Dumb Video About Cuba

What else would you expect from the pro-capitalist BBC?

First lie: about 1/4 of the way into the video, the narrator states that Cuba’s economy is in a “state of collapse.” He then states that Cuba’s economy has been failing for 40 years. That would mean it has been failing since around 1970. Does he mean that it was succeeding for 10 years, and then it started failing? Let us look at a chart:

Excellent chart shows Cuba's economy compared to others in Central America and the Caribbean.

Excellent chart shows Cuba’s economy compared to others in Central America and the Caribbean. Click to enlarge.

Look at the chart above to see how stupid the BBC statement was. Look at the blue line and then find 1970 on the chart. Note that the general trend from 1970 to present has been upwards. In addition, from 1978-1991, Cuba’s economy was beating that of Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Yes, the line from 1960-1970 is relatively flat, but so was that of the other nations during this period. And look at the trend from 1945-1959 under capitalism. Absolutely flat.

Even now, Cuba is beating Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Only the Dominican Republic is beating Cuba, and Cuba is better in many ways than the D.R.

Look at the trend line of the skyrocketing economy from 1993-present. This is the period in which the BBC states the Cuban economy was “failing” and “in a state of collapse.” Look that way to you?

So the BBC is lying. Cuba’s economy has not been failing for 40 years, at least not compared to its neighbors. If it’s been failing, the economies of all of its neighbors has been failing too. Cuba’s economy is not in a state of collapse. Instead it has been growing by leaps and bounds since 1993, and since 2005, it has surpassed even the great achievement of 1983-1991. Cuba’s economy is doing better than at any time in its history.

Let us compare Cuba’s economy with Jamaica’s:

                  Cuba    Jamaica   Greece  
poverty %         1       14.3
GDP per capita $  9,700   4,100 
unemployment %    1.7     14.5
Debt % of GDP     34.6    131.7     126

As you can see, Jamaica’s debt is even higher than that of Greece! What a catastrophe.

In addition, GDP growth in recent years has been consistently higher in Cuba (with a trend growth rate being at the very least 2% higher in Cuba).

Jamaica has faithfully followed the neoliberal Washington consensus laid down by the US, the IMF and the World Bank. This is what happens when you follow that model: failure.

The documentary goes to great pains to make the case that socialism has failed in Cuba and that now capitalism is replacing it. I think what we are looking at here is what I call “market socialism.” China also has a market socialist economy. I support the market socialist model in both China and Cuba. A small business sector is a very important aspect of any socialist economy, in my opinion.

Cuba is presently limiting the size of these new entrepreneurs. As they make more and more money, taxes start taking a bigger bite. That is painful, but most of the entrepreneurs say it is still worth it. The housing market is not as capitalist as you think. Cubans can still only own one house. This is essential to prevent the massive accumulation of housing stock in the hands of giant real estate tycoons and businesses. The size of the private farms is also limited. Actually, they are not even private farms since the land is leased from the state. The state owns all land in Cuba, and that is the way it should be. Most of the problems of capitalism stem from the private ownership of land, particularly farmland. How much land do you need anyway?

The housing situation in Havana is painful to watch. However, this collapsing housing is in general limited to Havana. I wonder what the solution to this might be. I could imagine entrepreneurs could form small construction companies or construction collectives could form. Neighborhoods could also band together to fix their own housing stock. If you have been on the waiting list for a housing renovation for 16 years, obviously that model is just not working.

The hamburger joint the fellow fashioned out of his home is a great idea, but I am not sure if he should be allowed to franchise it out. There needs to be limits placed on how rich a man can become and how many businesses he may own.

The part about the ballet was very touching. This is why I am a socialist. The finest ballet company in the whole land, the national ballet company, hosts performances that are so cheap (30 cents) that they are available to just about any Cuban! Wow. Here in the USA, ballet and other arts is generally affordable only by people who have money. Most of the people I know surely do not have the money to go to the ballet.

Note the segment about the ballet dancer. She is one of 500 students at the national ballet school in Havana. Obviously, competition was very tight to get in. The school is 100% free, while in the US, it might costs $20-30,000 a year. That means that only rich people could afford to learn to be ballet dancers, no matter how talented they are. That is just wrong. Education ought to be offered based on talent and aptitude, not how much money you have.

That ballet performance and the ballet school. Now that’s why I am a socialist.

9 Comments

Filed under Americas, Capitalism, Caribbean, Cuba, Economics, Education, Jamaica, Latin America, Neoliberalism, Regional, Socialism

9 responses to “Dumb Video About Cuba

  1. Not really. That is part of the problem. Here in the US labor unions used to publish a lot of papers, but that is dead and gone a long time ago. Also, papers need advertisers. Advertisers are businesses. Advertisers will probably pull their ads if your paper is not sufficiently pro-capitalist.

  2. lord

    Puerto Rico most likely is going to be the 51st state of the US. Puerto Rico is 100 times better than Cuba

  3. Adrianna

    No way CUba is in current shape because of current evil dictator communist monster Fidel Castro and his good friend and fellow evil che guevera. If cuba was freed from those monsters and embraced neo liberal economics like many other countries it would not have been this shape.
    http://ashbrook.org/publications/onprin-v7n5-sheller/
    http://www.therealcuba.com/SugarIndustry.htm

    You can read about the real che guevera on how he is in this link and fool like you proudly wear the image of Che on their clothing, jewelry, etc to know the real che guevera here
    http://www.therealcuba.com/MurderedbyChe.htm
    for the country which etalks about equality of races talk about rights to workers they are extra ordinarily racist
    http://www.therealcuba.com/Page21.htm
    The exiled cubans hate them both to the core and their mal practice communism and they are happy living in other countries
    Look at what gloria Estefan had to sing about that monster castro
    Won’t you just go away
    Go away
    Don’t you come back one day
    Take your stuff
    Take all of your precious things
    Leave right now
    Who knows what tomorrow brings

    Stay away
    Won’t you please stay away
    Live your life
    But live it real far away
    Save yourself
    There’s no way to get it all
    Look around
    The writing is on the wall

    • Look gusana. This is a socialist blog. No rightwing anti-Communist BS. No attacking Cuban socialism. No promoting neoliberalism. No lies about Cuba.

      So I am banning you.

      • Rosaura

        Robert Lindsay.,

        how do you know these are lies? what is the real source for you to claim these as lies. Can you cite one link which proves right what che guevera., castero and communism did in cuba was correct., can you cite a link where their ideoloy has benefitted cuba. Dont give these shittistics like the aboe which were coined by yourself idiot for fooling others. Instead try to give a third party website link that is real in proving what these scumbags did was right.
        Ask our fellow cuban american what they think of those two monster evil scumbags? weren’t they exiled ? did their crimes against those exiled stop after they opted to flee out of that benighted land of cheats., liars.,backstabbing monsters.
        This is the real cuba for you see the above links

        http://www.therealcuba.com/Castro%20the%20multimillionaire.htm
        http://www.therealcuba.com/page5.htm
        for rotten POS castro who advocates equal rights respect., workers revolt right and all other shits see him earning in millions in black money. and spurious methods like money laundering and killing all those who oppressed his totalitarian regime shit this is what his ideology all about.
        http://www.therealcuba.com/Castro%20the%20multimillionaire.htm
        http://www.therealcuba.com/page5.htm
        I ask you as a communist what do you feel are these thins right? when the government decides somethin people must strictly follow and should show any dissent or what? if then whats the difference between communism and fascism? Open your communist mouth and tell me

        See the Glenn Becks website to know about the shitty Che Guevera
        http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/35155/
        Glenn beck is not a cuban american fyi., i see no reason for him to support cuba. But as an outsider he’s done the right thing by allowing the article on his blog on how he truly feels about Castro’s shitty politics alo the beck’ video link on fake and false revolutionaries

        http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/35168/

        Also see the cuban american singer Gloria’s article on the rotten shit castros
        http://www2.fiu.edu/~fcf/estefanspeaks102397.html

  4. Rosauraa

    Lindsay you are a piece of shit .. DO not belie the lies about castro and che this man doe not know about them properly. watch glenn beck’s video to know more about those evils. This blog is a piece of shit as this man does not listen to whatever we say ., I dont give a flying fuck about your opinion and blog. I am not returning to this shitty blog ever again…. good bye

  5. Adam

    Gusana I agree with you that fidel and che are rotten piece of shit and their communism is a evil shit but still we do not welcome gusanas like u…

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