Cuba Slows Down Layoff Schedule

One of the options for laid off Cuban workers is self-employment. Photo: Caridad

by Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, March 1 — Cuban President Raul Castro announced on Monday that the program to lay off 500,000 public sector workers by the end of March was not progressing on schedule.

Speaking to the Council of Ministers, Castro ordered a new revised program be drafted.  The official press did not state what percentage of the original plan would be met on time.

The president noted that layoffs are not an end in itself but seek to promote greater efficiency and discipline at workplaces.

Castro also said that implementation of all the reforms to be approved by the Communist Party Congress in April will take no less than five years to conclude.  These include laying off over a million workers.

Discussions about the reforms have taken place at workplaces and communities across the island.  The government says seven million of Cuba’s 11.2 million inhabitants have attended those meetings and that the results of those consultations will be published by the authorities.


2 thoughts on “Cuba Slows Down Layoff Schedule

  • When the Cuban leadership nationalized everything in 1968, making all working people employees of the state, it wrecked the chances for a viable, truly socialist economy. But that’s what “full state ownership” has always done–in accordance with the Communist Manifesto principle–in each country where it has been implemented.

    It bothers me is that the Cuban leadership is launching into an attempt at basic reforms without adjusting the theory of just what should and would constitute a workable socialist mode of production. If the state should not own everything in sight–per the Manifesto–then a forthright theoretical statement should be advanced before the world socialist movement.

    The theoretical question remains open: What is a viable socialist mode of production?

    It seems that the Cuban leaders are determined to cling to the Marxian statist principle in theory, but let go of it “on the ground,” hoping for an economic turn-around.

    At least the idiocy of letting go a half-million workers at one time is being modified. I wonder if the turmoil by the masses in the Mid-East has scared them!

  • From what I understand some of the slowdown is by the workers councils and people within the Labor Ministry which means there may be a split about the so called reforms within the bueaucracy.
    And this from a friend who lives in Cuba.

    Guau! as we say here. Thanks Cort – no wonder Im getting so much new traffic!!

    there is debate – I have participated in each one since….I can’t remember when it was – 4 years ago? however, there are A LOT of layers between what is debated at the neighborhood level and what actually gets implemented.

    One evolution I have noticed since those first debates is that Cubans are more likely to speak their minds these days.

    For instance, in our neighborhood debate two weeks aqo to discuss the “lineamientos” (these are the economic changes being put forth) one neighbor turned to me and said in sotto voce ‘I can’t believe no one is mentioning the exit permit and bureaucracy around traveling’ (every resident and citizen has to apply and pay for an exit permit before they can travel overseas).

    When the floor was opened up for comments, a woman came forward and said just that and for the record: when are they going to revoke the exit permit and allow us to travel. It was noted and that will make its way up the line to the halls of real power – hopefully!!

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