“Rumors and forecasts of an imminent collapse of our economy with a return to the acute phase of the Special Period … have started to appear,”Castro said according to a copy of his speech provided by the country’s official news agency Prensa Latina.Foreign journalists are barred from the assembly.He was referring to the years after Cuba’s biggest benefactor, the Soviet Union, collapsed. During that time, in the early 1990s, Cubans had to cope with widespread power outages and food shortages.“We cannot deny there will be some impact, including worse than currently, but we are prepared and in better conditions than then to revert it.”
One of the main reasons perestroika failed was because it wasn’t tried.During his six years in power, Gorbachev introduced at least 10 programs for the “radical restructuring” of the Soviet economy, not a one of which was implemented.Instead, economic reform was limited to inconsistent and incoherent half-measures.The law on individual economic activity, the law on state enterprises, and the various price-reform proposals, for example, amounted to nothing more than half-measures incapable of producing the desired economic results even if they were implemented in an ideal environment.Conceptually, economic reform is a fairly simple matter.Private property in resources must be established and protected by a rule of law; consumer and producer subsidies must be eliminated; prices must be freed to adjust to the forces of supply and demand; responsible fiscal policy should be pursued that keeps taxation to a minimum and reins in deficit financing; and a sound currency must be established.Introducing such reforms — even within Western economies — is anything but simple.And the major problem is not just a conceptual one of designing the appropriate sequence or plan of reform.
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