When Reporters Without Frontiers sited Cuba s one of the countries with the least amount of citizens with access to the world-wide web, Cuba blamed the “embargo”. It’s not that they want to control every aspect of everyday of every person’s life. No, it’s the “embargo”.
Cuba has basically isolated itself from civilization because the isolation fits the needs of its tyrant to hold on to power.
Economic opportunity, as a reader reminded me today, goes a long way to create a truly free society. It is the last thing Castro and his thugs want.
In another eye-opening article form the Sun Sentinel’s Doreen Hemlock the subject of economic opportunities in Cuba is explored
The grim outlook for Cuba
The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit ranks Cuba among the world's worst
business environments -- No. 80 of 82 nations surveyed, with only Iran and
Angola rated lower for the past five years.
Even managers of Chinese companies favored these days by Havana cite headaches.
"Our company does business with 46 countries, and Cuba is the only one where we can't have a commercial representative to find clients and service them," said a Chinese executive who declined to be named for fear of Cuban reprisals.
Most U.S. companies can't do business with Cuba because of Washington's four-decade embargo aimed to squeeze the island's communist regime. But those few with permission -- like U.S. food exporters -- also face obstacles, from reams of U.S. paperwork to Havana's prodding that U.S. suppliers lobby on Cuba's behalf.
"And you've basically got one customer: the Cuban government," said Jay Brickman, vice president of government services for Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corp., whose shipping service hauls authorized U.S. food exports from Broward County's Port Everglades to Cuba.
Havana cracked open the door to foreign capitalists in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of generous Soviet subsidies sent the island's economy crashing. But foreign investment has always been more tolerated than embraced by authorities, analysts said.
And, in a new trend in MSM that’s VERY refreshing, A dissident’s opinion:
"It's seen as bitter medicine, like castor oil," said independent economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe in Havana. "Some hardliners call it `ideological contamination.'"
Nowadays, as hefty Venezuelan oil subsidies and Chinese loans lift Cuba from its economic hole, the government is getting more selective about what foreign investment it approves and what foreign companies can do.Effects of the Embargo:
Decline in partners
Numbers tell the story. The tally of Cuba's foreign "economic partnerships" fell to 236 last year from more than 400 in the year 2000, authorities have said.
Cuba now seeks foreign partners mainly for large, costly projects, such as oil exploration and mining. And it gives priority in joint ventures to Venezuela and China, nations with a fellow leftist bent, said Paolo Spadoni, a teacher at Rollins College in Winter Park. who specializes in Cuba.
Smaller European firms once welcomed even for limited retail operations are now being turned away, as Cuba's government expands its own restaurant and store network.
"Every day, Italians come in and say they want to put up a pizzeria or clothing store. That type of business, the government says, we generally don't need," said Miriam Martinez, a spokeswoman at the Cuban Chamber of Commerce.
Once approved, operations in Cuba are increasingly centralized in government hands, foreign executives said.
Though Cuban law permits 100 percent foreign ownership, most foreign companies operate through partnerships with the government and hold only minority control.
Even foreign embassies generally can't hire their own staff, but must hire through government staffing agencies. Some foreigners bemoan nepotism at the agencies.
Foreign businesses pay their staff through the government agencies, but employees get only a sliver paid to them in local currency. The government pockets the bulk,
saying it needs the cash for Cuba's free education, health care and welfare programs.
Local salaries don't stretch to pay the bills, so foreign employers generally pay a bonus to their employees, sometimes up to $1,200 a month, executives said.
Then, there's the delay issue, especially long waits to obtain imported supplies. Few imports are warehoused because Cuba faces foreign currency and credit shortages and won't tie up its cash.
And Cuba offers some advantages envied elsewhere in Latin America: high literacy rates and low crime.
Read The Whole Article HERE
Those gains clearly don't outweigh the problems, especially when business faces a unique external pressure exerted by the U.S. embargo both on American and international companies.
U.S. scrutiny and sanctions against banks and other companies that do business both with Cuba and the United States have become so tough that some international firms are opting not to work with Cuba and to safeguard their larger and more lucrative U.S. operations.
At least two Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, and one American money transfer company, MoneyGram International of Minneapolis, announced an end to financial operations with Cuba in recent months amid the U.S. crackdown.
Amid all the hurdles, many foreign executives are focusing outside Cuba to more attractive spots for business.
The Cuban regime, because of its totalitarian nature, has to control everything. Its only motive for allowing any kind of foreign investment is to continue to get the funds it needs to carry on its repression and stay in power. It pays workers 4% of what it charges the foreign partners for labor and pockets 96%. It uses the excuse that the funds are needed for social programs, yet the real reason is that it wants to deny the Cuban citizens the economic opportunities which will eventually lead to social changes.
The communist regime doesn’t care about the welfare of its people. Its only purpose is to stay in power. That is why they will never negotiate, they have nothing to gain or lose.
UPDATE: Charlie Bravo from KILLCASTRO made the Following Comment:
"Every day, Italians come in and say they want to put up a pizzeria or clothingPerhaps you think Charlie is just another" hard liner " spewing out anti-Castro venom, well, he may be, but that doesn't mean his wrong. Charlie is backed by experience, knowledge and Science.
store. That type of business, the government says, we generally don't need," said Miriam Martinez, a spokeswoman at the Cuban Chamber of Commerce."In a quick
phrase: que se joda el pueblo.
That's the only embargo that is in Cuba, the internal embargo and apartheid impossed by the KKK (kasstro kommunist klan)They do not want any business that
can give any service or comforts to the population because they destroy the basis of their control over Cubans: the socialization of misery. For the same reason, they don't want Cubans owning any businesses who can produce enough to support a family withuot headaches, it would break that basic tenet of socialized misery. One hungry man with one hungry family has only one priority in life: to feed his family. The commies understand that well, and they know that survival instinct and conservation instinct put that need first. If people didn't have those needs, well they would have more energies and TIME to devote to destroying the tyranny. I think this is clear, or should be clear enough....
Here's a representation of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:
The lower the need, the more primitive. The communist regime goes out of its way to keep the Cuban people taking care of the first layer of needs in the hierarchy. Little time is spent on the second and even less on the third. The whole system is built to be an obstacle to the fullfillment of what Maslow would call higher needs.
Like Charlie says, this is not by accident. It's cold, caculated, "socialized misery". And, it is designed to dehumanize the Cuban citizen by keeping him focused on the more primitive and instinctual aspects of the human experience.