Socialistic System

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Currently, Cuba is socialistic county with 90% of the economic activity controlled by the government (over 75% are employed by the government).  However, it is transitioning into an economy with an increasingly private component.  The average monthly wage for government workers is equivalent to 20 US dollars.  It varies by occupation, but the highest paid (doctors and policemen) get only $40/month.

However, education (at all levels), medical care, and housing are free.  Although food is subsidized, limited healthy food is available.  Medical care and education are excellent.  From and early age, a student can get special training in music, art, dance, science, and sports.  They even have a school where a student can specialize in circus performance.  All students must first meet high academic standards.

This situation makes anything imported beyond the reach of most Cubans, especially autos.  To get foreign currency, Cuba relies on tourism, cigar sales, and taxes.

Since the US embargo (1960), no new autos from the US have entered Cuba.  What you see are lots of 1959 and earlier models.  The 1958 Chevy is very popular.


Some are clunkers and some look showroom new.

Most of the US autos are used as taxies, and most have new retro-fitted diesel engines.

It is illegal to export a car from Cuba.

In Havana, there are many cars, but a also lot of foot-pedal taxies.


In smaller cities, it's mostly foot-pedal taxies, bicycles, horse drawn wagons, and few autos.

High school students practicing circus acts.

Cuban cigars are famous around the world.  A single top quality Cuban cigar can cost over a thousand dollars.

Tobacco drying barn.



Some fruits, such as bananas, are also exported.