Cooperatives Coming to Cuba
HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 15 — The Cuban government will allow the creation of cooperatives to alleviate the surplus workforce in the state sector, which has already announced the elimination of 500,000 jobs by the end of March 2011.
According to a document circulated since late August by the ruling Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), the new private endeavors will cover agricultural and food production, construction, transportation and diverse services, reported IPS.
The details of how the cooperatives will be organized and how they will purchase raw materials and other inputs, and market their products, has yet to be made public.
Likewise, the rules and regulations regarding contracted labor and taxes is expected to be forthcoming. No mention has been made about a cooperative being able to import or export or enter into a joint venture with foreign capital.
4 thoughts on “Cooperatives Coming to Cuba”
I’m optimistic but cautious about “cooperatives coming to Cuba.” Certain coops were instituted in Yugoslavia under a state monopoly form of socialism, to try and relieve the economic constipation of that unnatural system. These coops did not preform well, because they were the offspring of a dysfunctional, bureaucratic system. Might the same application be what the PCC now has in mind?
Worker-owned coops are a superb type of business enterprise. In order to perform their dynamic productivity and citizen mobilization for socialist construction however, they need two things: legal private productive property rights, and a price-fluctuating trading market. Without these they will not function properly.
Instituting cooperatives as part of a state monopoly form of socialism would be like trying to put diesel fuel into a gasoline engine, expecting it to work like a diesel. If one wishes to use diesel fuel, one has to have an engine specifically designed for it.
If the PCC feeds cooperatives into a state monopoly engine, the result will be a disaster. The engine itself should be converted to a forthright cooperative form of socialism, similar to what we are proposing to the people of the U.S.
I am with Grady worker coop’s can be the answer that the Cuban People are looking for.
This is an extremely interesting and important development. If the cooperative structure or structures developed give those who labor direct ownership and therefore democratic control, the Cuban Revolution may survive, after all. They would then also be a model unto the world for a workable form of socialism. Bravo!
And not a word about extending democracy.
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