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Cuba moves closer to China’s economic model

20th September 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Brian George

Ministry of Interior - Che_Cuba 036

Photo hoyasmeg/James Emery

There has been extensive coverage of the news that Cuba is to reduce state sector employment by half a million and transfer these workers to the non-state, including the private, sectors. Some of this comment, for example in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, interprets this as a move towards capitalism and free markets. More accurate and sophisticated analysis has been given by Latin American specialists. (Also see previous articles on this website here and here.)

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Some friendly positions on Cuba’s economic policy changes

20th September 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Brian George

 

Photo: Fredo_photo.

That the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal should wishfully, and inaccurately, hope Cuba’s recent economic policy changes represent an embrace of capitalism is not surprising. But in addition to this hostile analysis there has also been comment on these new economic policies that comes from friends of Cuba. As it comes from friends, the following comments are also meant strictly in that light of friendly discussion.

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Analyses of the economic policy changes in Cuba

20th September 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Brian George

i'm away for a while
Photo: consumerfriendly

A great deal of media publicity has been given to the news that Cuba is to reduce state sector employment by half a million and transfer these workers to the non-state, including private, sectors. The eventual aim is to transfer about one million of Cuba’s state workers to the non-state sector.

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Haiti needs aid not an occupation

21st January 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

As the extent of the immense devastation and human catastrophe in Haiti continues to unfold, what is clear is that the correct response must be one which both, firstly, deals with the immediate crisis, i.e. to ensure medical assistance, food, shelter and other basic human necessities; and that, secondly, this happens in the context of Haitian self-determination.

What is becoming increasingly alarming in the current situation is that the US response appears to be primarily geared at securing the state, rather than delivering aid. As one aid worker stated among a myriad of news reports depicting this same picture: ‘there are 200 flights going in and out everyday. But most of those are for the US military. The priorities are to secure the country. Ours are to feed.’

The governments of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia have all expressed concern over a US military take-over.

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Fidel Castro reflects on Haiti

21st January 2010 Socialist Action 0

Reproduced below is Fidel Castro’s ‘reflections’ piece, which can also be found here

The Lessons of Haiti

By Fidel Castro Ruz

January 15, 2010 – Two days ago, at almost six o’clock in the evening Cuban time and when, given its geographical location, night had already fallen in Haiti, television stations began to broadcast the news that a violent earthquake – measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale – had severely struck Port-au-Prince. The seismic phenomenon originated from a tectonic fault located in the sea just 15 kilometres from the Haitian capital, a city where 80% of the population inhabit fragile homes built of adobe and mud.

The news continued almost without interruption for hours. There was no footage, but it was confirmed that many public buildings, hospitals, schools and more solidly constructed facilities were reported collapsed. I have read that an earthquake of the magnitude of 7.3 is equivalent to the energy released by an explosion of 400,000 tons of TNT.

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The Times and Venezuela

19th May 2006 Socialist Action 0

First published: 19 May 2006

On 19 May The Times ran an article by Aleksander Boyd attacking the Mayor of London’s invitation to president Chávez of Venezuela to visit City Hall in London: ‘Guess who’s coming to dinner with Red Ken?’ This was part of The Times’ campaign against Chávez visting. Boyd writes on the website www.vcrisis.com. Readers may therefore be very interested to know the views of Boyd as these will aid them in judging the content of The Times’ campaign and who they chose to write on the issue.

In his editor’s note on his website, Boyd stated: ‘Yesterday I had a conversation with someone about Venezuela and its problems. Given the peculiar characteristics of our crisis, my interlocutor asked “what’s the solution then?” And I replied: “when elected politicians treat one as an animal, how on earth can be expected that one behaves like a gentleman? The solution in my view is clear and simple: violence.’