Obama's policy supporters long argued that normalizing relations and easing sanctions towards Cuba would encourage Raul's "reforms."
That misses the glaring fact that Castro's regime only responds when it's economically pressed. For example, "self-employment" -- albeit a half-measure -- was a temporary reaction to loss of Soviet subsidies. Years later, with the remnants of the Chavez-Maduro regime in Venezuela imploding, Cuba resorted to it again.
However, as we warned several months before the Obama-Castro deal (December 17th, 2014), once the Cuban economy stabilizes or begins to "bounce back," the Castro government will reverse itself to freeze or revoke any "reforms."
Lift U.S. sanctions and Cuba's government will solely focus on strengthening its state conglomerates and the repression required to suppress change.
That's exactly what has been happening.
Here's the latest from Reuters:
Cuba backtracks on food reforms as conservatives resist change
Cuba decided at a secretive Communist Party congress last week to reverse market reforms in food distribution and pricing, according to reports in official media, reflecting tensions within the party about the pace of economic change.
President Raul Castro unveiled an ambitious market reform agenda in one of the world's last Soviet-style command economies after he took office a decade ago, but the reforms moved slowly in the face of resistance from conservatives and bureaucrats.
At the April 16-19 congress, Castro railed against an "obsolete mentality" that was holding back modernization of Cuba's socialist economy. But he also said the leadership needed to respond quickly to problems like inflation unleashed by greater demand as a result of reforms in other sectors.
In response, delegates voted to eliminate licenses for private wholesale food distribution, according to reports over the past week in the Communist Party daily, Granma, and state television.
Delegates said the state would contract, distribute and regulate prices for 80 to 90 percent of farm output this year, compared to 51 percent in 2014, according to debates broadcast days after the event.