The US in one direction, Cuba and Venezuela in another

On Friday, President Trump celebrated some good news from the U.S. economy.  In the last week, a different message is coming from Cuba and Venezuela.

We are watching three countries going in different economic directions: the U.S., Cuba, and Venezuela.  It is a classic case of free markets versus socialism.

Down in Cuba, the message has not changed over the years, as the new president reminded us:

Cuba's economy grew less than expected in the first half of 2018 and an ongoing liquidity crisis will force fresh belt tightening, President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Sunday.

He is proposing constitutional changes.  However, Cuban perestroika won't work any better than the one we saw in the USSR.

Venezuela is more than falling apart: "Venezuela could eventually have 1 million percent inflation."

What does that inflation level mean?  It means this: "Venezuela's currency has lost 99.9997 percent of its value in the past 6½ years.  To put that in perspective, $333,333 worth of bolivars in 2012 would be worth $1 today."

A failed state?  I think so!

As I recall, a "bolivar," the currency, was 4.29 to a U.S. dollar back in the 1980s.  It used to be a middle-class country!

On the other hand, we had great news in the U.S.

It was a good day for the U.S. economy; for workers; and, yes, for President Trump.  It is not the same down in Cuba and Venezuela.

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