As the Cuban economy continues to stagnate, the Cuban labor unions announced today that up to 20% of the workers on the island nation would soon be losing their jobs. The move comes after decades of little to no economic growth and no trade relations with their largest neighbor, the US.
Laid off workers are going to be encouraged to become entrepreneurs or to work for other private companies. I suppose the upside of running a dictatorship is that you can have the unions not only announce the layoffs, but you can get them to support it as well.
In conjunction with the announced layoffs, the government is liberalizing its policy with regards to private companies, making it easier for them to do business. The expected changes should bring in much more revenue for the Cuban government.
I find it ‘interesting.’ Cuba decides to do this 21 years after the fall of communism in Europe, and 30 years after China embraces capitalism. And, we may do well to finally drop our embargo against Cuba. We’ve had it in place since the early 1960s. It hasn’t worked. And I don’t see the utility of keeping a policy in place that not only doesn’t work, but prevents American companies from expanding into Cuba, making money and creating jobs, both here and there.