By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – I recently watched a show on Cuban TV. It was an interview that Mr. Alejandro Gil, the Cuban Minister of Economy, gave to the RT (Russia Today) channel. In this interview, he spoke about the Cuban economy, projects and prospects for the future.
I have to admit, I was left quite surprised. In spite of so many decades of promises and upbeat speeches, I still haven’t lost the ability to be amazed. Paraphrasing the minister, and with the absolute safeguard of keeping to the spirit of his statements, I will summarize for you what he said during the interview.
For starters, it turns out that we have great sources of development.
What did he use to give basis to this argument and be sure? Let’s take a look at his arguments.
1 – Foreign investment is a fundamental pillar of the economy. Foreign investors have the assurance that Cuba is a safe country with a serious State, which is responsible and upholds its commitments. The Mariel development zone has already completed the phase of building infrastructure and roads. He says that there are around fifty businesses there, right now.
2 – The Socialist State Companies. They have great potential, according to him. In his own words, the State Enterprises can still further improve and reach higher volumes of production and efficiency, developing national production so as to replace imports. He said that bureaucratic red tape, which still exists, needs to be resolved in order for this to happen.
3 – The private and cooperative sector. It’s a new player in the national economic landscape. It hasn’t been around long enough to be considered a socio-economic development project for the country. It has made progress and had setbacks, and it has been subject to revisions, just like any innovative model is. An appeal has been made to this sector to complement the State-Led Sector in developing our economy.
Near the end, he underlined the connection between the historic and next generations, in terms of national plans and actions towards making progress. He spoke about the work and guidance of men such as Raul Castro, Machado Ventura and Ramiro Valdes.
His emphatic statements were the most interesting. He believes that we can trust that the US blockade, or even the international crisis today as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, aren’t determining obstacles that will hinder our economic progress. That we can hope for progress in spite of, and with, these.
I won’t give you an economic analysis. I’m not an economist, I accept that. I also won’t try and refute the points this distinguished minister has argued. I believe doing so would be to underestimate my dear reader.
It is definitely the same disastrous model in essence, which has been given a lick of polish over and over again. Anyone who knows a little about these six decades under totalitarian rule here in Cuba, will remember perfectly the cycles of statements/promises, crises, those who are held to blame, statements/promises, crises, those who are held to blame… In short, a vicious cycle that is never-ending.
We’ve seen this movie a thousand times before. Enough of false promises.