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Cuba's Shifts; Tea Party's Wins

Cuba fires half a million workers. Fidel Castro makes headlines. We look at Cuba’s ground-breaking shifts. Plus, Politico‘s Jonathan Martin on Tea Party wins and GOP soul-searching.

Cuba's leader Fidel Castro greets students before delivering a speech outside Havana's University in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Sept. 3, 2010. (AP)

There’s been headline after headline out of Cuba lately. The latest and biggest – the Cuban government, which runs over 95 percent of the Cuban economy – will lay off half a million workers. One in every ten government employees. That is huge. Doubly huge in one of the world’s last socialist countries. 

What will all those workers do, when there’s so little private sector? Raise rabbits, says the government. Make bricks. 

Even Fidel Castro is making new noises these days. Is this the next little China?  We look at the big news out of Cuba. 

Plus, we turn an eye back home, and see what Tea Party victories mean for the GOP.

-Tom Ashbrook

Opening segments:

Guests:

Frances Robles, correspondent for the Miami Herald. She covers Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

Tom Gjelten, correspondent for NPR. He covers global security and economic issues. He’s author of “Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause.”

Carmelo Mesa-Lago, renowned economist and Cuba expert. He’s professor emeritus of economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He was an advisoer to President Carter on Cuba policy.

Jose Azel, senior research associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami.

Closing segment:

Guest:  Jonathan Martin, senior political writer for Politico.com. His article on the primaries is Soul-searching time: A GOP torn.”

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