Cuba Is Reforming, But Not Nearly Enough

After a week of visiting Cuba in early February with a group of former U.S. Ambassadors, I was both impressed — and appalled.  Change is definitely under way in Cuba — with small businesses being allowed to start up in a few sectors of the economy and people are allowed to buy and sell home and autos for the first time in 53 years.  But over half a century of ‘revolution’ have left the country a physical wreck.  Even its vaunted health care system proved remarkably hollow on closer inspection.  And the living conditions of Cubans aren’t visibly different from, and in significant ways appear poorer than, their neighbors in the poorest Caribbean islands — except that, unlike their Caribbean neighbors, Cubans are not at all free.  The irony is: Cuba is changing — economically — precisely to avoid and forestall changing politically.  But that’s precisely the change the Cuba needs: a management change at the top, to relieve the country of the crew that’s been running the show for over half a century.

You can read more in my column at US News and World Report, here.

Philip Hughes G. Philip Hughes draws on a wealth of high-level foreign policy experience in developing and managing message campaigns for international companies.

More articles by Philip Hughes