Informacion economica sobre Cuba

February 22, 2008, 3:09 pm
Cuba: From Socialist Paradise to Ethanol Republic?
Posted by Keith Johnson
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Venderemos! (Wikipedia)

In the wake of El Comandante's decision to turn Cuba over to his brother
Raul, speculation over the island's future has been rife, including
here. But the idea that post-Castro Cuba, free of the U.S. embargo and
Cold War posturing, could revive its battered sugar industry and someday
become a major ethanol exporter has a few Environmental Capital readers
horrified:

Perhaps Cuba will decide that it prefers its self-sufficient
economy and sustainable agriculture model and not turn its farmland into
a gas station for the U.S. And maybe the real best case scenario
actually involves the U.S. learning to get by with using a heck of a lot
less energy [Anne Morgan]

Cuba has an enormous opportunity to resist that [ethanol] model and
focus on fostering its own economy, creating jobs and small businesses
through sustainable development of its home-grown talent and resources.
Not become like its neighboring islands, which remain poor and
underdeveloped because their leaders chose subservience to multinational
globalization over sustainable development [Vivian D.]

Just a couple of problems with that, suggests Antonio Gayoso, another of
the academics at the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy.
Cuba is presently neither self-sufficient nor sustainable. According to
Cuban government figures, it imports about 85% of its food. The collapse
of the country's sugar industry has left huge swaths of cropland overrun
by a type of Caribbean kudzu.

The good news, such as it is, is that Cuba should be spared the
food-versus-fuel debate that wracks other developing countries, and
which is putting a crimp (for better or for worse) in biofuel
development from Latin America to Southeast Asia. In Cuba, Mr. Gayoso
says, ethanol means food:

[C]lose to 2 million hectares of land could be used in the future
for an integrated sugar industry: one that could produce sugar, ethanol,
paper, cattle feed, and other products without competing for foodstuff
cropland, provided that a return to earlier productivity levels are
achieved… thus permitting a higher capacity to import foodstuff that
Cuba cannot produce for ecological reasons.

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2008/02/22/cuba-from-socialist-paradise-to-ethanol-republic/?mod=googlenews_wsj


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