There could be few happier headlines than this: Cuba Unveils Huge Layoffs in Tilt Toward Free Market. Few happier because it signals the beginning of the end of the tyrannical regime that has so devastated Cuba. That Castro has lived to see the end of his oppressive life’s work is satisfying. There are, though, many miles ahead….
(This also lends credence, if any were needed, to the recent account from Jeffrey Goldberg that Castro said, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.” Of course, the Cuban model to which Castro refers never worked as well or as humanely as a free alternative would have. Castro has since tried to deny the remark, but Goldberg’s account was accurate, as confirmed by the remarks of the translator.)
From the WSJ story:
Economic growth could pick up if Cuba continues to open itself to privatization in coming years, but the process will be a slow one, said Arch Ritter, an economist who studies Cuba at Carleton University in Canada. Growth would “require a major change in the way the private sector is treated,” he says. Critical steps would be lowering taxes and loosening regulations for small businesses.