HAVANA TIMES – The ruling Cuban Communist Party acknowledged errors and delays in economic reforms, calling for greater involvement of state agencies, reported dpa on Tuesday.
In 2008, President Raul Castro promoted a series of measures to lower the government payroll while boosting small private initiative in the Cuban economy after decades of state monopoly.
In the first three years there was a “high performance of policy implementation”, but since 2011 the rhythm has decreased due to the “complexity of the measures and errors in planning and control”, explained the head of the economic reforms, Marino Murillo, before the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC).
Castro has said throughout that the reform process would be gradual, but the stagnation has surpassed his desire for slow but steady changes.
Murillo also noted that the slowness of the reforms was due to financial constraints “that made it impossible to adequately support a group of actions that required investment,” the official newspaper “Granma” wrote.
“Despite the errors and inadequacies recognized at the PCC gathering, the situation is more favorable than a few years ago,” said Raul Castro, who chaired the closed door meeting. [It is not known if he referred only to the macroeconomic situation or whether he sees improvements in the lives of the general population.]
The economic reforms of Raul Castro seek to give more space to private initiative in the service sector and openness to foreign investment, keeping the State in control of the large strategic sectors.
The process of economic opening has especially meant the rise of private restaurants and the rental of rooms, something that has generated misgivings in some sectors of the Government, which criticize “the accumulation of wealth in the hands of individuals.” As a result, six months ago, licenses for new businesses of this type were suspended.
The meeting of the communist organization, the only legal party in the country, indicated as a priority the monetary and exchange unification of the two currencies that circulate through the country with different exchange rates that benefit the state companies but that distort the reality of the national economy.