Sunday, June 15, 2008

Voting with their feet

After weeks of breathlessly reporting about Raul Castro's "unprecedented reforms" in Cuba, it seems some international media outlets may be beginning to reconsider.

According to an article in today's edition of The Times in London, it appears that "initial optimist" about Castro II and his supposed economic changes "is fading as his new freedoms make little impact on the poor".

Really? Who would have thought?

"The younger Castro has won international attention for a series of eye-catching reforms that seemingly marked the beginning of the end of the rigid communist orthodoxy bequeathed by his 81-year-old brother," the paper says.

"Yet the lifting of bans on mobile phones, improved access to computers and other consumer goods, and the removal of unpopular restrictions on wages and foreign currency have so far had a limited impact on a poor population reeling from the effects of rising fuel and food prices."

In fact, the number of Cubans fleeing the island illegally is on the rise, prompting The Times to conclude that, well, Cubans are still "voting with their feet".


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