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Fidel Castro casts doubt on 'Cuban model'

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Castro: Cuba's system doesn't work
  • Fidel Castro told a journalist that the Cuban model doesn't work
  • President Raul Castro has said as much in numerous speeches
  • The comment was in response to question about importing Cuban model
  • Fidel Castro has avoided domestic topics in most of his public appearances

(CNN) -- Fidel Castro told a visiting American journalist that the "Cuban model" no longer works, an apparent admission of failings in the communist economic model introduced by his revolution more than 50 years ago.

"The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore," Castro told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic in an interview last week. Goldberg published parts of the exchange on a blog Tuesday and Wednesday.

Castro's younger brother and successor, President Raul Castro, has said as much in numerous speeches since taking the reins of power in 2006.

More recently, he said that a full fifth of state jobs could be redundant and that the government would have to review its role in the country's economy.

A few small changes have already been introduced: allowing more private enterprise for farmers and barbers, for example.

Video: Castro seeks new role

Goldberg said that Castro's statement was in response to a question about whether the Cuban model was still worth exporting.

"Did the leader of the Revolution just say, in essence, 'Never mind?' " Goldberg wrote.

The comments come amid speculation that the two brothers are divided on the economic issue and that Fidel Castro might not wholly support Raul's changes.

Fidel Castro has studiously avoided domestic topics in his many public appearances over the last couple of months.

CNN's Shasta Darlington contributed to this report.