceticism and austerity is coming to a close. Major agricultural reforms have been unveiled. And in a speech earlier this month, he seemed to be preparing the populace for an economic shift.

...the notion the economy was okay until the USSR fell or the idea that poverty under Castro was an "ascetic" matter.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 23, 2008 5:51 PM

Enforced austerity and ascetism is good for all, didn't you know that? I think it is in 'Walden' somewhere.

Thoreau had to be cutting his own wood, and growing his own vegetables, and doing his own cooking, and doing his own laundry (in the nineteenth century meaning of 'DIY') which is why he had so much time to write.

Seriously, the greatest liberator of women was the industrial revolution and the household appliances it created.

Posted by: Mikey at July 23, 2008 6:17 PM

Just in time to turn Gitmo into a resort for tourists visiting capitalist Cuba.

Posted by: ic at July 23, 2008 6:49 PM

Self deprevation resulting from forced worship of the State? Dude, how bout these "Christian" reporters start being honest and switch it out with, "...mass government incompetence coupled with strategic murder of it's own enslaved citizens is coming to an end?" They still get to put Mass in there ;p

Posted by: KRS at July 23, 2008 6:55 PM

forced asceticism?

Posted by: oj at July 23, 2008 7:19 PM

Ascetism is a choice, isn't it? If the writers believe the Cubans are so spiritual by choice, (read poverty stricken), why isn't Miami a hermit mecca?

Posted by: krs at July 23, 2008 11:30 PM

Miami is a bad place to be ascetic, what with all the girls in bikinis.

Posted by: Brandon at July 24, 2008 10:45 AM
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