Sunday, February 05, 2006

Trouble In Utopia

Government drive against Cuba's reviled 'new rich' mainly hits average Cubans

President Fidel Castro is pursuing a campaign against Cuba's "new rich," accusing them of corruption and moral decay in his quest to erase class differences threatening the utopian ideals of his communist regime.

Violators face possible jail time and loss of state jobs as the government tries to eliminate a thriving black market that supplies Cubans and tourists with everything from gasoline and cooking oil to illicit meals of lobster served in small, private restaurants.

Yet "rich" is a mushy term on an island where state pay averages just $12 US a month - a wage virtually impossible to live on even with heavily subsidized government services and mostly free housing. Many of Castro's targets are simply poor Cubans who steal from the state to make ends meet. More @ CP


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