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#2580: Response to Goff: Caribbean Comparison (fwd)

From: patrick richard <rich0303@hotmail.com>

Dear Goff,

It is true that Cuba has made significant improvements during the last 45 
years in terms of Human development(Education and Health care). Although, 
the new view on economic development includes, among other indicators, 
political freedom, personal security, the rule of law, freedom of 
expression, and political participation. ( See UNDP or Tadaro, for a 
complete definition). It is also true that these comparative social 
indicators are very revealing of our wrenching and disastrous situation. 
However, to explain our underdevelopment solely by some sort of dependence 
or dominance relationship with the US and free markets, is irresponsible and 
simplistic. ( A similar thesis was advanced by the international dependence 
models during the 1970's: The neocolonial model, the false paradigm model 
and the dualistic-development thesis. No wonder Aristide uses this kind of 
rhetoric invariably in his speeches. It is so easy. What a demagogue!). 
Passons. Although, I concede these are "externalities." Literally speaking, 
it is a fallacy to think that Haiti has practiced free market economy for 
the last 45 years. True, free markets per se do not work in developing 
countries, not just Haiti. (Another subject)
( I tend to refrain myself from offering my humble opinions concerning the 
path  of an economic development for Haiti).

More, your alternative (implicitly) of adopting the cuban model, reflects 
our tendency to propose easy solutions to complex problems. On the other 
hand, empirical studies of international comparisons show conclusively that 
there is a strong correlation between democracy, political and civil rights 
and economic development (based on statistical testing over wide-range 
data). This contradicts the "Lee Hypothesis" (Lee Ruan Yeu of Singapore) or 
Gunmar Myrdal(Asian Drama, 1964). Please be wary of very selective and 
limited information. True, there is no panacea to economic development. 
Nevertheless, a search for an effective approach should not consist of 
swinging to another extreme. A proper balance is of the essence. A judicious 
mixture won't be found until we stop blaming others and take charge of our 

Patrick Richard
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