Cuba evolving...

Cuba's communist leaders mapped out a brave new world of free enterprise on Friday, approving a laundry list of small businesses, allowing islanders to take on employees and even promising credit to burgeoning entrepreneurs. The reforms — laid out in a three-page spread in the Communist Party-daily Granma — seem sure to create a society of haves and have-nots in a land that has spent half a century striving for an egalitarian utopia. They follow last week's announcement that the government will lay off 500,000 workers by the end of March — or one-tenth of the country's workforce — the biggest change in Cuba's economic system since the early 1990s. For the first time, Cubans in 83 private activities will be allowed to employ people other than their relatives, and they will be able to sell their services to the state as private contractors. Accountants, currently only permitted to work for the state, can set out on their own, keeping the books for the new businesses. Cubans who want to rent their homes to travellers will no longer have to live on the premises and can hire staff. Even islanders authorized to live overseas — though apparently not exiles — can take part in the economic changes by renting out the cars and homes they leave behind. The Central Bank is studying ways to grant small-business loans that are crucial to any free-market system but which would have been unthinkable in Cuba just weeks ago. "The decision to loosen the rules on private employment is one of the steps the country has taken in the redesign of its economic policies to increase production levels and efficiency," Granma reported, citing Economy Minister Marino Murillo Jorge and a vice-minister of labour and social security, Admi Valhuerdi Cepero. Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/09/24/cuba-economic-reforms024.html#ixzz10UCiGvI6

Comments

  • KriegKrieg Posts: 5,092 ✭✭✭
    Funny how Cuba is moving towards more Capitalist reforms while the US is moving towards Communism. I would have to say that is ironic. I hope Cuba doesn't stop there and this eventually leads to the embargo being lifted.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Krieg:
    Funny how Cuba is moving towards more Capitalist reforms while the US is moving towards Communism. I would have to say that is ironic. I hope Cuba doesn't stop there and this eventually leads to the embargo being lifted.
    Actually I would say that a mix of the two cultures will likely be in the end what they decide on. This is being decussed more and more as a viable alternative to Communism/Socialism which has never succeded and also to Capitalism which recent history reveals to be more like Corporate Welfare on a scale the public has never been subjected to before.

    It will be interesting to watch, I wish them well. I hope to be there in the spring (may or April) as I never made it there last year as planned.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    Krieg:
    Funny how Cuba is moving towards more Capitalist reforms while the US is moving towards Communism. I would have to say that is ironic. I hope Cuba doesn't stop there and this eventually leads to the embargo being lifted.
    If things keep going the direction they are going now, Cuba may end up with an embargo on us! AHHHH!!!!! lol
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Capitalism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Capitalism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Ummm Gypsy... remember the meltdown? That is not what I would call a success story would you? Neither system can be held up today as the only method with wich to run a country. Both systems are extremes and as most situations where extremes are applied... are doomed to fail eventually.
  • LasabarLasabar Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭
    I feel that Communism while old in theory but younger in practice has just hit "Puberty" in the fact that Cuba is sort of reeling from the severe set back that the flavor of Communism they have chosen is NOT sustainable.... I don't think they will ever switch sides, but they will loosen their grip and become innovative (which is what Communism Abhors) to a degree that they see comfortable in which they can keep the Commie Flavor and actually make a difference...

    They won't give up on Principle...... Not because it's the right thing to do.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    laker1963:
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Capitalism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Ummm Gypsy... remember the meltdown? That is not what I would call a success story would you? Neither system can be held up today as the only method with wich to run a country. Both systems are extremes and as most situations where extremes are applied... are doomed to fail eventually.
    This is one area where we disagree strongly with each other. In an actual free market capitalist system there will be reccessions, but this is a way of the market to correct itself. These need to occur to cleanse the market of companies dragging the system down. When the government gets involved and props these failing companies up, it just makes the fall harder on everyone when it eventually happens.

    Another point is, to say the meltdown occured under true free market capitalism is a totally false statemnet. You can't say this was a failure of a true capitalist system, it was the failure of a system with much government control and involvment, and some would argue that it failed due to this government intrusion.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    PuroFreak:
    laker1963:
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Capitalism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Ummm Gypsy... remember the meltdown? That is not what I would call a success story would you? Neither system can be held up today as the only method with wich to run a country. Both systems are extremes and as most situations where extremes are applied... are doomed to fail eventually.
    This is one area where we disagree strongly with each other. In an actual free market capitalist system there will be reccessions, but this is a way of the market to correct itself. These need to occur to cleanse the market of companies dragging the system down. When the government gets involved and props these failing companies up, it just makes the fall harder on everyone when it eventually happens.

    Another point is, to say the meltdown occured under true free market capitalism is a totally false statemnet. You can't say this was a failure of a true capitalist system, it was the failure of a system with much government control and involvment, and some would argue that it failed due to this government intrusion.
    Ummm, where did I say it was a "true free market system"? I also never refferred to Cuba (or any other practicing nation) as practicing "ture communism". I think this is actually a point we agree on totally Puro. However I avoid labels like Capitalism or Communism because they invoke an image of some purer form of system then is practiced in either respect.

    I agree that we in the "free world" do not practice a pure form of Capitalism, and I won't argue as to wether it is a useful form of governernance. The fact is that most Communist countries are actually practicing systems which resemble dictatorships more than Communism, but they tend to get grouped together because it makes a convenient arguement for people who would like to see Communism fail utterly. Again I won't argue the merits or failures of Communism, as it has never been praticed in its "true form" either.

    Whatever reasons you can put forward to explain the meltdown, the fact remains that people here spend a lot of energy defending the people who presided over this shameful excercise, and that goes for both political leanings.

    I am not an anarcist, at least not to the point of say Kuzi, (my opinion, no offense intended) but I do think the government is too large, has too many powers over our day to day lives and should have restrictions placed on their spending powers. That said, I do think we would disagree on where those powers to involve themselves in society should be. I am afterall still a "True Socialist" at heart. To me that is NOT a poitical position, as I have stated in the past, but a belief that government should ALWAYS act in the best interests of the MAJORITY of their citizens, and that, much like the Golden Rule from the Bible... everything else kind of falls into place IF you always follow that "Golden Rule" of Governance.

    There, I just sort of fell off my soapbox :)
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    laker1963:
    PuroFreak:
    laker1963:
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Capitalism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Ummm Gypsy... remember the meltdown? That is not what I would call a success story would you? Neither system can be held up today as the only method with wich to run a country. Both systems are extremes and as most situations where extremes are applied... are doomed to fail eventually.
    This is one area where we disagree strongly with each other. In an actual free market capitalist system there will be reccessions, but this is a way of the market to correct itself. These need to occur to cleanse the market of companies dragging the system down. When the government gets involved and props these failing companies up, it just makes the fall harder on everyone when it eventually happens.

    Another point is, to say the meltdown occured under true free market capitalism is a totally false statemnet. You can't say this was a failure of a true capitalist system, it was the failure of a system with much government control and involvment, and some would argue that it failed due to this government intrusion.
    Ummm, where did I say it was a "true free market system"? I also never refferred to Cuba (or any other practicing nation) as practicing "ture communism". I think this is actually a point we agree on totally Puro. However I avoid labels like Capitalism or Communism because they invoke an image of some purer form of system then is practiced in either respect.

    I agree that we in the "free world" do not practice a pure form of Capitalism, and I won't argue as to wether it is a useful form of governernance. The fact is that most Communist countries are actually practicing systems which resemble dictatorships more than Communism, but they tend to get grouped together because it makes a convenient arguement for people who would like to see Communism fail utterly. Again I won't argue the merits or failures of Communism, as it has never been praticed in its "true form" either.

    Whatever reasons you can put forward to explain the meltdown, the fact remains that people here spend a lot of energy defending the people who presided over this shameful excercise, and that goes for both political leanings.

    I am not an anarcist, at least not to the point of say Kuzi, (my opinion, no offense intended) but I do think the government is too large, has too many powers over our day to day lives and should have restrictions placed on their spending powers. That said, I do think we would disagree on where those powers to involve themselves in society should be. I am afterall still a "True Socialist" at heart. To me that is NOT a poitical position, as I have stated in the past, but a belief that government should ALWAYS act in the best interests of the MAJORITY of their citizens, and that, much like the Golden Rule from the Bible... everything else kind of falls into place IF you always follow that "Golden Rule" of Governance.

    There, I just sort of fell off my soapbox :)
    Ok, I guess I just misunderstood your comment when you were asking if the meltdown was a capitalist success story. Sounded like you were saying the meltdown occurred in a capitalist system. Which in my opinion, it did not. If thats not what you meant then disreguard my entire post cause I'm an idiot and read it wrong! lol :-)
  • cabinetmakercabinetmaker Posts: 2,561
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Communism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Fixed it for ya.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    cabinetmaker:
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Communism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Fixed it for ya.
    Sort of like George W. and his Mission Accomplished statement Cabbie? All Political leaders say stupid things from time to time. Good thing we are all immune to that sort of thing ;)
  • cabinetmakercabinetmaker Posts: 2,561
    laker1963:
    cabinetmaker:
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Communism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Fixed it for ya.
    Sort of like George W. and his Mission Accomplished statement Cabbie? All Political leaders say stupid things from time to time. Good thing we are all immune to that sort of thing ;)
    He never stated "mission accomplished". That banner was, in fact, a banner for the ship he was on and was about the ship's mission. The ship's mission was, in fact, accomplished. The liberal media made that banner into something that was never said by GWB.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    cabinetmaker:
    laker1963:
    cabinetmaker:
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Communism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Fixed it for ya.
    Sort of like George W. and his Mission Accomplished statement Cabbie? All Political leaders say stupid things from time to time. Good thing we are all immune to that sort of thing ;)
    He never stated "mission accomplished". That banner was, in fact, a banner for the ship he was on and was about the ship's mission. The ship's mission was, in fact, accomplished. The liberal media made that banner into something that was never said by GWB.
    I listened to his speech and he did indeed say that. I remember that lame ass excuse circulating several weeks after the incident. Too funny, why do people take things said against a candidate of their choice as a personal attack?

    I was only half serious here anyway cabbie. I just figured since you were playing "silly buggers" with the post regarding the Cubans, that you would be able to appreciate some of the same being applied closer to home.
  • cabinetmakercabinetmaker Posts: 2,561
    transcript of that speech:

    (AP) Remarks by President Bush announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq Thursday evening from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln: "Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country. In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment — yet it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage — your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other — made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free. Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision, and speed, and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the world had not seen before. From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division, or strike a single bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground, in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history. You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American Armed Forces. This nation thanks all of the members of our coalition who joined in a noble cause. We thank the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland, who shared in the hardships of war. We thank all of the citizens of Iraq who welcomed our troops and joined in the liberation of their own country. And tonight, I have a special word for Secretary (Donald) Rumsfeld, for General (Tommy) Franks, and for all the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States: America is grateful for a job well done. The character of our military through history — the daring of Normandy, the fierce courage of Iwo Jima, the decency and idealism that turned enemies into allies — is fully present in this generation. When Iraqi civilians looked into the faces of our servicemen and women, they saw strength, and kindness, and good will. When I look at the members of the United States military, I see the best of our country, and I am honored to be your commander in chief. In the images of fallen statues, we have witnessed the arrival of a new era. For a hundred years of war, culminating in the nuclear age, military technology was designed and deployed to inflict casualties on an ever-growing scale. In defeating **** Germany and imperial Japan, Allied Forces destroyed entire cities, while enemy leaders who started the conflict were safe until the final days. Military power was used to end a regime by breaking a nation. Today, we have the greater power to free a nation by breaking a dangerous and aggressive regime. With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians. No device of man can remove the tragedy from war. Yet it is a great advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent. In the images of celebrating Iraqis, we have also seen the ageless appeal of human freedom. Decades of lies and intimidation could not make the Iraqi people love their oppressors or desire their own enslavement. Men and women in every culture need liberty like they need food, and water, and air. Everywhere that freedom arrives, humanity rejoices. And everywhere that freedom stirs, let tyrants fear. We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We are pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We have begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. And then we will leave — and we will leave behind a free Iraq. The Battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001, and still goes on. That terrible morning, 19 evil men — the shock troops of a hateful ideology — gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of one terrorist, that September the 11th would be the "beginning of the end of America." By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation's resolve, and force our retreat from the world. They have failed. In the Battle of Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists, and the camps where they trained. We continue to help the Afghan people lay roads, restore hospitals, and educate all of their children. Yet we also have dangerous work to complete. As I speak, a special operations task force, led by the 82nd Airborne, is on the trail of the terrorists, and those who seek to undermine the free government of Afghanistan. America and our coalition will finish what we have begun. From Pakistan to the Philippines to the Horn of Africa, we are hunting down al-Qaida killers. Nineteen months ago, I pledged that the terrorists would not escape the patient justice of the United States. And as of tonight, nearly one-half of al-Qaida's senior operatives have been captured or killed. The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of al-Qaida, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more. In these 19 months that changed the world, our actions have been focused, and deliberate, and proportionate to the offense. We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th — the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got. Our war against terror is proceeding according to principles that I have made clear to all: Any person involved in committing or planning terrorist attacks against the American people becomes an enemy of this country, and a target of American justice. Any person, organization, or government that supports, protects, or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups, and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction, is a grave danger to the civilized world, and will be confronted. And anyone in the world, including the Arab world, who works and sacrifices for freedom has a loyal friend in the United States of America. Our commitment to liberty is America's tradition — declared at our founding, affirmed in Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, asserted in the Truman Doctrine, and in Ronald Reagan's challenge to an evil empire. We are committed to freedom in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in a peaceful Palestine. The advance of freedom is the surest strategy to undermine the appeal of terror in the world. Where freedom takes hold, hatred gives way to hope. When freedom takes hold, men and women turn to the peaceful pursuit of a better life. American values, and American interests, lead in the same direction: We stand for human liberty. The United States upholds these principles of security and freedom in many ways — with all the tools of diplomacy, law enforcement, intelligence, and finance. We are working with a broad coalition of nations that understand the threat, and our shared responsibility to meet it. The use of force has been, and remains, our last resort. Yet all can know, friend and foe alike, that our nation has a mission: We will answer threats to our security, and we will defend the peace. Our mission continues. Al-Qaida is wounded, not destroyed. The scattered cells of the terrorist network still operate in many nations, and we know from daily intelligence that they continue to plot against free people. The proliferation of deadly weapons remains a serious danger. The enemies of freedom are not idle, and neither are we. Our government has taken unprecedented measures to defend the homeland — and we will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike. The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory. Other nations in history have fought in foreign lands and remained to occupy and exploit. Americans, following a battle, want nothing more than to return home. And that is your direction tonight. After service in the Afghan and Iraqi theaters of war — after 100,000 miles, on the longest carrier deployment in recent history — you are homeward bound. Some of you will see new family members for the first time — 150 babies were born while their fathers were on the Lincoln. Your families are proud of you, and your nation will welcome you. We are mindful as well that some good men and women are not making the journey home. One of those who fell, Corporal Jason Mileo, spoke to his parents five days before his death. Jason's father said, "He called us from the center of Baghdad, not to brag, but to tell us he loved us. Our son was a soldier." Every name, every life, is a loss to our military, to our nation, and to the loved ones who grieve. There is no homecoming for these families. Yet we pray, in God's time, their reunion will come. Those we lost were last seen on duty. Their final act on this earth was to fight a great evil, and bring liberty to others. All of you — all in this generation of our military — have taken up the highest calling of history. You are defending your country, and protecting the innocent from harm. And wherever you go, you carry a message of hope — a message that is ancient, and ever new. In the words of the prophet Isaiah: "To the captives, 'Come out!' and to those in darkness, 'Be free!"' Thank you for serving our country and our cause. May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless America"
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    cabinetmaker:
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Communism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Fixed it for ya.
    No sir, Fidel came back after the interview and said, oops I meant Capitalism. You have to remember he is kind of old and his mind is failing him. To Laker: I just don't know what to say to you. Not wanting to be free to take care of myself and the liberty that goes with that is outside of my comprehension.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    fla-gypsy:
    cabinetmaker:
    fla-gypsy:
    Wasn't it last week Fidel was saying that Communism had failed?? Maybe it is not so bad after all. This so called relaxing of the rules is most likely so his family and loyal party members can own private property and businesses.
    Fixed it for ya.
    No sir, Fidel came back after the interview and said, oops I meant Capitalism. You have to remember he is kind of old and his mind is failing him. To Laker: I just don't know what to say to you. Not wanting to be free to take care of myself and the liberty that goes with that is outside of my comprehension.
    Did I say that? WOW ! Your comments indicate that you are one of those people who confuse Communism with Totalitarianism, or Dictatorship. We were discussing this earlier when Puro stated that "True Capitalism" was not what was being practised in the U.S.

    I stated that "true Communism" is not what is being practised in Cuba or anywhere else in the world. How does that get you to where you made your statement? Can you not agree that if people may one day CHOOSE to form a true Communist system, that they would NOT be giving up anything. I don't think you understand, or even care to look into anything you don't already believe Gypsy. That's OK, you are free to believe what you like. Please don't try to tell me what I believe based on a couple of comments on a forum.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    I didn't quote your post Cabbie cause it was so long. I have seen the official written transcript of his speech that day. I know it has been on here several times.

    I also remember watching CNN when he was standing there and he did indeed look at the banner and say mission accomplished as he was gesturing to the troops.

    It did not make his official speech transcript, which is the case with any general remark which is outside of the speech writters control. He said it, and I heard it. A copy of a prepared speech is not proof of anything other then he had a prepared speech, which is ALWAYS the case isn't it?
  • cabinetmakercabinetmaker Posts: 2,561
    I listened to it too, but never heard that phrase. I saw the banner, but never heard him say it. I've seen and listened to recordings of that speech and never heard it then either. Not saying he didn't say it, but I never heard him say it. I guess I missed him turning to the troops on that ship and telling them thier mission was accomplished.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,804 ✭✭✭
    Cabby, you know damn well the Mission Accomplished banner was put there for that reason. Maybe it was for that ship, but it was a glowing spot on the news to make things look better than they were----the idea it was just the ship is revisionist history or convienent at best. The banner and Bushie with his nugget pouch squished getting out of the plane was meant to be his shining moment, lets be real here.
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    No need to waste any more brain cells on this
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    fla-gypsy:
    No need to waste any more brain cells on this
    Too bad. I thought maybe you would waste a few more and actually answer my post. I guess flipant remarks are more brain cell friendly?
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    Just decided it is pointless to argue the obvious
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