Your front cover headline ‘Cuban communism: beginning of the end?’ and article, (‘Raul the pragmatist’- 13-19 November 2010), are further examples of how current media speculation seems to gleefully relish the idea that Cuban socialism is failing. Yet the same media seems to overlook, or rather ignore, certain facts.
Firstly any analysis of the Cuban economy cannot be undertaken without seriously taking into account the reality of half a century of a US blockade plus the sustained series of terrorist attacks which have severely impacted upon all sectors of the Cuban economy and society since the time of the Revolution. Despite this, various measures have been implemented by the Cuban government to improve efficiency within the socialist system since the mid-2000s. The intention to set Cuba on the path of what Fidel Castro referred to as, 'The dream of everyone being able to live on their salary or on their adequate pension', was a long-term plan. Any current changes to the Cuban employment structure have been instigated to provide an eventual infrastructure enabling all Cubans to contribute towards an evolving socialism and are not in any way an indication of Cuba compromising with capitalism nor a deviation from the Cuban revolutionary goals. As Raul Castro has stated himself: 'I was not elected President to restore capitalism in Cuba, nor to betray the Revolution. I was elected to defend and maintain the process of perfecting Socialism, not destroying it.'
Rather, instead of asking if Cuban communism is the beginning of the end, we should be asking ourselves if it is indeed global capitalism which is at the beginning of the end, as we witness the current student protests and the economic crisis in Britain alone, a country which has far more wealth and resources at its disposal than Cuba. Medical health care and educational services remain free in Cuba while in our own capitalist society we look toward massive cuts in health and education services which aim to marginalise the poorer sections of our society even further.
This letter was not published by the Economist, a ruling class publication owned by the Pearson group (a leading British-owned industrial holding company with interests in publishing, financial services, fine china, and oil services) who also own the Financial Times (FT), Penguin books and Edexcel. - RATB.