A Dubious Economic Solution for the Country

Danae Suarez

Bathroom caretaker.

On September 24, the island’s official newspaper (Granma) announced a resolution adopted by the National Assembly concerning “additional” self-employed worker authorizations.  This as yet another alternative for employment for those workers who will find themselves “available” following massive layoffs in the State sector.   Likewise, this should serve as an alternative for increasing revenue coming into the State.

The topic has been widely discussed; however, I don’t want to miss the chance to share my point of view.

When the news hit, it spun me around in my chair. The country had finally taken an important step toward opening the way to private initiative in the production of goods and services.  For a long time such has been monopolized by over-centralized mechanisms and policies that have done little to efficiently address the basic problems of people.

This State monopoly control has blocked the country’s development, and —as the newspaper aptly put it— this new alternative will contribute to the State “shaking off” a large part of subsidies that, in my opinion, it has managed inefficiently).

Nonetheless, as I read the list of “new positions” that were legalized “with the objective of increasing revenues coming into the government’s coffers,” I realized that once again we had fallen into self-deception.

Watch repair person.

To my astonishment, this ignored the fact that those “new jobs” have already existed for some time “under the table,” so my questions became more penetrating. Does the state really believe that the income of a society (including this one packed of competent professionals) can rest on “palm tree pruners,” “bellboys” or “public restroom caretakers?”

Wouldn’t a more rational alternative —though one also more feared— be the country’s opening up to foreign investment for the creation of small and medium sized companies?  Has the State considered this approach as an effective way for generating revenue for the country, as well as for creating sources of employment for a million and half of people who will eventually be in the street?

I don’t propose putting into foreign hands those activities that compromise the country’s sovereignty, but I think that we shouldn’t limit the hope of people to nickel and dime self-employment opportunities.  The time is approaching for us to look for effective solutions to the delicate state of the country’s economy.  The well-being of all Cubans depends on it.

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Danae Suarez

Danae Suárez: I’ve always felt responsible for defending values that are eternal but unfortunately have been forgotten in a world that tends more towards the depersonalization of the human being. So what better place than my country to assume the task that each conscious citizen should assume: To work for a better society. I will never forget the famous phrase of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” I’m therefore committed to ensuring that my drop is not missing.

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2 thoughts on “A Dubious Economic Solution for the Country

  • Micro-credit has received enormous favorable publicity, but it doesn’t work….except for small shop keepers who need to buy inventory. Micro-credit has become a big business in some countries, with many cases of corruption. The model is the small businessman or woman, but Latin America is full of such small businesses which barely survive. In Venezuela the Frente Campesina Ezequiel Zamora is organizing farm collectives–the important aspect is that they are democratically run. We need to develop factories run by the workers themselves as in Argentina in the Brukman factory. While in Cuba you are looking for capitalist models, we who live under capitalism are looking for socialist models. That means creating the consciousness of solidarity and equality rather than individualism and competition,. Capitalism is not working and if Wall Street investors
    put money into Cuba it will be to turn Cuba back to the times it was under Batista.

  • No reasonable person can expect any country in the world to evolve from the stifling stagnation of our country, through these menial, literally unproductive, non-growth service activities. Real production, development and export is a must. This can be seen only as a beginning.

    Cuba, like few other countries around the world, need not to resort to typical, voracious, foreign bank investment for the development of its small and mid-size enterprises. Tens of thousands of our neighbors in the Caribbean, thousands of solidarity groups around the world, who have backed our country through thick and thin, should be encouraged to provide a different type of solidarity at this critical moment, by encouraging themselves and acquaintances to come and invest part of their savings in our small ventures.

    World renowned Micro Credit Systems have worked in tens of countries. Enticing hundreds of thousands of Cubans working or living abroad, to actively invest in every possible development activity in our country, their province, city or block, can become a big push to restore our nation’s to the greatness it deserves.

    The time of name calling, divisiveness and petty hatred is OVER! May we all join in making Cuba the most prosperous, livable, scientifically developed, healthy, educated and culturally refined nation in our region.

    Our nation is at a defining crossroad. If it fails or succeed, it will be entirely on us , with no one to Thank or Blame.

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