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January 05, 2009


Ajit Jaokar

This is an excellent article Irving. I read it all and blogged about it as well. http://opengardensblog.futuretext.com/archives/2009/01/reflections_on.html. Happy new year to you and your family kind rgds Ajit

Angela M. Epstein

Well said! I totally agree in the valid sentiment of the older generation of Cubans who came disposed of their belongings and dreams. However, the US poor understanding of the Americas, its incredibly short-sided policy toward Cuba and the egos involved, managed to keep Castro in power all this time, and extend the damage. I visited Cuba a few times while a reporter and noticed the "feeling" of the people who communicate in signs to avoid the intelligence machinery.

People in Cuba have been thirsty for change for too long, and will welcome it and embrace it because they know, despite their isolation they have been subjected to, that they world they live in is not real and it only belongs to Castro and his oppressors. I hope President Obama will have the wisdom to fuel that change immediately and with it, show the world, but especially the Cuban people, that America cares.

Teresita Abay

Irving, well done! As the daughter of a Cuban born American, the story you tell is very familiar and reminiscent of my father's personal journey. But it's about a future I wish to comment on. If there were a dream of turning Cuba into becoming a participant in the “globally integrated enterprise”, how might that play out? And if Cuba maintains its’ self proclaimed free educational system, could this provide a new advantage not seen during the eastern european/former Soviet blocks conversion to free markets? Is Cuba ready to take on the expanding world of hemispheric trade? When will Cuba overcome its' bias and allow the expanding role of information and networking technologies to provide this new economic growth? It appears still that the current Cuban government is too uncompromising and the population far too sedimentary from any state revolt to predict the imminent demise of communism. Although there is more promise. I routinely view the blog of Yoani Sanchez, http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy/. There I can get a 1st person view of Cuba today.
I can't remember where I found this quote - “Economic freedom is frequently a predecessor to political freedom.”... but this illustrates the difference between doing business with China versus Cuba. Unlike Cuba, China has been taking steps towards a free market economy. We are seeing a "flourishing" open-end economy in China with some resemblance of free enterprise and competition, and even privately owned businesses (non-existent in Cuba).
I still believe the root of Cuban poverty is the result of Castro's policies, not the US embargo. But I'd like to see the embargo go-away, as it has only embolded the Castro regime. Let's not forget that Cuba is free to sell everything they produce and do business with the rest of the world. The European and Canadian combined markets are bigger than the USA. It's interesting to actually see the statistics about the USA trade with Cuba. (in spite of "The embargo" there is significant agri-trade from the US to Cuba). So, back to my education comment....what if information technology and know-how were the next exportable items from Cuba, not unlike India’s thriving IT businesses?

dirk husemann

very interesting post, thanks for sharing.

i think if the implosion of east germany has shown us one thing, then it is the fact that enganging in realpolitik is much more effective than trying to uphold a silly embargo...

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