Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Oh no -- Castro says Cuba's government control of economy no longer works
Could it be? Has the world's foremost nonconformist thrown in the red towel? That's certainly what it seemed like this week with news that Fidel Castro, the former ruler of Cuba whose 1959 revolution toppled a U.S.-backed dictator and whose Communist government proved a thorn in the side of every U.S. president since Eisenhower, said his country's economic model would have to be changed. Castro, who ceded power to his brother, Raul Castro, in 2006 because of failing health, made the statements to a reporter from The Atlantic magazine, according to Cable News Network (CNN). "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore," Castro said in the interview, CNN said. The 84-year-old Castro's remarks might be an endorsement of changes undertaken by his brother, who has expanded private enterprise for farmers and barbers in Cuba and has warned his citizenry that they should work harder and expect less from the government. Cuba's centrally controlled economy pays workers around $20 a day but guarantees free health care and education, and nearly free housing and transportation.