Mark Perry — Cuba’s Farms: From State-Run to Private

GOOD NEWS: Faced with the smothering inefficiencies of a state-run economy and unable to feed his people without massive imports of food, Cuban leader Raúl Castro has put his faith in compatriots like Esther Fuentes and his little farm out in the sticks.
If Cuba is searching for its New New Man, then Fuentes might be him. The Cuban government, in its most dramatic reform since Castro took over for his ailing older brother Fidel three years ago, is offering private farmers such as Fuentes the use of fallow state lands to grow crops — for a profit. Capitalism comes to the communist isle? Not quite, but close. Raúl Castro prefers to call it “a new socialist model.” But Fuentes gets to pocket some extra cash.

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