On "Reforms" and "Elections"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
On Castro's "reforms," by Cuban author Carlos Alberto Montaner:

Why don’t the reforms advance? A very objective explanation comes from economist Carmelo Mesa Lago, dean of Cuban studies, in an excellent book titled Cuba in the Era of Raúl Castro, published in Spain.

“The structural reforms, which are more complex and crucial, have not been clearly successful so far,” he writes, “mostly because of restraints and lack of incentives (some of which have been softened by later adjustments) and also by flaws in the design and depth of the changes.

“The updating of the economic model, where central planning and state-run business predominate, is bogged down by 52 years of similar — and failed — efforts.”

On Castro's "elections," by Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez:

[A]t the polls everything was "signed, sealed and delivered" ahead of time. Instead of voting between one candidate or another, Cubans simply had to ratify the 612 people proposed for the 612 seats allotted in parliament. One seat for each name that appeared on the ballot, a place in the highest organ of the People's Power for every individual whose photo was posted outside the polling places. In short, no surprises.