Economic management, Castro style
The Cuban Minister for Economic Affairs, Jose Luis Rodriguez, has announced that the island's economy has grown by a staggering 12.5 per cent so far this year.
That’s right: 12.5 per cent. Amazing, no?
If the figures were accurate, it would mean Cuba was growing at a faster rate than even China, which is expecting growth for 2006 of 10.48 per cent, as you can read here.
But of course, the figures produced by Rodriguez are meaningless because the Castro regime uses a different methodology to measure economic growth to that used everywhere else in the world. It’s all made up.
You know, like comparing mangoes with guayabas.
Of much more interest is the fact that the minister made his announcement during a ceremony to mark the day back in 1959 when Castro appointed Ernesto "Che" Guevara president of the Central Bank of Cuba.
Now, even his most ardent followers would admit that the terms "Guevara" and "good economic management" are mutually exclusive. After all, this is the man who said he wanted to abolish the very concept of money.
In fact, during his brief tenure as chief monetary overlord and later as Minister for Industry, the Argentinean-born doctor set Cuba on a disastrous economics course from which the island is yet to recover 47 years later. A catastrophe, in other words.
But his appointment is still celebrated with much fanfare by the regime.
Perhaps it’s all a big joke?