New Year's Day marks 50 years of communist rule in Cuba. The Castro oligarchy will trumpet its survival and celebrate. But the reality, up close, is that it's the longest-running failure in the New World.
Spare us the fireworks and media-parroted claims of Fidel Castro's dictatorship bringing universal health care and education to Cuba. The real story is that a prosperous Cuba was turned into ruins in just five decades.
Its inflation-adjusted gross domestic product is a mere 5% of what it was in 1958, the year before Castro took over, according to Jorge Salazar-Carillo of Florida International University.
"It's a major failure," Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a University of Pittsburgh economist, told IBD. "Cuba is unable to increase food production to meet its needs and now imports 84% of its food. Cuba produced 7 million tons of sugar in 1952. This year, it's 1.5 million tons. This is the result of economic policy of collectivization, killing of individual incentive, inefficiency, constant changes of policy."
see also this old post of mine: Canada's love affair with Cuba