Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Communist Cuba outsources!

Cuba is a beautiful country where I’ve been fortunate enough to spend some very enjoyable holidays.  Its coastline rivals those of the Maldives and Bahamas and it has a rich history and culture. Its people are warm, friendly and welcoming.  Interestingly, it was, for a short period, part of the British empire until we swapped it with Spain for Florida.  

Nowhere in the world can you replicate the atmosphere of a beautiful beach (or the rustic Floridita bar in Havana) and a live salsa band enjoyed with a factory-fresh Cohiba and a Havana Club mojito.

Cuba is also one of the last bastions of communism.  Pretty much everything is state-owned and there are many disgraceful restrictions placed on its population.  As is inevitably the case with communism, it’s a flawed and dying concept and in Cuba it’s only surviving thanks to Chinese and Venezuelan subsidy filling the vacuum left by the Soviets. 

The situation in Cuba is far from ideal and my fondness of the country is not an endorsement for what goes on there politically and socially.  Tourism helps the population in practical economic and lifestyle terms and I have no doubt the population seeing the freedoms of its visitors helped with the abolition of certain controls.

Things are starting to relax since Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother but, even when he was in charge, Cuba had the sense to outsource in an area where the state was not expert.

Cuba’s hotels are state-owned but even Fidel realised the state could not run them successfully.  So he outsourced the running of them to mainly Spanish and some French hotel chains that do a very good job.  Yes, that’s right, you heard me correctly: a communist country outsources a significant part of a major industry and the companies concerned give the state an income and make a profit for themselves!

If communist Cuba can see the benefits of outsourcing, where does that put Britain’s opponents of it on the political spectrum? 

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