As Cuba Opens Up, Castro Hits Corruption
Free market reforms require crackdown, say Cuba officials
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2011 2:35 PM CST
In this Aug. 1, 2009 file photo, President Raul Castro attends a session of the National Assembly of Popular Power, Cuba's Legislature, in Havana, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

(Newser) – Cuba is in the midst of one of its biggest anti-corruption crackdowns in years, with Raul Castro jailing foreigners and kicking out scores of small companies even as he institutes free market reforms. But many are wondering if the crackdown will cure or kill the patient, reports the AP. "It's like an earthquake," said one non-Cuban business consultant. "It is a time of opportunity, but also great risk because of what is happening: the arrests, the closures."

Many foreign business leaders say they are being targeted. There have been at least six corruption probes targeting foreign companies over the past two years, sending 52 foreigners to jail and expelling more than 150 business owners and operators. But even high-ranking Cubans have been swept up in the current crackdown, including a dozen cigar manufacturer executives, 14 civil aviation executives, and a former food industries minister who was sentenced to 15 years in prison. "If you are going to undertake a profound change in the Cuban economy," says a Cuban economist, "you must take this problem on with great force."

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Truth777
Nov 25, 2011 12:10 AM CST
Castro = Corruption & Oppression Fidel and Raul Castro are insignificant. Jesus accomplished more during his time on earth.
cheongyei
Nov 21, 2011 12:26 AM CST
What do those who have been trying to do business in Cuba expect from socialists, marxists and communists. There has never been a marxist regime that could be trusted, ever. Never, ever, never! The soviet failure in eastern Europe exposed their system a decade ago. Do these naive folks expect the Castro regime to be any better than Kenyan-marxist Obyango's regime here??
n230099
Nov 20, 2011 6:48 PM CST
"If you are going to undertake a profound change in the Cuban economy," says a Cuban economist, "you must take this problem on with great force." I thought the 'profound change' happened back in 59. Did that not turn out so well?