Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Raul’s Reforms as Strategy for Survival / 14ymedio, Miriam Celaya
Posted on June 5, 2014

Six years since General-President Raúl Castro assumed power in Cuba; it
could be argued that almost as many legal changes have been implemented
as were introduced during the early days of the revolution and, without
a doubt, a lot more than in the four decades preceding “Raulismo”

Viewed in perspective, Raúl’s reforms are significant and are -at least
in appearance- a break from Fidel’s directive, marked by immobility, by
such measures as:

Distribution of land in usufruct to private farmers and cooperatives
Approval of “non-state forms of production” or “self-employment”
(private business), which eliminates State monopoly on employment
Approval of sales and purchases of real estate, cars, and other goods ,
as well as lodging for Cuban nationals in hard currency hotels and
tourist facilities
Authorization for free contract of cellular telephony and internet
connections; sales of computers, printers and other hardware in stores
accepting only dollars
Comprehensive migration reform act, one of the most radical
transformations, conditionally eliminating “authorizations” for exit and
entry and extending stays abroad up to 24 months
And more recently, the new Foreign Investment Law, which relaxes some
limitations of previous legislation established in the 90’s, though it
retains others
Such measures should be a substantial turn-around in a society subjected
to a centralism which previously invalidated all vestiges of autonomy.
In fact, some foreign media exaggerate the process, multiplying, to the
point of fable, the effects of government measures as if this were an
effective socioeconomic change. Unfortunately, such changes have been
more nominal than real for Cubans. There have been no benefits at the
macroeconomic level that indicate a positive trend towards ending the

In addition, the past few years denote a regression, not only in the
economic indicators, but also in social benefits, such as health and
education, the former severely affected by the exportation of
professionals under contract, involving substantial hard currency income
for the regime –particularly through physicians and technical staff tied
to that field- and the latter, by the shortage and/or disqualification
of teachers due to low wages, among other reasons.

The reforms are significant and constitute a break with Fidel’s directives.

It is not a secret, even to the most optimistic mouthpieces of the
mercantile post-Castro era that “Raulist changes” are just the best
survival strategy of the Castrocracy, because no change in Cuba will be
real unless it is accompanied by political change.

European and other economic powerhouses put their expectations in a kind
of quasi-race to access untapped markets before the United States and
economically powerful sectors of the Cuban exile community assume
prominence on the Island, while native citizens [living in Cuba] are
just hostages of those interests and of the government which,
nevertheless, continues to dominate life and property. Of course, nobody
cares; as if the uncertain fate of 11 million Cubans was a deserved
punishment or simply that the exclusion was a matter of “collateral
damage” in the battle for the market.

For the powerful, it is not about empathy any more, with the “beautiful
people” with smiling faces peeking out of tourist postcards, wielding
either rifles or maracas indistinctively, according to the occasion, or
–as demonstrated recently- marching, submissive and happy, before the
official podium every May Day. It’s about an opportunity to be first and
to arrive on time, capital in hand. Cubans, sadly, don’t have a goddamn
way of defending themselves against that other power that far exceeds
the one that has dominated them for over half a century. It turns out
that the Cuban revolution was a waste of time. At the end, capital
always wins. And long live Raulismo!

Source: Raul’s Reforms as Strategy for Survival / 14ymedio, Miriam
Celaya | Translating Cuba –

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