Protests in Cuba: Poverty and Communism (China and Vietnam)

Protests in Cuba: Poverty and Communism (China and Vietnam)

Sawako Utsumi and Michiyo Ando

Modern Tokyo Times

Recent protests in Cuba against the endless cycle of poverty for many citizens who feel alienated by the power mechanisms of this nation – are a sign of increasing disillusionment. China and Vietnam, one-party communist states that preserve political power decade after decade, introduced economic measures several decades ago to provide fresh stimulus.

However, Cuba seems unable to restructure. Hence, the revolutionary slogans of the past have little meaning. Therefore, the endless brain drain continues because the ruling party cannot restructure the economy.

The communist nations of China and Vietnam put economics first and focused on attracting international capital. Cuba and Venezuela seem unable to restructure their respective economies. Instead, political rhetoric is focused on “power concentration” at all costs in Cuba and Venezuela – while stagnation blights economic development along with the infrastructure.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba said it is our duty “to attend to the complaints of our people, listen, dialogue, explain the numerous efforts that are being carried out to improve the situation.”

Ordinary Cubans can’t afford to waste energy on rhetoric. Instead, they focus on survival concerning foodstuffs, medicine, and difficulties during blackouts.

The BBC reports, “Earlier this month, the government imposed an eye-watering price hike on fuel as part of its economic recovery plan – meaning fuel that is available costs more than five times as much as before.”

AP News reports, “Cuba is facing one of the worst economic and energy crises in its history. Waves of blackouts have grown worse in recent weeks, adding to frustrations over food shortages and inflation that have made it increasingly difficult to make ends meet on the communist-governed island. Hundreds of thousands of people have migrated, with many headed to the United States.”

Voice of America reports, “Cuba’s failure to modernize its economy as China or Vietnam have done is at the root of the problem, said Rogelio Nuñez, a professor of Latin American studies at the Real Elcano Institute, a Madrid think tank.”

It seems that everything is static politically and economically in Cuba. At the same time, the tightening of more sanctions by America is hurting an already weak economy.

Lee Jay Walker says, “It is difficult to envisage Cuba following a model similar to China or Vietnam in the short-term – where the ruling elites focus on a ‘socialist-orientated market economy’ – and attracting foreign capital along with students studying in high numbers in America and other advanced nations.” 

Overall, the situation looks bleak for the people of Cuba under the prevailing conditions. Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi and her website – Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News