“Tragedy of the Commons” in Cuba

An estimated 10% of Cuba’s population is believed to have left the country for the United States, with many making a dangerous crossing in the open sea using makeshift rafts to escape Fidel Castro’s regime.

Average monthly salaries sit at an abysmal $25 a month. Far lower than the $7,643 GDP per capita for Central America, and even further below the $11,586 per capita income for all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Despite recent reforms, Cuba is struggling to fund ​the burdensome weight of the island’s socialist programs. ​ Even the island’s much lauded government provided health care has suffered setbacks, especially when Fidel Castro escaped the system he created to seek care in Spain in 2007.

Even worse, while data on the subject is unclear, estimates of deaths under Castro’s iron rule range from four thousand, to as high as thirty three thousand deaths since the start of his revolution.

Exploring the foundation of ​t​he nation’s decay, ​​Jose Azel, Senior scholar at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, examines the underlying ​ideology which has propagated a dystopia on the island, despite ​Fidel Castro’s revolution promising ​a new paradigm of equality and progress, in his article, “Cuba: A Tragedy of the Commons” at the PanAm Post.

​​”Economic history shows that individual owners take better care of their own property than they do of common property. And yet, the utopian chase of the commons and its attendant governmental controls persists.

On the eve of the Cuban Revolution about 80 percent of Cuba’s arable land was under cultivation (or used for grazing) and domestic production supplied 70 percent of the country’s food consumption. The comparable figures today are 60 percent and 20 percent respectively.”

Continue reading Jose Azel’s articel at the PanAm Post

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