Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cuban Success vs. Emigration

At Latin America Goes Global Gabriel Salvia asks a very logical question. If, as we hear from both international agencies and the Cuban government, the country offers a very high level of services such as in health and education, why do so many people want to leave and why do other Latin American countries block those migrants?

He dismisses the argument that the embargo has something to do with it, which I assume would be the primary answer for someone defending the advances of the Cuban Revolution. It would be useful, however, to explain that part more. Like many other Latin American countries, Cuba is heavily dependent economically. If it's blocked off from the U.S. market, that hurts. How much is an empirical question rather than an ideological one.


shah8 3:19 PM  

Reading the google translate, I sort of see this as silly, mostly because I think that Cuba essentially suffers from the same problems as the entire Carribean basin. High cost of imports, poor ag policies, low commodity prices for what cash crops can be grown or mined, high losses to storms, and crisis in refinery profits in some areas. It practically doesn't even matter just how developed these countries are or how. Bahamas, Caymans, Bermuda, Barbados, Puerto Rico, T&T, no matter how high per capita incomes, or whether they make money from US transfers/remittances, oil refinering, oil/gas, finance, or tourism, the people in all of these places are suffering from extremely stagnant (or worse) economies.

The constant focus on ideology, and particularly anti-left ideology (since the left at least talks about many of the problems even if they're cynical/incompetent), especially via technocratic anti-democratic lens that constantly insults economic policy competence without any regard for political affordances, tends to overshadow more pertinent and productive conversations about the actual problems. Of course, this would quickly point the finger to oligopolistic dynamics, which while not nearly the whole problems, aggravates the consequences.

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