“Cuban economy doesn’t function:” economist

Is it any surprise to see economists trash Castro’s worthless economy? It shouldn’t be. Here’s what one economist says in an article published in today’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“The perception is very clear among economists here that the Cuban economy doesn’t function,” said Pedro Monreal, a professor at the Center for Research on the International Economy.

Though the article talks about Castro’s failed economy, it focuses on one victim of that failure, a man identified only as “Eddie” for fear of retribution from Castro’s goons.

Eddie works as a waiter at one of those “special” restuarants Castro’s Cuba opens only to tourists who bring hard currency to the communist dictatorship. Eddie, a soon-to-be father, needs a stroller for his new baby. The problem is, on the slave wages he gets, ahem, “paid” by Castro–$12 a month–he can’t afford the $100 stroller in the state-run store. So Eddie gets a little creative:

“I invited a group of Chilean tourists to a lobster dinner in return for their stroller,” said Eddie, 30, who asked that his full name not be used. “I would have to stop eating for months to get a new one. Instead, I gave away a few plates of food for it.”

The article’s title asks a rhetorical question: Can desire to subsist be called corruption? I say, no more than a desperate mother stealing food for her hungry children can honestly be called a criminal.