This World

Cuba with Simon Reeve

Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

For 50 years Fidel Castro’s Cuba has been a totalitarian state. While the country has enviable health and education systems, a low crime rate, a thriving, accessible arts scene,and no one goes hungry, its economy is like Havana’s crumbling architecture – in a state of collapse.

The likeable Simon Reeve visits this surviving bastion of communism as the seeds of capitalism are sown and finds budding entrepreneurs everywhere. Taxi-drivers, farmers and restaurateurs are now able to work for themselves but, most significantly, property can be sold rather than just swapped. “Havana’s restless!” says one happy Cuban estate agent.

About this programme

Two years after Cuba announced radical economic reforms, broadcaster Simon Reeve heads to the Caribbean island to look at the effects the liberalisation has had. He meets Cubans whose lives are being transformed - from the owners of fledgling businesses to the newly rich estate agents selling properties valued at up to £750,000 - and asks if this new openness could lead to more political freedom. He also explores whether Cuba will be able to maintain the positive aspects of its long isolation under socialism - such as low crime, high-quality education and one of the best healthcare systems in the world - while embracing a form of capitalism. Part of the This World strand.

Cast and crew


Simon Reeve


Tom McCarthy
Executive Producer
Sam Bagnall
Tom McCarthy
Series Producer
Sarah Waldron