Saturday, June 18, 2011

Part 5: Response to Freedom House Report on Cuba

   Most people are already familiar with the fact that Cuba has decided to take a path which creates many changes in the predominantly state controlled economy.  In reporting on this aspect of Cubans' opinions, Freedom House describes opinions as being split.  People have a wide range of differences in opinion from cynicism to trust in the government.  In attempting to portray Cuba in a bad light, much is covered about those cynics who have worries about subsidies disappearing (which would suggest they are popular) and the fear that prices rise outpacing wages.  Only one respondent was mentioned as fully supporting the reforms as she believes that the government's guidelines must be correct.  The rest of the examples are people complain that business owners will have to pay taxes and unfounded claims that people will simply be thrown out of their jobs with no assistance (something that the government has explained it will not do).  The number of examples given by the report support the idea of opinions being split, but are presented in a way that suggests that the split is heavily towards being not favorable.  This type of presentaion of opinion may be a reason why the U.S. government payes Freedom House for this kind of reporting. 
   One of the economic issues widely of concern is the elimination of the dual currency.  This is an issue that the government has as one of it's goals.  One problem with this kind of change may be the fact that much of what is subsidized is sold in national currency and not in CUC.  What good would it be for a change in this without a corresponding change in the earnings of people which is another goal of the government's changes?  Much care will be taken, the government has stated, to avoid a shock to the society that leaves many people hopelessly unable to survive.  The government has stated that there will be a slow and careful change so that some of the fears expressed are avoided. 
   Complaints that marabu has grown wildly in the countryside as agriculture has been "abondoned" may actually end up as a positive thing and even possibly a job opportunity since it is used to make a charcol for export to Europe.  Imagine if exports of this among other things were allowed to be exported to the large market of the U.S. just north of the island!  Seems like certain opportunities are hindered due to the economic embargo imposed by Washington. 
   Political changes are desired by some while others would like to keep things as they are.  With certain things like the announcement of term limits for the position that Raul Castro currently holds, changes in the political structure are underway.  The respondent who said that  "Nothing is ever their fault," referring to the government is incorrect, although it is his opinion, since Raul Castro has criticized the governments lack of fostering the development of future leaders as Cuba has relied on many people who have been loyal for years and decades only to neglect to a certain degree new faces.  The government seems to be acknowledging mistakes.  Probably an upsetting finding for the extremists in Miami and the politicians who rail against socialism in Washington is the existing belief in socialism among those interviewed for the report.  I guess this would just serve as a justification for the policy makers in Washington continuing the attempted subversion with the goal of regime change against the government of Cuba and hypocritically against the people in Cuba who they pretend to want to spread "democracy" to!

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