Why Raul's Reforms Don't Work

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Answer: Because they are cosmetic.

There's no clearer evidence that Cuban dictator Raul Castro's reforms are cosmetic than the fact that they fail to deliver results.

Last month, AFP reported on the agricultural "reforms," which were the centerpiece of Raul's policy:

Agriculture, which Cuban leader Raul Castro had declared the centerpiece of his economic reforms six years ago, remains stalled due to lack of investment and other issues, while the millions in food imports continue to pose a fiscal drain.

The Ministry of Agriculture notes that the major pitfalls in Cuban farming are financial, even though there also exist "deficiencies" in the investment process, like badly executed projects and the misuse of technologies, according to the state daily Granma.

And today, AP reports on the failure of Raul's real estate "reforms":

Despite reforms in recent years to address the island’s housing problem, such building collapses remain common in Cuba, where decades of neglect and a dearth of new home construction have left untold thousands of islanders living in crowded structures at risk of suddenly falling down.

When President Raul Castro legalized a real estate market for the first time in five decades, it was supposed to stimulate both new construction and maintenance of existing homes. But 2½ years later, there has been only a minimal impact on easing one of Cuba’s biggest challenges: a chronic lack of suitable housing.

Regardless of the rhetoric, both of these "reforms" share the same obstacle:

That the Castro regime refuses to give up absolute control.