According to a commentary published in the latest edition of Latin Business Chronicle, the Chinese certainly think so.
The article is written by Loro Horta, a Singapore-based graduate of the National Defence University of the People’s Liberation Army, who appears to be well connected with the Chinese hierarchy.
Mr Horta argues that Castro II became a convert to the Chinese model during an extensive, nine-day visit to China about three years ago when the would-be dictator was gobsmacked by the frenetic economic activity he witnessed.
Since then, relations between the two countries have grown rapidly and the Chinese have been sending hundreds of economic advisers to Cuba to help out in transport, finance and construction.
“The main objective of this arrangement is to prepare Cuban bureaucrats to run Cuba’s ailing state enterprises in a more effective manner while also giving them the skills to limit the fall-out of privatisation and its resulting workers layout,” Mr Horta writes.
At the same time, he adds, advisers are also helping the Cuban Communist Party to “re-brand itself”.
It appears the apparatchiks in Havana have been advised to “put more emphasis on issues such as nationalism and economic growth instead of ideological rhetoric and anti-American tirades that harm business”.
But perhaps the most telling aside in the article comes in the revelation that during his Chinese study trip, Castro II became quite a fan of Peking duck – he ate it all the time, including for breakfast.
Read the article here.