Pinar del Rio farmer.  Photo: Michael Roy
Pinar del Rio farmer. Photo: Michael Roy

HAVANA TIMES — In most countries farm cooperatives are owned by their members who elect a board of directors and/or administrators. In Cuba it’s very different; the state-run coops have little autonomy, an example of which was the decision this week to remove 632 presidents of farm co-ops in one fell swoop.

The unilateral decision was announced by Felix Gonzalez the head of ANAP, Cuba’s small farmers association that includes cooperatives.

See related post on Cuban agriculture

“A cooperative cannot function well if leaders in charge don’t work well,” said Gonzalez.

He added that the heads of the cooperatives need training to be up for the challenges posed by the economic changes the Communist Party and the government are trying to implement on the island.

Cuba is currently importing somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of its foodstuffs, and must spend upwards of US $2 billion a year to pay the tab, noted Xinhua news.

President Raul Castro has made turning around the sluggish national production a priority of his government, however offcial production figures have continued to fall despite hundreds of thousands of hectares of land being given out in usufruct in recent years.

Rising international food prices make the fallback need to import most food a strategy that is unsustainable for the weak Cuban economy.

9 thoughts on “Cuba Gov. Purges 632 Co-op Leaders

  • No, you wouldn’t.

  • Private ownership of the land by the farmers need not necessarily involve co-operatives, but that is one possibility. Co-operative distribution systems might prove very useful for Cuban farmers to overcome with the poor transportations system.

    But don’t forget, I do not believe socialism is workable, or economically sustainable, in any form.

  • Valid point. The Marxian deviation from real socialism apparently has screwed up the entire agricultural production process, all along the line. The Marxists leaders and functionaries, while totally sincere, have a phobia of the small business sector of an economy, and of someone, anyone, making a buck. This is Utopian, moralistic nonsense.

    The whole inspiration of socialism is based on the material benefits of the working people owning the land and means of production, not through the agency of the state, but directly, either cooperatively or independently, but with private property rights intact. A prosperous small agricultural-sector bourgeoisie is crucial for producing and marketing food and other products.

    I’m a hard-core socialist transformationary, but I’m certainly and proudly no longer a Marxist. What that incorrect misunderstanding of workable socialism has done do to the Cuban economy, quite visible in the food production and marketing process, is revolting.

    But I also understand that, as long as state power is the hands of the PCC, it is not in the hands of the imperialists, and that all the comrades need to do is clear their heads of the Marxist fog.

    It is no wonder that you, Moses, and others like you, who hate the Cuban leadership and the moronic state monopoly system that is ruining the Cuban Revolution, believe as you do. But I’m on the side of the working people of Cuba and the US, while you are hand-in-glove with the imperialist dictators, a place I will never be and will never support.

  • The Castro “government” put incompetent bureaucrats to run the agriculture
    instead of the farmers. My uncle told me on how they would raze fields of
    native fruit trees in order to plant soybeans who are not native.

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