Cuba’s Fidel Castro Says His Country’s Economic Model No Longer Works

September 9, 2010 7:40 am 1 comment

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Former Cuban head of state Fidel Castro.

Today in Latin America

Top Story – A U.S. journalist surprised observers Wednesday by reporting that former Cuban head of state Fidel Castro no longer has enough confidence in the Cuban economic model to export it.

During an interview with Atlantic Magazine correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg, Castro said the Cuban economic model “doesn’t even work for us anymore.”

As The Associated Press noted, Castro’s comments are not newsworthy because the idea is novel — Fidel’s brother and current President Raúl Castro has criticized the country’s communist economic system and has been introducing reforms.

But Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution that came to power in 1959 and installed a communist system in the 1960s, had not previously spoken so candidly about the viability of the country’s economic model. According to AP, in recent years he has rarely spoken about domestic issues at all.

Golberg’s post to The Atlantic’s Web site was cited widely by the mainstream media, but Cuba scholar Julia Sweig, who accompanied Goldberg on his recent visit to interview Castro, had a different take.

According to Goldberg, Sweig said “(Castro) wasn’t rejecting the ideas of the Revolution. I took it to be an acknowledgment that under ‘the Cuban model’ the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country.”

Castro contacted Jeffrey Goldberg to discuss a recent feature he had written for The Atlantic about how the U.S. and Israel view the prospect of Iranian nuclear capability. It was the first time that Castro had given an interview to a U.S. journalist since falling ill in 2006, according to AP.

Golberg has also written this post about the interview with Castro, and plans to write a larger piece for the print edition of the magazine.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

  • An explosion ripped through a major Mexican refinery on Tuesday, killing one worker and pushing gasoline and diesel prices higher on worries state oil monopoly Pemex will have to import more fuel.
  • Tens of thousands of people have abandoned their homes across southern Mexico to escape flooding from weeks of torrential rains, and forecasts are predicting even more rainfall. The situation worsened for some areas Tuesday when authorities began releasing 2,000 cubic meters (71,000 cubic feet) of water every second from four dams whose reservoirs were filled to capacity. The surge caused several rivers to overflow.
  • The authorities in Mexico say they believe they have found the bodies of two officials investigating the killing of 72 foreign migrants last month. Prosecutor Roberto Suárez Vázquez and Juan Carlos Suárez Sánchez, a top security official, went missing two weeks ago in the state of Tamaulipas.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists said attacks on the press in Mexico represent a “national crisis” that demands “a full-scale federal response.” The New York-based press group says that eight of 22 journalists killed since President Felipe Calderón took office in 2006 were murdered in reprisal for their work.

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Image: Carololine @ Flickr.

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1 Comment

  • Let Fidel keep talking….for once he is making sense…AND gets his point across in under 5 hours!

    Que Viva Cuba Libre!

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