George Walford: Cuba-Libre?

In past issues of IC we have drawn attention to recent events in China and Russia indicating that economic individualism had been only suppressed, not eliminated or even much weakened, by the attempted imposition of socialism or communism. As soon as the pressure was relaxed “private enterprise” began to function again, to the benefit of the great majority as well as the wealthy few. Since economic individualism is a universal trait we have been awaiting similar news from other countries under regimes flying one or another variety of the Marxist banner. We now learn that Cuba had been developing in the expected way and we had failed to hear of it. According to the Sunday Times of 17 Aug 86 there has been in Cuba “a period of economic and political liberalisation.” Markets have been re-established and small farmers encouraged to sell their surplus produce there. Home ownership has been allowed and restaurants run by private families have been re-opening.

But these relaxations are things of the past. The same source reports that, following visits to Moscow and North Korea in the early part of this year, Castro has clamped down again, putting a stop to the liberalisation.

It remains to be seen how enduring will be this renewed attempt to force Cuba towards communism. There seems to be no good reason for expecting it to last any longer, or to be any more successful, than the efforts of the Chinese or Russian rulers.

from Ideological Commentary 24, November 1986.