Cuba’s Economy

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Cuba’s Economy

Seriously? Cuba's GDP has grown annually by an average rate of 4.74% since 1994. In the years from the capitalist crisis until now (2008-2012) it has grown by an average of 3.6% – compare this to imperialist Britain, where it has 'grown' by an average of, ahem, -4.4%. Unlike in the imperialist countries Cuba's growth has not been sustained off plundering the world and squeezing the working class. Even in the worst years of the Special Period – the years following the destruction of the USSR, where 35% of GDP and 80% of trade was lost practically overnight – it didn't shut down one hospital or old person's home, nobody starved, and nobody was made homeless. And this is in the context of a 53-year blockade implemented by the US which had cost Cuba over $236bn by January 2011. Cuba has a 'high' HDI index – 0.78. It is the only country in the world to have sustainable development as measured by the WWF. Its healthcare system is universally understood as one of the best in the world – it sends more doctors overseas than the entire WHO. And this is in the context of it being a small Caribbean island which was as unequal and poor as any other before the revolution. If you want to see what Cuban socialism really means, put these basic facts in the context of a Jamaica (whose post-crisis GDP has shrunk by an annual average of -1.1%, has 17.6% of people living under the national poverty line, and is facing IMF-imposed austerity measures which include a 20% real-terms cut in wage) or a Haiti (where 78% of people live on less than $2 a day). It has economic issues it needs to resolve – an increased productivity to combat the dual currency, for example – but these problems would not even exist were it not for the US blockade, and it is already working on resolving them. To argue that it is completely stagnant is completely ridiculous by anyone's measure.

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