The media has been abuzz regarding Cuban dictator Raul Castro's recent decision to authorize over 124 "experimental" non-agricultural cooperatives.
Perhaps this would be of interest if Raul's agricultural cooperatives had been a success, but they've been an absolute failure.
The Castros have been "experimenting" with agricultural cooperatives since the 1970's, with Raul intensifying the "experiment" in 2008.
Yet, even The New York Times recognized last December that these have netted few results -- if any:
"[B]y most measures, the project has failed. Because of waste, poor management, policy constraints, transportation limits, theft and other problems, overall efficiency has dropped: many Cubans are actually seeing less food at private markets."
So what makes anyone think similarly structured non-agricultural cooperatives will fare any better?
Moreover, let's remember that Castro's cooperatives do not bestow any property or ownership rights among the participants. Like in the case of agricultural cooperatives, it simply leases operating concessions from the state.
Also, the regime has stressed that these non-agricultural cooperatives can only be "for activities that are not transcendental for the country’s economy." In other words, for the bread crumbs left over by the Cuban military's enterprises.
If the Castro regime wanted the Cuban people to prosper -- instead of just enriching its cronies and buying itself time -- it wouldn't keep distracting (and the media playing along) with these ridiculous "experiments."
It would grant the Cuban people ownership rights and set them free.
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