Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Mariel, Another Cloud in the Olive Green Paradise / Miriam Celaya
Posted on November 7, 2013

HAVANA, Cuba, November — They say that socialism is the
long way between capitalism and capitalism. Now the official press
itself informs us that there is a shortcut: “Mariel, the Shortest Path”
(Juventud Rebelde, Sunday, November 3rd, 2013, pages 4 and 5) is a
lengthy article by writer René León Tamayo, who — with the attached
comparative charts and a map of the region — lays out the benefits of
the first large-scale capitalist work undertaken in Cuba by the
“Revolutionary” government, which combines the capitals of Brazil, of
the Cuban military oligarchy and of a million-dollar Chinese company,
or, to put it more accurately, the company of a Chinese millionaire.

Perhaps a previous commitment of comparable magnitude was building the
thermonuclear plant in Juraguá, province of Cienfuegos, in the era of
Castro I during the affair with the former USSR, the largest of the
hare-brained shipwrecks of the grandiose lunatic, truncated in April of
1986 after the Chernobyl disaster — whose cooling system was the same as
would be installed at the one in Juraguá — resulting in the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) not approving the launching of
“our” brand-new nuclear power plant, thus saving the Island and Cubans
here from the danger of disappearing by an (accidental or not)
explosion. However, the Cienfuegos nuclear plant was still part of a
distinctly socialist project in a program of “solidarity” among
communist regimes. In the 80’s, talk of capital in Cuba was total heresy.

Mariel, on the other hand, is, in the words of General-President, “a
creation for the present and for the future”, a capitalist project of
these times when the official press talks openly about capital
investment, including the previously contagious and dirty foreign
capital. However, the numbers earmarked are still undisclosed. Some of
the questions that were left unwritten by the journalist and his bosses
are: how much will Cuban investment amount to, what its source is, how
much of the also undisclosed “national budget” is destined to the
projects at the Special Zone for the Development of Mariel (ZEDM), what
specific benefits the Cuban population will get from this investment,
and when.

But some things don’t change, as in the case of ambiguous language and
cryptic messages; a journalistic style for generating optimism in an
impoverished population that desperately needs good news, but to whom
it’s advisable not to disclose too much information. As for domestic and
foreign investors, “Mariel opens up a unique opportunity: a niche which
offers the advantages that characterize these locations anywhere, but
with the added value of being in a country that will be strategically
situated in maritime shipping and global commerce when the Panama Canal
expansion is completed in 2015.”

The article does not seem to say much, but it explains, between the
lines, the reason for the Cuban authorities’ growing offensive against
the US embargo, a topic which gained prominence in the government
discourse only since 1992, after the end of Soviet-socialist
protectorate. Elements are sketched for the likely emergence of a new
stage in the regional geopolitical map in the medium term in which
relations between investor countries, particularly those of Cuba and the
U.S., might define the pattern and intensity of trade via maritime
channels, among other issues.

So now it turns out that Cuba is not dangerously close to the enemy, as
they have repeated to us for decades, but — on the contrary — Cuba
enjoys a “geographical blessing” that seems to give it natural
advantages over other nations, the same blessing that between the XVI
and XVIII centuries drove the fleet of the Spanish crown to cluster in
Havana before sailing to the metropolis.

The 465 square kilometers [180 square miles, more or less] from six
municipalities in the province of Artemisa, with the possibility that
the Council of Ministers might incorporate other areas, “provided they
contribute to best achieve the objectives” is in the vanguard of future
Special Zones that will be undertaken in other areas of the Island,
which is already being heralded by the cymbals and trumpets of the
official press. The benefits we will receive remain as inaccessible as
the financial secrets of the work. Everything indicates that the ZEDM is
the baptismal name that the promising capitalist enterprise of the
“communist” cupola has been given, another cloud in the Castros’ fiscal

Translated by Norma Whiting

Cubanet, 5 November 2013

Source: “Mariel, Another Cloud in the Olive Green Paradise / Miriam
Celaya | Translating Cuba” –

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