Monday, September 25, 2006

CBS Reports that No one is Hungry in Cuba

I sighed a big oy vay when I saw this on the CBS News website on an article about business flocking to Cuba for the non-embargo. According to CBS, even though the average monthly wage in Cuba is $ 13/month, no one goes hungry there cause they get those food rations:

"Life for most Cubans is a bare bones existence. The average wage is about $13 a month. But health care and education are free, and no one goes hungry because every Cuban receives a food ration"

What are they smoking over at CBS? Apart from that, there are some interesting figures on the current volume of dollar sales to Cuba which again shows that those "end the blockade" twits are flying quite high on some powerful substances. Click the link to read the rest of the article.

U.S. Companies Flock To Cuba


Anonymous said...

Did you read the ENTIRE article?

Despite saying that "no one goes hungry" in Cuba, the article also said "...the truth is that Cuba doesn't come close to producing enough food for its people...".

Cuba has always had to import food from other countries, especially the US, in large quantities before and after the sanctions.

And, as you know, the exceptions made to agricultural products was the result of business pressures from the same sector. And, now the US energy sector wants the same treatment because of the potential of large energy deposits around Cuba. They might get their wish.

All this flow of money further supports lobbying groups to end the embargo. Why not let ALL US business profit?

Do you think they care which Castro is in power? All they see is green.

So why not "end the blockade"? Businesses don't care about some political prisoners.

Most businesses are convinced anyway that their goals are for the "greater good". Some businessmen honestly believe that philosophy too.

The article also said:

"I agree with companies of United States here in Cuba because investment comes with people, and people have ideas," [said] Oscar Espinosa Chepe [former political prisoner].

"I think little by little this could bring about democracy in Cuba," said [Miriam]Leiva [a political dissident].

So why not? US businesses can form alliances with Cuban political dissidents and together export democracy and cheesburgers.

Aren't you for free-markets? Or are you someone that has an intransigent conscience?

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

I didn't make this post but I feel obliged to comment Mr. Anonymous.

First of all every country imports food. It's a matter of taste and preference. French wine is by definition French and thus must be imported. Similarly there are other products that are imported because the climate or soil conditions in one country don't allow them to grow like Coffee which is not grown in the US but consumed here in massive quantities. The mere presence of importation does not prove or disprove the viability of an economic system. Scarcity does. And by any legitimate measure Cuba has much more food scarcity today than it did 48 years ago. There is no reason, other than Cuba's centralized economy, for there to be a shortage of pork a staple of the Cuban diet for 500 years. People are hungry in Cuba because of the backward policies of the government.

The idea that Cuba is sitting on a vast supply of oil is highly speculative and until proven should be treated like any of the other miracle solutions for Cuba's problems over these many years whether they be mini-cows, 10 million ton sugar harvests, coffee grown in around the city of Havana, air conditioned barns for dairy cows, etc. All just stories told to the people to try to get them to believe that good times are just around the corner.

As far as our thoughts on the embargo all you needed to do was scroll down two posts.

People that do business with Castro are earning blood money. As a trained economist, I can tell you that the Castro regime does not want foreign investment that way that decent human beings would want it. They have succeeded in limiting the democratizing effects of trade by controlling all internal economic aspects of the country. There is only one customer that we can do business with in Cuba: the regime. Until that changes you can have all the trade you want with Cuba (as the rest of the world already does) and not a goddamned thing will change. The successor government that recognizes that the prosperity of the Cuban people depends on property ownership rights, free association, private enterprise, and individual self-determination will be the regime that enjoys full free trade with US. Until then, go away loser.

Srcohiba said...

Henry said it well. All I will add if that money is truly the only thing that matters, then we should trade and have full relations with everyone from Satan to Stalin and eliminate all embargos and economic sanctions.

Do you subscribe to that view? Using your logic then the sanctions against South Africa were immoral.

In fact, let's take it one step further: let's drop all prohibitions against weapon sales too. Let's sell arms to the highest bidder even if it means selling weapons to terrorists.

Also, business cannot form alliances with dissidents. 1) the dissidents are pariahs. THey will be arrested, or the business will not be allowed to do business. You do business in Cuba then it's under the castro bros. terms.

To paraphrase George Harrison:

It's One for You Nineteen for Castro.

La Ventanita said...

In my view we shouldn't even be trading with China.

One question though, do they get a free ration, or do they purchase rationed food? There is a difference.