Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cubas Options for the Future 

As I said in my previous post, the geriatric (and partially dead) trinity in Cuba - Che, Fidel and Raul - is finally coming to an end. They understood to serve the longings of the left wing western postwar and prosperity generations very efficient and let them forget the increasingly fatal situation in Cuba.

In Cuba itself they managed to overcome the so-called special period and opened up the country very selectively for tourism by creating basically two markets, one in national pesos and one in convertible pesos. This causes Cubans being employed in tourism and related occupations to earn much more than engineers, medical and educational staff, also causing doctors to move (to be a doctor you must not be stupid) and now carry luggage for tourists.

But the Cuban system has, by all critics, also interesting and sympathetic traits and one could also learn from the mistakes made elsewhere, e.g. in Russia and Yugoslavia. What Cuba needs is critical solitarity and help - not necessarily for the government, but for the population.

Cuba has 3 options (if we forget the 4th "north-korean" way)
  1. The "chinese" model i.e. through partial introduction of a capitalist economy to keep the status quo of the existing government. Because of the deadbeat economy this seems not possible as it it is with the big power China. Also the touristic earnings and the economic and political power of potential allies - in this case Venezuela and Iran - seems not to be sufficient.
  2. The american "turnaraound" i.e. that the Cubans from Miami - the "Cuban Mafia" - are taking over the power under US disguise. This would mean the introduction of an alibi-democracy in conjunction with revanchism and looting economy. This could be worse than Batista.
  3. The only way out - beside a broad latin american solidarity - is an approach to Europe. Cuba has here already with Spain a strong solicitor. Europe could act as intermediary for negotiations with a (new) US government and lobby for the abolishment of the US embargo in exchange for reforms.

However, Cuba hold out against 50 years of US embargo, done by a superpower on the other side of good and evil. This alone will earn Cuba an honorable entry in the Guiness Book of Records. But now it is time of a rethinking.

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