When I went to China last year, it made me very optimistic about the future for Cuba suddenly. The basic story of China, after all, is that reform works. It works for Chinese people, and it works for the Chinese government too. There’s no reason any government anywhere, authoritarian or otherwise, should feel compelled to stick with total elimination of private property rights. And, indeed, today I read that economic reform in Cuba continues to trundle forward, this time with a government plan to allow for private ownership of real estate.
Keeping all the property government-owned hasn’t changed the fact that desirable dwellings are still in limited supply. It’s merely led to a lot of non-market allocative mechanisms that you can read about along with destroying incentives to maintain property correctly. If the U.S. keeps moving to relax our pointless and counterproductive embargo and the Cuban government keeps moving to relax its pointless and counterproductive curbs on exchange, then the country should have a bright future.
Meanwhile, Daniel Davies argues that Barack Obama is the new Fidel Castro (in a good way).