Another step toward capitalism in Cuba

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Cuba’s plan to lay off half a million state workers is another bid to save its economy through gradual but strictly controlled reforms that lean toward, if not fully embrace, capitalism, Tracy Wilkinson reports in The Times.

Since it lost its chief patron when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the tiny Communist nation has struggled to sustain itself in a globalizing market economy. Recent help from Venezuela, the Cuban revolution’s foremost cheerleader in Latin America, “can’t last forever,” Wilkinson writes.

Under the new plan, unproductive or overpaid state workers will be let go and allowed to enter into small mom-and-pop-style businesses. Lack of expertise and resources stirs doubt about how successful the plan might be, but a similar program for taxi drivers suggests that there's money to be had for the average Cuban.

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