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Posts Tagged ‘Fidel Castro’

It seems that reports of Castro’s conversion were premature.  While American politicians are learning from Castro how to tank an economy with reckless government intervention (not that there’s any other kind), Castro has apparently learned from our pols how to walk back an accidental utterance of the truth, otherwise known in political circles as a “gaffe.”  You see, while he said that the Cuban system does not work, what he really meant was that Capitalism does not work.  Just as statist policies produce the exact opposite result of what advocates claim, so do his words mean the opposite of what he says.

Fidel Castro said Friday his recent comment that communist-led Cuba’s economic model does not work was badly understood and that what he really meant was that capitalism does not work.

…Goldberg wrote in a blog on Wednesday that he asked Castro, 84, if Cuba’s model was still worth exporting to other countries.

“The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” Castro told him.

Castro confirmed that he said those words “without bitterness or concern.” But, he said, “the reality is that my response means exactly the opposite.”

“My idea, as the whole world knows, is that the capitalist system now doesn’t work either for the United States or the world, driving it from crisis to crisis, which are each time more serious.”

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Here’s a story for the better-late-than-never file. Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro confessed that communism doesn’t work and that his nation’s economic system should not be emulated.

Fidel Castro told a visiting American journalist that Cuba’s communist economic model doesn’t work, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who has conspicuously steered clear of local issues since stepping down four years ago.

The fact that things are not working efficiently on this cash-strapped Caribbean island is hardly news. Fidel’s brother Raul, the country’s president, has said the same thing repeatedly. But the blunt assessment by the father of Cuba’s 1959 revolution is sure to raise eyebrows.

Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked if Cuba’s economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore” Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog.

Too bad Castro didn’t have this epiphany 50 years ago. The Cuban people languish in abject poverty as a result of Castro’s oppressive policies. Food is harshly rationed and other basic amenities are largely unavailable (except, of course, to the party elite). This chart, comparing inflation-adjusted per-capita GDP in Chile and Cuba, is a good illustration of the human cost of excessive government. Living standards in Cuba have languished. In Chile, by contrast, the embrace of market-friendly policies has resulted in a huge increase in prosperity. Chileans were twice as rich as Cubans when Castro seized control of the island. After 50 years of communism in Cuba and 30 years of liberalization in Chile, the gap is now much larger.

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