According to a recent report from the BBC, Cuba is ready to open its economy to private enterprise, signaling the defeat of communism in the island nation. This is a significant change in the policy of an economy that has been controlled primarily by the state for decades, dating back to when Fidel Castro rose to power in the 1950s.
In the major announcement, Cuban Labor Minister Marta Elena Feito Cabrera confirmed that the list of authorized economic activities has jumped from 127 to over 2,000. The state will only control a small number of sectors under the new guidelines. While Cabrera did not say what sectors will still be governed by the state, she confirmed that it would only be 124 activities.
Why the Change in Position?
According to the report, Cuba’s struggling economy has been negatively affected by both the COVID-19 global pandemic and the sanctions put in place by the administration of former President Donald Trump. The state-controlled economy shrank by 11% in 2020, representing its biggest reduction in output in nearly three decades. Because of this, Cubans have experienced a severe shortage of goods.
Cuba Moves Away From Communism as U.S. Shifts Toward Socialism
What is ironic is that the government of Cuba is clearly shifting away from the communism model while left-leaning members of Congress in the United States are shifting toward socialism as a viable option.
How U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, react to this shift in thinking in one of the last Soviet holdouts will be interesting. Is there a chance that Cuba could become more capitalistic than the United States?