Cuba’s communist leadership remains reluctant to open the island to more free market reforms and foreign investment. But Cuba’s latest economic data for 2016 might make those hardliners reconsider.
Just a few months ago, Cuba’s economy was forecast to grow 1 percent this year. It wasn’t much; but at least it was growth. This week, President Raúl Castro has admitted even that was an illusion: Cuba’s GDP, he said, will actually shrink 1 percent in 2016 - the first economic contraction in more than 20 years.