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learnedly read, too; in part, of intellectual rigor
Posted Thursday, September 9, 2010
- Fidel Castro told a visiting American journalist that Cuba's communist
economic model doesn't work, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who
has conspicuously steered clear of local issues since stepping down four years
|Report: Castro says Cuban
model doesn't work
|By Paul Haven,
|Associated Press Writer
The fact that things are not working efficiently on this cash-strapped
Caribbean island is hardly news. Fidel's brother Raul, the country's president,
has said the same thing repeatedly. But the blunt assessment by the father of
Cuba's 1959 revolution is sure to raise eyebrows.
Jeffrey Goldberg, a national
correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked if Cuba's economic system was
still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: "The Cuban model
doesn't even work for us anymore" Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his
He said Castro made the comment casually over lunch following a
long talk about the Middle East, and did not elaborate. The Cuban government had
no immediate comment on Goldberg's account.
Since stepping down from power in
2006, the ex-president has focused almost entirely on international affairs and
said very little about Cuba and its politics, perhaps to limit the perception he
is stepping on his brother's toes. Goldberg, who traveled to Cuba at Castro's
invitation last week to discuss a recent Atlantic article he wrote about Iran's
nuclear program, also reported on Tuesday that Castro questioned his own actions
during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, including his recommendation to Soviet
leaders that they use nuclear weapons against the United States.
Even after the
fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba has clung to its communist system. The state
controls well over 90 percent of the economy, paying workers salaries of about
$20 a month in return for free health care and education, and nearly free
transportation and housing. At least a portion of every citizen's food needs are
sold to them through ration books at heavily subsidized prices. President Raul
Castro and others have instituted a series of limited economic reforms, and have
warned Cubans that they need to start working harder and expecting less from the
government. But the president has also made it clear he has no desire to depart
from Cuba's socialist system or embrace capitalism. Fidel Castro stepped down
temporarily in July 2006 due to a serious illness that nearly killed him.
resigned permanently two years later, but remains head of the Communist Party.
After staying almost entirely out of the spotlight for four years, he re-emerged
in July and now speaks frequently about international affairs. He has been
warning for weeks of the threat of a nuclear war over Iran. Castro's interview
with Goldberg is the only one he has given to an American journalist since he
___ On the Web: http://www.theatlantic.com/jeffrey-goldberg/
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