Notes on Eduardo Mestre's talk about Cuba / By Win Tompkins

Notes on Eduardo Mestre's talk about Cuba

Here Are Notes And Comment About The Sept. 30 Talk By Cuban-American Civic Leader And International Banker Eduardo Mestre By Win Tompkins, A PCFR Member Who Is Working With The Committee As Part Of His Internship Program At Providence’s Met School, Where Win Is A Junior. 

Eduardo Mestre Supports The Direction Of U.S. Policy Toward Cuba. In Particular, He Thinks That The Castro Regime Has Used The American Trade Embargo And Long Lack Of Diplomatic Relations To Justify Its Power. Mr. Mestre Hopes That Now That Diplomatic Relations Have Been Restored, The Embargo Will Be Dropped, Further Accelerating The Opening Up Of The Relatively Isolated Nation  

Mr. Mestre Said That While Cuba Has A High Literacy Rate And Basic Health Care, Most Cubans Are Impoverished Because Of The Economic Disincentives Of The Socialist System And The Related Crumbling Infrastructure. 

He Notes That Unemployment Is Very High, And That Evensuch Professionals As Physicians Are Very Poorly Paid. (Doctors Average $40 A Month.)

Still, Mr. Mestre Believesthat The Social-Safety Net, However Tattered, Is Here To Stay. 

He Also Noted That Russia Has Hardly Been Involved In Cuba’s Economy Or Politics Since The Collapse Of The Soviet Union; Its Influence Is Very Limited These Days

Mr. Mestre Talked About The Importance To Cuba Of Remittances Sent By Exiles To Relatives On The Island, Aid From Fellow Socialist Venezuela And Pay Sent Back To Cuba From Non-Exiled Cuban Physicians And Other Professionals Working Abroad. 

Mr. Mestre Concluded That While Cuba Will Certainly Change Over Time, In The Short-Term We Can Expect Only Small Changes To Cuba’s Economy, With What Might Turn Out To Be Only Modestly Increased Foreign Investment.