• Frank Gonzalez


Updated: Feb 6, 2020


Since President Trump announced a reversal of President Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba, the Cuban press constantly points out that the U.S. is the cause of Cuba’s economic woes. One out of every five stories in print includes a reference to the U.S. embargo, which is referred to in every instance as “the U.S. economic, financial and commercial blockade against Cuba.” The Cuban leadership loves having an adversarial relationship with the U.S. not only as an excuse for the lack of progress on the island but also to justify its’ existence as the guarantor of Cuban “independence.”

A cold snap hit the northeastern coast of Cuba on Tuesday night and temperatures dropped to fifty degrees Fahrenheit, cold for Cuba and the lowest daytime temperatures in five years.

Gasoline and diesel fuel are once again in short supply throughout Havana, and long lines or no fuel at the pumps is the norm.

A Cuban government-owned company in Ciego de Avila Province exported over twenty-one thousand pounds of charcoal to Europe in 2019, with a wholesale value of seven million dollars. The company claims to have exported 267,000 tons of charcoal worth over 100 million dollars since 2005. An article in the same January 21, 2020 edition of Granma states that Cuba has the lowest unemployment rate in the world. According to the article Cuba has 1.2% unemployment, but I would guess the real unemployment rate at closer to 25%, with half of all workers being underemployed. (Granma Jan. 21, 2020)

A meat processing plant opened in the Mariel “Special Development Zone this week. The plant is supposedly 100% owned by Mexican company Richmeat and will be able to process four-hundred tons of meat a month which will be sold in Cuban government stores.

Seven of Cuba’s sixteen baseball teams will have new managers in the upcoming season, it seems spending several months in the summer riding buses around the island for forty dollars a month has lost its allure.

By Frank Gonzalez

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