Friday, January 2, 2009

Odds and ends

  • Hadn’t seen this before – Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart is quoted in this El Nuevo Herald column saying that while he supports maintaining sanctions against Cuba, “this does not mean that one cannot talk about the utility of certain measures taken by the Bush Administration in 2004.” (My translation.)

  • AP reports on a Spain-based e-commerce website that allows you to buy gifts for people in Cuba, including meals in the Hotel Palco restaurant and time at the hotel’s pool.


Anonymous said...

the new website from spain, shows how silly is an embargo in which only one country participates.

Thanks for the tip.

leftside said...

The new housing reform is a big one. The ability of Cubans to build and own their own homes can almost be seen as an admission of defeat on the housing front. The hurricanes obviously played a role in diverting labor and materials from the housing program but the plan proved ambitious.

This reform will test what I have always considered the biggest barrier to many economic reforms in Cuba - the ability of people in (or with connections to) Miami to take over. It is not hard to forsee a huge shadow housing market, with foreign money footing the bill (this is common many place). We will see how Cuba deals with that side-effect. If Cubans will be able to buy building materials with pesos that will be an important distinction.