Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Tinkering at the Margins / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Dámaso, Translator: Unstated

Several friends, honestly worried about the future of Cuba, firmly

declare that they do not want capitalism, but a Swedish-style socialism.

First, it is worth clarifying that Sweden is not a socialist but a

capitalist country, with a monarchy and a democratic parliament, and

with a solid economy and outstanding social services. The tendency of

the ruling party at any given time, which sets a certain tone, should

not be confused with the socio-economic model of the country. Spain is a

capitalist country with a parliamentary monarchy, whether the government

is from the Spanish Socialist Workers Party or the Popular Party. So it

is in most countries, each with its own distinctive characteristics.

Linking the ruling party with the socio-economic model is unique to

socialist countries, where a dogmatic and closed scheme establishes a

set of so-called principles, applicable to all of them: one party,

invariably communist (when others are allowed to exist, they are small

and are controlled by the ruling party); state ownership of the means of

production, with a centrally planned economy (if some small private

enterprise is allowed, it is in rural areas, or in the service sector);

only state health and education systems; only official culture; the

justice system fully subordinated to the state; state-run media;

government unions and social and other mass organizations, and so on.

Those who violate these principles or deviate from them, are accused of

revisionism and are isolated (Tito's Yugoslavia, and the Soviet-Chinese

dispute, in which each side accused the other of being revisionists,

even to the point of armed confrontation, are good examples). This model

is airtight, the same for everyone. That is socialism.

With capitalism, each country applies it according to its own

historical, geographic, and national characteristics. Thus, although the

general principles (private ownership of the means of production, and a

market economy) are the same, the forms of its application differ.

France's capitalism is not like that of the United States, or of

Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Mexico,

Argentina, Chile, etc. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua,

whatever their governments say, are capitalist countries, even if some

are more left-leaning than others. North Korea and Cuba, both in

perpetual economic crisis, are the only existing orthodox socialist

countries. China and Vietnam, socialist politically, are capitalist

economically, in a strange marriage, enabling them to develop, something

never achieved with the socialist model.

We should take this seriously, and consider all these facts and

alternatives before we propose what Cuba should be in the future. I

think it will have its own characteristics, taking the good and positive

from the entire accumulated global experience. Not doing so would be a

big mistake and a waste of time. What we should not do is try to invent

another national monster. One is more than enough!

May 25 2012

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