Planning as Practiced in Cuba

Miguel Arias Sanchez

The chicken is in the store.

HAVANA TIMES — Just the other day, I was listening to a radio show where two journalists were discussing different current events topics.

I was interested in what they had to say and listened to the end: “Economic plans which become disasters,” and they were shedding light on an undeniable reality.

There are people here who, sitting behind a desk with the air conditioning on and a car parked outside the door, make plans which, by the time they reach the people, have already been approved. So, the question we have to ask ourselves is: Are all objective and subjective factors taken into account in the decision-making process when creating an economic project?

Socialism dictates that a country’s means of production lie in the hands of its workers; therefore, they play a determining role in society. Another of Socialism’s precepts is direct participation and mass debates when approving decisions which will have an impact on society.

Is this really done in Cuba?

Does the person who draws up a plan consult workers and all of the other factors for it to be realized successfully? Are changes made depending on today’s reality?

No they aren’t, the plans are approved by those above and are put into practice, the final outcome: the plan which the radio journalist referred to, became an economic disaster.

At the end of the day, and like always, its everyday citizens who suffer and lose out because the person who drew up a given plan and approved it didn’t take Socialism’s most essential elements and precepts into account.

At a mass rally in 1961, this system, which today many people ignore, was proclaimed, resulting in greater hardships for society because of the unilateral and self-reliant decision of a poorly “planned” plan.

Miguel Arias

Miguel Arias Sánchez: I was born in Regla in 1949. That’s where I went to elementary and high school. Afterwards I took courses to be a teacher and did that for several years. I did my military service and as soon as I got out I studied formally to be a teacher graduating at the University of Havana. I taught in classrooms for nearly 20 years. I had the opportunity to travel and see another reality. I returned and am currently doing different self-employed activities.

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5 thoughts on “Planning as Practiced in Cuba

  • That flat statement requires some supporting evidence. Why has China adopted capitalism and abandoned the socialist system?

  • The problems of “planning” in Cuba:
    – the planners assume nature will conform to the plan (see the problems in agriculture with crops putrefying as no packaging or transport is available)
    – planners play with assets that only exist on paper and not in reality
    Put the two together and you have a total disaster.
    If you want to see it: go to Cuba.

  • Economic Development mistakes in the capitalist system are worse than anything that could be imagine in a socialist system.

  • And how about the plan– order– that only Cuban construction workers be used on all those new hotels/renovations?

  • By the way, whatever happened to the plan to eliminate the dual currency system?

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