Thursday, 18 December 2014

Cuba - some thoughts

just thinking aloud, not sure what of this makes sense...

  1. It seems for a while that Fidel's brother, Raul, is a lot less wedded to the idea of Communism, doesn't have the flag-burning attitude of his idiot brother, has perhaps realised the revolution was a disaster. There's been a lot of market reforms since he took over.
  2. They've relied on other countries for 50 years for support. First USSR, then Venezuela. Venezuela's going down the tube, so they're now considering other options.
  3. The people who came over from Cuba in the early 60s who hate the Castros are dying out and declining as a percentage of the Florida population. This means it's less likely to swing the state one way or another.
  4. The republicans will cry about not lifting the embargo. Give it a few years, they'll tone that down. There's an issue about land taken by Cuba from American companies. Estimated value today about £7bn. Chicken feed to sort out diplomatic relations and get trade going again. The US government could have a ceremony where the Cuban government hands over a cheque that goes to those people, and the US pays it back.
  5. Assuming diplomatic/commercial relations come back, the economy will be tourism, nickel mining, cigar production, agriculture. Islands don't suit heavy industry.
  6. Cuba has lots of coast. Big long island. Let the Americans build hotels on beaches and collect a load of LVT for the locals. Not sure how much beach there is, but even on unattractive bits of coast, people pay a premium for housing.


Bayard said...

Item 6. Do you have Raul's email address?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Good points.

But the sad thing is that Raul has adopted Home-Owner-Ism before the shift from Communism to Capitalism.

A couple of years ago he said that people would be able to buy their homes or business premises (presumably for a few cents in teh dollar), thereby "secure their future and enabling them to trade them freely and make capital gains" or some such Homey bullshit.