Cuba on CBC tv tonight – Sat Dec 15


Travel to Cuba, as the iconic island undergoes sweeping economic changes in preparation for life after Fidel Castro & a new relationship with the U.S.

In April last year, in a last-ditch attempt to save Cuba from financial ruin, Raul Castro introduced more than three hundred sweeping economic reforms. From ending the rations program to cutting 1 million public-sector jobs, the Caribbean’s communist bastion is rolling back its state, changing the country forever. A year on, the reforms are kicking in and BBC reporter Simon Reeve is on his way to Cuba to discover their far reaching effects on this tiny iconic island and its people.

Simon meets ordinary Cubans whose lives are being transformed – from the emergency room doctor who sells hardware on the side to the rice farmer who now employs his own workers. Restaurant owners dreaming of franchising and newly rich estate agents selling properties worth up to 1.2 million dollars are all embracing the economic change sweeping the island.

Simon gets under the skin of a colorful and vibrant country famous for its hospitality and humor and asks if this new economic openness could lead to political liberalization. He also explores whether Cuba will be able to maintain the positive aspects of its long isolation under socialism – such as low crime, top notch education and one of the best health systems in the world – while embracing what certainly looks like capitalism.

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