Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cubans Dip a Toe in Capitalist Waters

Wall Street Journal
October 6, 2010

A package of capitalist reforms from President Raúl Castro is creating something new for many Cubans: uncertainty.

Since 1959, when Fidel Castro rode into Havana atop a tank, the Cuban state has promised its people the certainty of a job, food, education and health care. No one expected to get rich under the arrangement; the old joke here is that people pretend to work, and the government pretends to pay them.

That may change with Mr. Castro's moves to get rid of half a million government jobs in the next six months, trimming a bloated government payroll that accounts for 85% of Cuba's labor force of roughly 5.1 million.