Cuba may cut social welfare benefits

Alfredo Jam, head of macro-economic analysis in the economy ministry, told the Financial Times that Cubans had been “overprotected” by a system that subsidised food costs and limited the amount people could earn, prompting labour shortages in important industries.

“We can’t give people so much security with their income that it affects their willingness to work,” Mr Jam said. “We can have equality in access to education and health but not in equality of income.”

The article goes on to say that Cubans enjoy free health care and education, extremely cheap rent, plus subsidized basic foods and that any tinkering with the system would meet heavy resistance from within the ruling Communist party. Yet a deliberate story like this, an interview with the Financial Times, must have been ok’ed from on high in Cuba, probably by Raul Castro himself, and clearly seems to be sending a message.