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Chinese President Meets with Fidel Castro

EFE, Posted: Nov 20, 2008

HAVANA -- China's influence in Cuba continues to increase with this week's visit by Chinese president Hu Jintao, who described his meeting with Fidel Castro as a "brotherly encounter," reports EFE news service. "China is offering Cubas ruling elite a way out and Washington is not, an official at the Mexican embassy explained. Capitalism without democracy. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, "Command Capitalism," where the state operates like a corporation, building industry and providing for the welfare of its workers, has emerged in both China and Russia as the development model of choice. This was once thought impossible, since market-driven economies were believed to nurture democratic reforms and institutions. China and Russia have turned this theory upside down: each has market economies without free elections, a free press or the social liberalism. The paradox is that both China and Russia, by virtue of being "globalized," are caught up in the throes of the current economic crises sweeping the globe, but for Cuba, which has been devasted by three powerful hurricanes that have destroyed almost 25 percent of that nation's GNP, Hu Jintao's visit is a powerful signal that China is looking forward, to helping Cuba rebuild after the hurricanes, and in a manner that is consistent with "Command Capitalism."

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