Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

"It is clear of course that Cuba is far from being a liberal democracy, but to suggest the Raul Castro government reforms are without consequence is difficult to defend.

"Opposition groups, though closely watched, are tolerated, prisoners are being freed, same sex marriages are being legalised, Cubans living in social housing have received titles to their homes, the salary cap has been eliminated, agriculture has been decentralised and hundreds of thousands of hectares of land are being distributed to private farmers.

"In addition, 30 death sentences have been commuted, and capital punishment has been suspended with a view to abolishing it in the long term. Cubans are now allowed to own computers, mobile phones and other consumables and they are also free to stay in tourist hotels. There is talk of cars being put on sale and a market in housing being established.

"Taken together, these changes do amount to more than something cosmetic."

Stephen Wilkinson, from the International Institute for the Study of Cuba at London Metropolitan University, writing in The Guardian about the winds of change in Raul Castro's new Cuba.


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