Yoani Sanchez – Award-winning Cuban blogger
Cuba’s New Law Lets in Foreign Capital, But Labor Must Be Contracted
From the Government
Updated: 04/17/2014 4:59 pm EDT
A gentleman with a beard and a shabby shirt reads the newspaper in a
Reina Street doorway. “These people are re-inventing the wheel…” I can
hear him say. The daily he has in his hands has a tabloid insert with
the new Foreign Investment Law, recently voted on in the National
Assembly. Unanimously approved, the controversial legislation comes at a
time when the Cuban economy is in desperate need of foreign capital.
The rush to get investment has not caused, however, greater flexibility
in areas such as contracting for personnel. The recently approved law
will maintain the state’s monopoly as the employing company. Only
through this entity will a foreign business be able to contract for its
workers. People trusted by the government will continue to rise to the
top of the list it’s time to get hired.
Thus, Raul Castro’s government guarantees that the workforce of foreign
investors will be people the government trusts. If we understand that
economic autonomy is an indispensable requisite to achieving political
autonomy, we know very well that the General President is going to
assure that the best salaries are going to go to the pockets of the
proven faithful. In this way he maintains the ability to buy loyalty
with privileges, which has characterized the Cuban model.
However, ideological fidelity and working ability don’t always go
hand-in-hand. New businesses with foreign capital will see their
performance hampered — among other reasons — by not having access to
the best available human capital. On this point it’s clear that the
Foreign Investment Law can’t jump beyond its own shadow. It continues to
be marked by the fear that individuals can make themselves independent
— both with regard to wages and politics — from the state.
Follow Yoani Sanchez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/yoanifromcuba
Source: Cuba’s New Law Lets in Foreign Capital, But Labor Must Be
Contracted From the Government | Yoani Sanchez –