Capitol Hill Cubans
Posted: 02 Jul 2013 08:25 PM PDT
The media has been abuzz regarding Cuban dictator Raul Castro's recent decision to authorize over 124 "experimental" non-agricultural cooperatives.
Perhaps this would be of interest if Raul's agricultural cooperatives had been a success, but they've been an absolute failure.
The Castros have been "experimenting" with agricultural cooperatives since the 1970's, with Raul intensifying the "experiment" in 2008.
Yet, even The New York Times recognized last December that these have netted few results -- if any:
"[B]y most measures, the project has failed. Because of waste, poor management, policy constraints, transportation limits, theft and other problems, overall efficiency has dropped: many Cubans are actually seeing less food at private markets."
So what makes anyone think similarly structured non-agricultural cooperatives will fare any better?
Moreover, let's remember that Castro's cooperatives do not bestow any property or ownership rights among the participants. Like in the case of agricultural cooperatives, it simply leases operating concessions from the state.
Also, the regime has stressed that these non-agricultural cooperatives can only be "for activities that are not transcendental for the country’s economy." In other words, for the bread crumbs left over by the Cuban military's enterprises.
If the Castro regime wanted the Cuban people to prosper -- instead of just enriching its cronies and buying itself time -- it wouldn't keep distracting (and the media playing along) with these ridiculous "experiments."
It would grant the Cuban people ownership rights and set them free.
Posted: 02 Jul 2013 08:21 PM PDT
From the moment that senior Cuban regime official Ricardo Alarcon's top aide got caught with his hands in Castro's cookie jar last summer, it was the beginning of the end for Alarcon himself.
Thus, a few months later, Alarcon was dismissed from his spot as head of Castro's National Assembly.
And today, he was removed from the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.
Maybe they'll grant him a "paladar" to run during his "Plan Pijama" (fall from the Castro brother's grace).
Posted: 02 Jul 2013 01:17 PM PDT
The results of Cuban dictator Raul Castro's much-hyped economic "reforms" keep coming in:
I. Continued Economic Stagnation
"Cuba said Monday its economy will grow by no more than 3 percent this year, about the same as in 2012 but far short of the 3.6 percent goal and another indication that ruler Raúl Castro’s reforms are generating little new economic activity." -- The Miami Herald
II. Resorting to Bicycles (Again)
"The Cuban government is planning to reintroduce bicycles as a way to alleviate public transport problems, Vice President Marino Murillo said in comments cited Monday in the official media." -- EFE
III. Less Huevos
"The Cuban government’s decision to halve the number of eggs to be delivered monthly to the population, through the ration book, took effect on Monday." -- The Havana Times
Posted: 02 Jul 2013 12:33 PM PDT
From The European Parliament:
2010 Sakharov Prize handed to Guillermo Fariñas after three years
Almost three years after he was awarded the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought by the European Parliament, the Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas will be able to receive his award. European Parliament President Martin Schulz will hand over the award during the plenary session in Strasbourg, in a ceremony held on Wednesday July 3 between 6.00 and 6.30 PM (EST).
Cuban independent journalist and political dissident Guillermo Fariñas won the Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2010. He has conducted 23 hunger strikes over the years to protest against the Cuban regime and censorship in Cuba. The Cuban authorities barred him from attending and his place was taken symbolically by an empty Chair.
It can be seen live here.
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