Tag Archives: cuba

My 44 oranges and why socialism does not work

Dear John Goodrich I decided to answer this call

“I’d like those who think that socialism can’t work to explain that to me.”
and will focus specifically on this statement you made
“The fact is that there is enough of everything in the world for every human being to be afforded a decent and fulfilling life. The ONLY reason billions are denied that decent life is that we use capitalism as the means of distribution and not human need.”

I was trying to follow your logic about equal distribution to see how that will work now.For example I went to FAO web site


to get the total number of oranges produced let us say for example in 2009. The number of tons of oranges produced in that year for the whole world was about 67601635 tons. Now assuming and average weight of 200 gram per orange there should be about 4535.92 oranges in a ton. So that makes the total of oranges produced in the whole world in 2009 to be about 3.06636*10^11. Hope you can understand scientific notation. Anyways, if we divide that number by the number of inhabitant on earth right now (presumably more that were in 2009) then we arrive to the quantity of 44.4332 oranges per person on earth.
So far so good. But here is the problem I have with your theory of equal distribution and socialism being better than capitalism. I choose oranges on purpose because is a crop that cuba produces.Unlike you I lived in Cuba for 26 years and I have practical knowledge about what is to live in Cuba and I can tell you that I never ate 44 oranges in any single year. not even 10 oranges a year in fact maybe some years I did not eat any. Because the Cuban regime exported all of them and when we were able to get a hold of some oranges usually they will be in very bad condition probably something they will not be able to sell to any other country because their people will never purchased such substandard and low quality product.
So is this the socialism you are trying to implement all over the world? One that does not care about their own citizens? Is this the equality you talk about?
I could choose other crops that are not as abundant as oranges or products and then the numbers of those products per person on earth will really get to be infinitesimal numbers. (Very very small numbers).
So you see John your theory of equal distribution does not really work for everyone on earth since some will be left with nothing. Do you know what they do in Cuba in such cases?They have priority grouping. The elite of the country gets first pick. That means they get the best doctors and medical care possible. They get the best food available in the country and so on. They have access to all the information and full access to internet etc. I could go on. They have their own cars even their children may enjoy much better status compare to normal cubans. Hey that does not look to me like the equality you were talking about. It looks to me like they replace money for power. So those in power are the new bourgeoisie with all kinds of privileges. To belong to this special class you need to be a supporter of their ideology. You need to be a supporter of those that hold the power and this have to be unconditional support. You will be ordered and you can not be critical. So you see John things are not so beautiful any more. This people are even worst that the bourgeoisie that you detest. Because they do not want people even dissenting. You could end up in prison when that happens.
So I hope that my words reach you John. I hope they could touch you and help you understand in some way  that socialism and communism are not the solution. Capitalism maybe bad but it is infinitely better as economical system than socialism ever was. Socialism have also being by design invariably link to totalitarian and authoritarian systems. Some say that it is imposible to have socialism without a totalitarian system in place. I guess we will never know.



Filed under cuba, democracy, liberty

I have a Dream

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Filed under math

Yoani Sanchez and other bloggers taken by Cuban secret police.

The well known Cuban bloggers Yoani Sanchez , Claudia Cadelo and Orlando L Pardo were taken by force by the state security police of the Castro regime,

Yoani on telephone interview mentioned

“Fui secuestrada al peor estilo siciliano, con violencia verbal, física, llaves de inmovilidad, rodillazos”.

(I was sequester in the worst Sicilian mafia style, with verbal and physical violence, they immobilize  and beat us.)

They were trying to participate in a march-performance against no violence that was performed in Vedado at 23th street in front of the Yara movie theater.

After been beaten they were release. It seems the intention was so that they will not be able to participate in the peaceful march against No violence.

This is a video of  the non violent performance executed as planned

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Freedom beautiful freedom!

Here is a performance in Cuba. Yoani Sanchez and many others use a minute to express freely




What follows is a translation of what Yoani Sanchez said.

Cuba is an island surrounded by sea and is also an island surrounded by censorship. Some of the information control and especially the Internet have opened up some cracks with blogs. In the wake of alternative blogosphere and is known to a good part of the Cuban population. We are a … accentuate the awakening of public opinion.

The authorities consider the technology as a wild horse to be tame. The independent bloggers want to run freely. Difficulties in disseminating our sites are many. Passed from hand to hand and thanks to flash memory, CDs, the obsolete diskettes the content of the blogs  goes through the island.

Internet is becoming a public forum of discussion where the Cubans are writing opinions. The real island is starting to be a virtual island that is more democratic and more pluralistic. Unfortunately these winds of free expression in the Internet have only just started to show up in our watchful reality.
Let us not wait for the authorization to enter the internet. To have a blog or to write an opinion.

It is time to jump the wall of control.

See this blog post by Yoani


and this other blog post by Claudia


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Bottom of the Barrel.

I wrote two prior posts with statistical information about Cuba

In one I computed the average salary to be equal to 233.00 dollars approximately and in the other I show a map of  with all the countries who’s GDP per capita are less than Cuba’s GDP per capita.

Since the actual average pay for Cubans is 233.00 dollars and since that should equate to the GDP per capita I wanted to know what countries have a GDP per capita of less than 233.00 dollars.

Here is the answer I get from Mathematica

 Select[CountryData[], CountryData[#, “GDPPerCapita”] < 233 &]

{“Afghanistan”, “Burundi”, “DemocraticRepublicCongo”, “Ethiopia”,

“GuineaBissau”, “Liberia”, “Malawi”, “Myanmar”, “Niger”, 

“SierraLeone”, “Zimbabwe”}


and here is a map showing in color the countries whos GDP per capita is less than Cuba’s average salary!



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Comparing Apples to Apples. Cuba versus Chile and Portugal.


I am fortunate to have a copy of Mathematica a wonderful software that allows one to make sophisticated computations and that of late contain a wealth of statistical information.

I was very interested to know for example how Cuba compare economically with other countries with similar population.

 If one runs the following mathematica command


Reverse[Sort[{CountryData[#, “Population”], CountryData[#]} & /@ 


We get a list of pairs containing the country population and the Country Name sorted in descending order something like



{{1.29801*10^9, “China”}, {1.15175*10^9, “India”}, {3.02841*10^8, 

  “UnitedStates”}, {2.28864*10^8, “Indonesia”}, {1.89323*10^8, 

  “Brazil”}, {1.60943*10^8, “Pakistan”},..



When we look in that statistical table in the Cuban vecinity the list of countries that have similar population are



{1.64654*10^7, “Chile”}, {1.6379*10^7, “Netherlands”}, {1.53143*10^7, \

“Kazakhstan”}, {1.43585*10^7, “BurkinaFaso”}, {1.41966*10^7, \

“Cambodia”}, {1.37367*10^7, “Niger”}, {1.35707*10^7, “Malawi”}, \

{1.32282*10^7, “Zimbabwe”}, {1.3202*10^7, “Ecuador”}, {1.30286*10^7, \

“Guatemala”}, {1.20725*10^7, “Senegal”}, {1.19684*10^7, “Mali”}, \

{1.16962*10^7, “Zambia”}, {1.12667*10^7, “Cuba”}, {1.11225*10^7, \

“Greece”}, {1.05787*10^7, “Portugal”}



For comparison then we could use countries like Greece, Portugal and even Chile.

In the following diagrams the red dot is Cuba the diagrams are logarithmic plots of the statistical information using the data contained in mathematica. The source of the data for mathematica seems to be the CIA World Fact Book.


The above diagram red dot shows Cuban population and the green diagram Chile’s population the rest of the blue dots are all the population of other countries in the world sorted in decreasing order.



GDP per Capita comparison between Cuba and Chile

GDP per Capita comparison between Cuba and Chile

Again in the above diagram the red dot is for Cuba’s GDP percapita (about 4500) and the green dot is the GDP per capita for Chile (about 6832.67) . 

As can be seen two Latin American countries very close on the number of inhabitants the GDP per capita for Chile is much bigger than Cuba’s GDP that is not even counting that the actual mean salary paid by the Cuban government is about 200 dollars a year. If we put that value as the GDP per capita then Cuba would go to the bottom of the list.

Here is a similar comparison between Cuba and Portugal (The poorest country in Europe)


Cuba and Portugal population

Cuba and Portugal population

and below the same diagram comparing the GDP per capita of Cuba to the GDP per capita of Portugal.


Cuba GDP per capita versus Portugal GDP per capita

Cuba GDP per capita versus Portugal GDP per capita




 The lesson we can draw from this is that economically the capitalist countries are better than a communist country.


Below I include the mathematica code I have use to produce the graphs 

value := “Population”

countries := Reverse[Sort[CountryData[#, value] & /@ CountryData[]]]

cuba := If[# == CountryData[“Cuba”, value], #, 0] & /@ 

  Reverse[Sort[CountryData[#, value] & /@ CountryData[]]]

other := If[# == CountryData[“Chile”, value], #, 0] & /@ 

  Reverse[Sort[CountryData[#, value] & /@ CountryData[]]]

ListLogPlot[{countries, cuba, other},

 Background -> Black, AxesStyle -> Directive[Thick, Orange],

 PlotStyle -> {Directive[Blue, PointSize[Small]], 

   Directive[Red, PointSize[Large]], 

   Directive[Green, PointSize[Large]]}



And this is the code for GDP per Capita


value := “GDPPerCapita”

countries := Reverse[Sort[CountryData[#, value] & /@ CountryData[]]]

cuba := If[# == CountryData[“Cuba”, value], #, 0] & /@ 

  Reverse[Sort[CountryData[#, value] & /@ CountryData[]]]

other := If[# == CountryData[“Chile”, value], #, 0] & /@ 

  Reverse[Sort[CountryData[#, value] & /@ CountryData[]]]

ListLogPlot[{countries, cuba, other},


 Background -> Black, AxesStyle -> Directive[Thick, Orange], 

 PlotStyle -> {Directive[Blue, PointSize[Small]], 

   Directive[Red, PointSize[Large]], 

   Directive[Green, PointSize[Large]]}


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Who is stealing the money in Cuba?

I was doing some small and simple calculation with statistical information from Cuba given by the Cuban government and found something very interesting.

If you go to the Cuban government site http://www.one.cu/aec2007/esp/07_tabla_cuadro.htm

there you will find    Average monthly salary in state-owned and mixed entities for each type of economic activity.

The table data is  for the year 2007 the last year that appears on the records

Average salary Cuba
Agricultura caza silvicultura y pesca 420
Explotación de minas y canteras 544
Industrias manufactureras 433
Electricidad gas y agua 508
Construcción 497
Comercio restaurantes y hoteles 353
Transportes almacenamiento y comunicaciones 418
Establecimientos financieros seguros bienes 493
Servicios comunales sociales y personales 398


This data will allow us to compute 447 pesos as the average salary paid by the cuban goverment in Cuba. If we assume an exchage rate of 23 cuba pesos per american dollar then that will give us a median salary of 19.44 dollars per month for a total of 233.32 dollars per year.

Now the reported GDP per capita  for Cuba is about 4500 dollars see http://indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?c=sp&v=67 and also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba were the GDP per capita is 4800.

The GDP per capita should be about the same as the average salary and is normally computed as the GDP of the country divide by number of people producing in the country.

So what is so estrange?

Assume the more conservative figure of 4500 GDP per capita we can see that is not equal to 233.32 dollars in fact there are 4266 dollars missing in the average payment for any median Cuban.

Where is that money?

Is the revolution or revolutionary government stealing the money?

Or is that the cost of the so call “free” education and “free” health care? or other supposed gratuities mention by the revolution leaders as triumphs of the revolution?

If those things are free as they claim then where is the money?


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