You wanna work eight, ten fucking hours? You own nothing, you got nothing! Do you want a chivato on every corner looking after you? Watching everything you do? Everything you say, man? Do you know I eat octopus three times a day? I got fucking octopus coming out of my fucking ears. I got the fuckin' Russian shoes my feet's comin' through. How you like that? What, you want me to stay there and do nothing? Hey, I'm no fuckin' criminal, man. I'm no puta or thief. I'm Tony Montana, a political prisoner from Cuba. And I want my fuckin' human rights, now!
You know somethin'? You can send me anywhere. Here, there, this, that; it don't matter. There's nothing you can do to me that Castro has not done."
With 1.9% growth the economy of Communist Cuba is growing faster than the U.S.
We are through the looking glass people. The politics of the world has gone insane.
Former Communists in Russia, Romania, China and Hungary have embraced capitalism and in the process created millions of jobs, a middle class and wealth. Meanwhile U.S. political hacks are doing a 100 yard mad dash toward a Socialist Worker's Paradise of Big Brother Government, worthless paper money, massive debt, a shrinking middle class and unemployment.
|We live in a Through the Looking Glass world|
where Communists are "Conservative" and
so-called Conservatives are becoming Communist.
In this Alice in Wonderland world Communists are the Conservatives and Republicans and Democrats are the Communists. See our article The Federalist - THE FLAT TAX: Communists are more Conservative than Republicans.
Now Communist Cuba is joining the Capitalist club.
Cuba has embarked on a far-reaching experiment to salvage its depleted and, until now, tightly regulated Marxist economy. By significantly expanding permits for Cubans to open their own businesses and hire workers, the Communist government has launched the island on its most remarkable change in years, an expansion of free enterprise that was unthinkable when Fidel Castro was in full control, says the Los Angeles Times.
But his more pragmatic younger brother, Raul, who formally took over in 2008, has ordered a long list of reforms that include slashing the state workforce by up to 1 million people, eliminating many of the subsidies that dominated life here and, most recently, promising to ease travel off the island by Cubans.
Change, of course, comes in fits and starts. Most Cubans probably have yet to feel much in the way of new prosperity, and many among the emerging crop of fledgling entrepreneurs continue to complain of burdensome red tape and the taxes they are required to pay. With credit virtually nonexistent, most must scramble for other sources of capital, such as remittances from relatives in the United States or Europe.
Cuba's economic experiment has the potential to transform its society. The new policy creates jobs, circulates money and stirs a new mentality that values quality and competition. It will not completely remake the economy, however, because for the most part the new work involves services and not production.
New Businesses Open Everywhere
As of July 19, according to Deputy Labor Minister Carlos Mateu, more than 325,900 Cubans had taken out licenses to open, run or work at private businesses involving nearly 200 designated activities, including hairstyling, carpentry, shoemaking and dance instruction.
Another important change is that proprietors no longer have to hire only relatives; with the proper license, they can employ any Cuban.
Nowhere is the boom bigger than in restaurants. The Cuban government first permitted privately run eateries, known as paladares, from the Spanish word for "palate," in the difficult 1990s, when the nation was reeling from the collapse of the Soviet empire and the loss of its major sponsor. But the paladares operated with crippling restrictions, and only the hardiest survived.
|Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have taken out licenses|
to open businesses and become Capitalists.
Today you can easily find choices varying from the simplest pizza to true gourmet dining. By a rough estimate, more than 100 restaurants have opened in recent months.
Roberto Robaina, unceremoniously dumped as foreign minister in 1999, has just opened the doors on his Chaplain Cafe, where customers sit on white wrought-iron furniture and nibble salmon-stuffed cucumber rolls on black china.
"I wanted to do something different," Robaina said. Dedicated to painting after leaving government (and being expelled from the Communist Party), Robaina has decorated the restaurant in a former mansion with some of his artworks.
Bom Apetite is a restaurant that has been around since the '90s but is now expanding in leaps and bounds to accommodate a growing clientele, said manager Adrian Riera. The menu includes items once prohibited, such as shrimp and lobster, he said, and they are adding on a bar with capacity for 40 people that will serve wine and tapas until 3 a.m.
"We are now something really professional," Riera said, pausing from a meeting with the president of the Cuban Sommeliers Assn. (yes, there is such a thing). "Private businesses are no longer just a family matter. We are moving into another category."
Several people buy clothing at a private shop set up in the colonnade of an old building in Havana.
The Castro government has said it plans by the end of the year to begin allowing Cubans to buy and sell residential real estate. In keeping with one of the pillars of the revolution, Cubans have been allowed only to swap property in an informal street-corner transaction called a permuta, and no money can change hands. The goal was to prevent fat-cat speculation by absentee landlords who fled to Miami, and the result has been a critical housing shortage.
Under the new rules, Cubans on the island and permanent residents will be permitted to own homes, though no more than one per individual; both sellers and buyers will pay taxes.
Raul Castro, whose economic program was endorsed in June by the Cabinet, has indicated that he has been encouraged by initial results, including 1.9% growth in the gross domestic product for the first six months of the year.
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