No Cuban can overlook the importance of the economic relationship that our island maintains with Venezuela.
The experiences of the Venezuelan people, who at this moment are immersed in the transformation of their society, could serve us perfectly well as we await the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).
As its principal objective, the congress will aim to change the economic direction in which the island is moving.
Many of the changes have been presented to the Cuban people prior to the gathering having taken place, and the transformations will be approved by the party members who attend as representatives of all those in the ranks of the PCC.
We have already witnessed the issuing of thousands of licenses permitting self-employment, as well as resolutions allowing private individuals to hire up to 20 wage laborers, and the accumulation of a large force of “available workers” (the unemployed).
Though on March 1 the Cuban president announced that the previous regulations would be carried out more slowly, but he left no clear evidence as to whether these would change or if there would be other recommendations.
On this point, some of the changes that Venezuela has made to its constitution could serve us as a point of departure for analysis.
Despite the fact that April 16 marked a half century since Cuba embarked on its socialist mission, the duration of the workday on the island remains at eight hours.
Our system has not developed as it should have to become one in which people have time for their full development as humans and are no longer slaves of work.
In much less time, Venezuela has reduced its workday to six hours.
As another example of what should be looked at, Cuba is now also promoting the hiring of workers without creating laws that prevent the exploitation of these individuals who will go from being government workers to having private bosses. Nor have they set limits on the length of the workday or established a minimum wage.
In Venezuelan the law states that bosses cannot force their employees to work extra hours.
Yet at this moment — instead of demonstrating the advantages of collective workers associations organized into cooperatives — the development of production in Cuba is being promoted based on two historically antagonistic elements: the owner and their wage-laborers.
Added to this the fact jumps out that the number of unemployed workers would decline markedly if the workday was shortened. For some reason this option has not been considered.
As one can note, Cuba is a straggler in proposing socializing changes.
It is not difficult to discover that all the shortcomings in the “guidelines” that will be approved in the upcoming congress will be at the expense of the workers of our country.
No party activist who respects the Cuban people can allow themself the luxury of remaining silent and obeying. The true communists must be critical and determined. They cannot allow the Cuban workers to be dragged into capitalist exploitation.
It is not the future of only a few people that is at risk.