Cuba seeks own path of development, without capitalism

Cuba

While both China and Cuba are communist-led, China has a thriving market economy, while Cuba has only recently begun economic reforms. But despite a pledge to normalize relations with the United States, Cuba is not looking to copy the Chinese model. CCTV America’s Latin America correspondent Michael Voss reported this story from Havana.

Cuba seeks own path of development, without capitalism

While both China and Cuba are communist-led, China has a thriving market economy, while Cuba has only recently begun economic reforms. But despite a pledge to normalize relations with the United States, Cuba is not looking to copy the Chinese model. CCTV America's Latin America correspondent Michael Voss reported this story from Havana.

There are some notable changes on the streets of Havana these days. Thousands of small, privately-run businesses, from simple fruit sellers, to fine dining restaurants are competing for customers.

But unlike China, larger enterprises, such as factories and telecommunications remain firmly in the state’s hands.

“The Chinese model, as far as I understand it, is a one-party system that is building a market economy. Cuba is not building a market economy. Cuba needs more investment and more technology but to develop economic growth we don’t need to get back to capitalism. We don’t need a highly in-egalitarian and unequal society,” Cuban political analyst Rafael Hernandez said.

At the sixth Communist Party Congress in 2011, President Raul Castro, accompanied by his retired elder brother Fidel, launched the first major overhaul of Cuba’s Soviet-era economic model.

President Castro has opted for a gradual reform process with no sudden shifts that could lead to large-scale unemployment or social unrest.

The Cuban model aims at making the state sector work more efficiently while opening the door to foreign investment. A tax-free special development zone is also under construction around the new container port at Mariel.

Several Chinese companies are also looking at joint ventures there to produce and export Cuban-developed pharmaceuticals. But many other potential foreign investors are waiting to see just how business-friendly Cuba is and whether they can make a profit here.