Cuba Opens its Economy and Kick Out the Jams

7 Aug
Anónimo Consejo

Anónimo Consejo

An LA Times article today continues to hit on what is quickly becoming a trope in US journalism on Cuba – a focus on the state’s easing of controls on the economy under Raúl Castro and emergence of the private sector, small-business entrepreneurs and land-owners to be. 

Is it a big deal that one of the last strongholds of Marxist economics in the world is legalizing private property and enterprise? Of course. Still, the repeated publication on this type of article gives the impression that there’s not much else going on in Cuba. Well, this and the continued detainment of USAID operatives.  If you’re thinking of investing then hold your horses.

Maybe it’s just me – while these articles speak at length to the hopes and dreams of burgeoning Cuban entrepreneurs – they also read all too eager to declare Cuba (almost) open for business and the communist system a complete failure. Fair enough – I’m not about to make a counter-argument on the merits of the Castroism-Marxism – but let’s remember that Cuba has resisted U.S. sabotage and embargo for nearly 50 years.

For a change of the discussion on Cuba I was happy to find CUNY Professor Sujatha Fernandesopinion piece on Cuban Hip-Hop. The piece highlights groups like Obsesion and Hermanos de Causa. Most interestingly she points out that Cuban rap “stands in stark contrast to American rap, where the diversity of sounds and themes has been eschewed in favor of a catchy pop formula with a focus on consumption…” One major factor is that the government, in recognition of hip-hop’s popularity among the youth, began to financially support the Cuban hip-hop music scene.

While that “distinctiveness,” she writes, “may be lost as the country opens up to a global market economy… [i]t’s worth remembering that imposed, even self-imposed, isolation can be a crucible for artistic creativity.”

Let’s hope Cuban hip-hop artists recognize as much – if the economic embargo has kept Cuban rappers from mimicking the likes of Drake and Lil’ Wayne then I think we’ve done them a favor.

And now – some Anónimo Consejo:


2 Responses to “Cuba Opens its Economy and Kick Out the Jams”


  1. John Pilger on Cuba | - August 8, 2011

    […] Cuba Opens its Economy and Kick Out the Jams ( […]

  2. Art Focus: Television Culture in Cuba « Un Pueblo al Sur – A Village to the South - August 19, 2011

    […] Cuba Opens its Economy and Kick Out the Jams ( Share this:TwitterEmailFacebookPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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