On Tue, 7 Jul 1998, Brad De Long wrote:
> It does. It is. It is no accident that Cuba has been the kindest and
> gentlest of Communist regimes (save for Allende).
> I have not yet seen a good unscrambling of how much of Cuba's
> less-than-standard-relative-regress was due to Soviet subsidies: the
> collapse of the Cuban economy and of many Cuban social achievements after
> the end of the Soviet Union suggests a lot...
David Kotz, from UMass Econ dept., was just down in Cuba, giving various govt officials unsolicited advice as to how to save their economy. He might be an interesting person for you to speak with.
What are the post-Soviet social achievements to which you're referring? I was just there a couple of weeks ago, and I saw growing racism, a growing currency hierarchy--people spending dollars for their prestige, high levels of yanquphilia among people in the early 20s, late teens, and lots of prostitution. My understanding is that people are doing much better now than they were four years ago, but that seems to be a result of more people finding ways to get access to dollars. I bought a candlabra (sp?) from an older couple on the street, without really thinking about it much--it was $5.00. After I purchased it, they told me it had been in their family for more than 100 years. (antique dealer told me that was plausible). Just to show you the lengths to which people will go to get dollars. I was told over and over that one cannot survive in Havana without dollars. Monthly rations only provide enough food for two weeks.
I'm really not being sarcastic when i ask what those social achievments are. I didn't see them.