United States Cuba Policy & Business Blog

Monday, November 23, 2009

Resisting Carrots and Sticks in Cuba

There is excellent commentary from the Economist magazine and republished in a California newspaper today. The key paragraph lies at the very end where it states
“In the end, if change comes to Cuba it will be from within. Raul Castro has launched a wide-ranging public debate on the economy and is taking modest steps toward more reliance on market mechanisms. The changes are aimed at preserving communist control, and their pace will be glacial as long as Fidel remains alive. But there can be little doubt that a lifting of the U.S. embargo would help those within the regime in Havana who want to move in a more liberal direction.”
From the Economist magazine.
The Cuban economic crisis should cause its leaders to go back and learn tried and true principles that work in any economy – the engine of economic development is small business – the environment of creativity and innovation. What will happen to the Cuban economy when Cuba allows its citizens to develop their own businesses and keep more of what they earn? This is the question they must face, as frankly, there is no pure socialist answer to their economic crisis. By going to extremes, they confront the very weaknesses inherent in their system. Conversely, here in the U.S., our economic crisis is in large part due to the other extreme we have taken. There is no pure capitalist solution to our economic crisis. We overconsume and create little. But that is for another debate.
Waiting for Cuba to act just gets us back to where we are standing now. Carrots and sticks will not work for U.S Cuba relations but flowers will grow in a garden. The U.S. has its own soil to till, fertilize, and seeds to plant in that garden. What are we waiting for?