I have to ask: did nobody in Cuba look into the local production of staple foods? Was there no local economy for the distribution of those foods? I don’t mean making your food taste nice, I just mean avoiding starvation with the basic provision of nutrients,
I went to Cuba last in August 2019 and we had a great time. Our tour guide was Nely and she took us all over town and out to Vinales. We stayed at a pensenado (sp?) for around 300 for the week, the government-run hotels are that much for a day. There were no demands for an itinerary or anything like that, we just signed a form that said “support the cuban people” and picked up our visas at a kiosk next to the departure gate.
We went in November of 2018 and had a wonderful time. The people are resourceful, kind and amazingly generous. Our US Dollars were most appreciated and the $50 we gave our taxi driver for the day is more money than he makes in a month.
The US sanctions are pointless and do nothing but harm average Cubans who need tourism to survive.
What’s amazing about Cuba is since the fall of the USSR, they have had to rely more on their own ingenuity and internal resources. As a result, the beaches and coral reefs are the healthiest in the Caribbean (due to less nitrogen runoff from fertilizer) and Cuban farmers are leading the world in natural organic farming practices.
Cubans just shake off all outside pressures from governments determined to force the island to conform.
I think that’s the entire point.
‘If we make them suffer enough, they will revolt and join us’?
arg, this makes me furioius, but I am convinced that’s the mindset.
Centrally planned economies kind of stink when the plan isn’t very good or is woefully incomplete.
This is not a new issue - it’s one that they’ve been grappling with since the Soviet Union (a big source of support and buyer of Cuba’s sugar exports) went away:
I suspect there is a fair bit of revenge involved too: “They didn’t do as we told them so let them suffer”.
And the political influence of upper class Cuban exiles (and their descendents), who say that they are fighting for democracy but really mean a government that will give them their land and property back.
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