Comment of the Day: Scott P.: Cuba Under the Castro Brothers:

"The whole point is that Cuba was NOT such a country in 1957" You are correct, it was considerably wealthier than its neighbors...

That's what makes the case. In 1953 Cuba's PPP per capita was triple that of the DR, 9 times that of Haiti, 1.5 times that of Panama.

Today the DR's PPP GDP per capita is around $15,000. Triple that and you have something comparable to Belgium or Canada--and that's with Dominican Republican growth levels. Panama is around $21,000. 1.5 x that is a more modest $32,000, about equal to the Czech Republic.