Cuba: An Emerging Capitalistic Nation?

Clarissa Garcia, Staff Writer

Imagine you are engaging in a conversation about countries and their economic standing. The nation of Cuba is mentioned; what is your input? Normally, one would respond by saying that Cuba is a poor nation where its people are dependent on the $20 that they earn each month; they rely on subsidized food, housing and transportation to remain afloat. While this claim is plausible for the majority of the Cuban citizenry, there is a rising class of affluent artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs in the island.  

After receiving such unfamiliar information, one would then assume that in order for these industries to develop, monetary assistance would be a must. Thus, the question that lies would be: where is this money coming from? According to Lilian Trania, an economist who works for the local offices of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, she predicts that “some may have relatives sending money from abroad.” This forecast seems probable since some Cubans benefit from relatives abroad, sending back an annual estimate of $2.6 billion.

Even though the country falls short in its expectations of being a “consumer paradise,” with these expanding industries, Cubans can now enjoy spending their money on privately run bars and clubs, such as El Cocinero. Also, they can attain access to luxuries that other nations deem as necessities. With the exception of home improvements (a vital component to a standard way of living), Cubans can purchase trips to vacation houses, smartphones and Xboxes (devices imported for resale by islanders going abroad) as well.

Initially, only foreigners could afford the commodities mentioned above, but now they are accompanied by 440,000 small business owners and employees who can willingly do the same. Working for a foreign company herself, Trania is a prime example of a Cuban who is working hard. These entrepreneurs can lounge in their butterfly chairs, sip on some mojitos, and discuss art, politics, and culture.

Other than entrepreneurs, artists and musicians cannot be forgotten. Currently, these individuals are part of an art-world elite class. In other words, an artist can sell a single painting for thousands of dollars and a musician can perform overseas and make hundreds of times more than they would make in the Cuban nation.

Now take this into account: What if there were already many Cubans who were wealthy, but kept quiet for such a long time? Julio Carillo, a screenwriter, reminisced about how he and friends would get together and would go to one another’s houses for dinner or bring alcoholic beverages for a house party. But with the latest places of attraction opening, like that of El Cocinero, Carillo claims that Cubans feel more comfortable displaying their wealth since it is slowly becoming part of the country’s new way of life.

Clarissa Garcia is a Staff Writer for Latino Giant. She is a college freshman currently Undecided at American University, but leaning to the Education field, looking into Secondary Education.

Source: Fox News Latino