Cuba Fort

Going to Cuba

The most remarkable aspect of the Cuban economy is how many countries and companies want to invest. There are Chinese cars on the road and Spanish hotels available to stay in. Australian industry and Russian equipment are a constant presence. Yet the “socialist” government still rules totally. Average wages remain at $20 per month. Economically, it’s hard to see how foreign investment in private enterprise or even domestic investment in infrastructure will make a difference in the daily lives of Cubans when wages are limited and food staples are literally rationed.

That being said, the major policy shifts announced by the Cuban leadership in the past few years to leave room for optimism. Private ownership of cars and homes and (some) freedom to travel are big political changes. Adjusting the ability of foreign companies to pay Cuban workers fairer wages might be a good next step towards economic growth for the island.

Things I’ve Noticed

1) People pick their noses in public here.

2) The streets are generally free of litter… but also free of public trash cans.

3) Most of the time, the people who say hi to you on the street actually just want to say hello.

4) The sun is stronger closer to the equator.

5) Infrastructure exists, and could obviously be significantly better, but it exists.

6) Resources seem plentiful.

7) The scenery is breathtaking.