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CLARIN

Cuba Embraces Free Market, China-Style

Whatever the hopes for Cuba, the country's regime seems keen to follow the profit model for the economy to shore up its political grip. Just like China and Russia.

Flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. embassy in Havana
Flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. embassy in Havana
Ricardo Kirschbaum

BUENOS AIRES — Fifty-eight years after the communist rebel Fidel Castro toppled Batista's corrupt government in Cuba, his brother, President Raúl Castro, is now recognizing, partially and reluctantly, the reality of the market economy. This is not unrelated to the recent process of détente begun between Cuba and the United States, and represents the end of a cycle and start of another, whose future remains to be written.

The complex changes that have begun inside the Cuban Communist party are also an open-ended process, initiated by an economic crisis it has failed to resolve, as well as its own ideological crises. More widely, the changes are the fruit of decades of U.S.-imposed sanctions, Cuba's previous economic dependence on the Soviet Union and the Communist leadership's own rigidity of thought, which restricted the country's development and economic options.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The "Corrosion" Strategy: How Ukraine Targets Russian Networks And Morale

Russia continues to shrink its ambitions in Donbas, as Ukraine doubles down on its strategy of guerilla attacks, interrupting supply and communication contacts and ultimately undermines the morale of the enemy.

Ukrainian soldiers sitting atop a tank in Donbas on May 22

Clemens Wergin

For years to come, military experts will be studying how Ukraine managed to push back a far stronger enemy and grind Russia’s major offensive in the east of the country to a halt.

Some military strategists are already trying to find a term to sum up the Ukrainians’ success. Australian military expert and retired army major general Mick Ryan credited Kyiv's stunning showing to "the adoption of a simple military strategy: corrosion. The Ukrainian approach has embraced the corrosion of the Russian physical, moral, and intellectual capacity to fight and win in Ukraine.”

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Ryan argues that while the Ukrainians have used the firepower they possess to halt the Russian advance, while aggressively targeting their enemy’s greatest shortcoming. “They have attacked the weakest physical support systems of an army in the field – communications networks, logistic supply routes, rear areas, artillery and senior commanders in their command posts,” Ryan wrote.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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