Tyler Cowen has more thoughts on poverty in Cuba:
I found the most evident signs of Cuban poverty to be the unceasing supply of articulate and sometimes weakly sobbing mendicants, none of whom sounded like con men, all of whom needed money to buy food and clothes for their families. The most shocking part is what small sums of money they would ask for or be made happy by. Or the numerous women -- and I mean ordinary women in the streets -- who would offer their bodies to a stranger (handsome though I am) for a mere pittance. Yes in Cuba there is good access to doctors but anesthesia is in short supply and the health care system stopped improving long ago.
If you want to understand northern Mexico, get out of the Tijuana tourist strip and visit Hermosillo. Count the number of new housing developments, and then count how many of them are inhabited by fairly dark-skinned, previously dirt poor, Mexican mestizos. Put that number over the number of buildings in Havana that do not have serious maintenance problems and see if you can divide by zero.
It's quite possible that a lower middle class Mexican eats better food than you do, but there is no chance of that for anyone in Cuba except the top elite. Powdered milk is a luxury there.
Viva La Revolución.
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