We're #156! Cuba, that is, in this CIA ranking of per capita income of the world's countries. Cuba trails such economic powerhouses as Guyana, Micronesia and, of course, Niue. But, hey, it's a full $200 ahead of basket-case Angola!
But economic beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. To the Associated Press, the Cuban economy, with a litle help from designated Fidel-successor Raul, is 'successful.' Here's an excerpt from an AP article of today [hat tip to Drudge]:
"Raul has been deeply involved . . . with the military's successful peacetime efforts to help rescue Cuba's economy following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991."
And let's not forget that in addition to their 'successful' economy [all together now]: they have free health care in Cuba!
Update: Reuters has weighed in with a largely-flattering article Fidel Castro: Socialist Beacon or Ailing Despot? looking back on Fidel's reign. Reuters does report that 'critics say Castro has subjected Cuba's 11 million people to collectivized poverty in a police state.' But note that the criticism is put in the mouths of others, not reported as fact. The article goes on to note how Fidel is admired in the Third World for, yes!, 'free health care and education' and contains other flattering comments about the dictator.