Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cuba opening up economically, but remains bolted shut on democratic reforms

Cuba opening up economically, but remains bolted shut on democratic reforms
Published June 22, 2015 Fox News Latino

While Cuba has seen several economic reforms, including entrepreneurial
opportunities for its citizens, under President Raul Castro much of the
censorship and oppression that has characterized the Communist regimes
of the Castro brothers still remains.

According to the Washington Post, this year, when the U.S. and Cuba have
been moving toward normalizing diplomatic relations and opening up trade
and travel, dozens of artists, activists and dissidents have been
arrested and detained.

"Money is not going to solve Cuba," said Tania Bruguera, an artist who
is a Cuban national and who made headlines in December when Cuban
authorities arrested her after she planned a performance in Havana's
Revolution Plaza that was focused on freedom of expression.

"People can actually live their fantasy in Cuba. But because of that,
because the government knows that, and because the government is
providing that, it's giving the key to access that kingdom to anyone who
is going to behave well," Bruguera told the Post. "And that counts for
foreigners, for businessmen, for foreign press, for artists, anybody,"
said the 46-year-old artist, whose passport is still confiscated by the
Cuban government.

Obama administration officials respond to criticism about its overtures
to the Raul Castro regime – Cuba's reluctance to move toward giving its
people more freedom – by saying that such change cannot happen
overnight, and that more frequent exchanges between Cubans and Americans
can slowly force democratic reforms on the island.

Cuban officials, by contrast, seem to be focusing on using the easing of
U.S. trade and travel restrictions as something that can benefit the
island's economy, and by extension the government, without the Castro
regime making any real political changes, the Post said.

Cubans on the island express hope that both things can happen with
better U.S.-Cuba relations, but they are skeptical.

The Post cites an Univision/Fusion poll in April that showed that a
slight majority of Cubans wish they lived in another country, that 70
percent would like to have their own business, and that 75 percent are
afraid to express their true opinion in public.

Javier Nuñez Florian, a Cuban actor now residing in Las Vegas, says he
is hopeful that many things will improve in his country, though it won't
be dramatic or large.

"The U.S. is meeting in the middle, little by little getting closer to
Cuba, and Cuba the same," he is quoted as saying in the Post. "Little by
little everything is changing for the better."

Source: Cuba opening up economically, but remains bolted shut on
democratic reforms | Fox News Latino -

No comments:

Post a Comment