An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Thursday, January 23, 2003  

Honeymoon in Cuba

Apologies for lack of recent updates. I was married on 3rd Jan - some photos here - and honeymooned in Cuba. Most interesting place. Upsides are: 100% literacy, great health system, very little crime, fertile country, beautiful architecture, great beaches. Stayed here.

Downsides, communism is a crappy system at the best of times but when you've got the world's biggest economic power 90 miles away devoting itself to crushing you, life is tough. The people are poor, housing is dangerous in some areas, milk rations are only available to children under 7 and there is no investment in infrastructure. No one is hungry but everything is in short supply.

They like Castro and appreciate the fact that he's not corrupt (more than we can say about many other leaders) but the economic policies (well, those they can operate outside the embargo) are disastrous. They are nervous about what will happen when Castro dies, because although they are poor the last thing they want is a US invasion and a McDonalds on every corner. Its a very uncertain time for them. Apart from the US we could also observe the fundamental problems with communism.

Poor Che, his dream of the New Man will never materialise because people will not work harder and innovate unless there is an individual reward. Looks like the Scandinavians are the only ones to get the mix right - high tax but great public services. Pity its so cold and dark there. Utopia appears to be Sweden with a Caribbean climate.

posted by Sarah | 15:14 0 comments
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