Measuring Stick for Cuba’s Reforms

By Circles Robinson

The plan was approved by the Communist Party, now Cubans will see how it works in practice. Photo: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

HAVANA TIMES, April 23 — Taking a look at the reforms being/to be implemented in Cuba’s economy, I came up with some indicators that we can evaluate five years down the road (and consider along the way) to see if the reforms have a positive impact on life under Cuban socialism.

– If Cuban workers can meet their basic needs with their salaries.

– If Cuba greatly increases its food production and distribution networks and can thus considerably lower imports without decreasing already low consumption levels.

– If Cuba’s housing infrastructure sees more repairs and/or new construction than collapse and further deterioration.

– If getting to and from work on public transportation ceases to be a second job in itself for most people.

– If low and high level theft and corruption cease to be a generally recognized norm at State companies/institutions.

– If there is an improvement in public education and health care or at least a break in the decline experienced over the last decade.

– If social inequalities sure to increase do not reach the typical Latin American proportions.

– If young people generally feel positive about their future in Cuba.

– If child-bearing age women increasingly feel secure enough to have children.

– If the immigration status of Cubans is normalized with clear policies, eliminating the current restrictions.

Achieving some of these indicators partially depends on other civil rights and liberties issues, scheduled to be addressed in a Communist Party policy conference next January.

7 thoughts on “Measuring Stick for Cuba’s Reforms

  • I will remain optimistic that at least some of your IFs will be realized in the next five years – particularly the first one.

  • If all this happens, life will be better than in US. And in most other countries too. What is needed is controll from below and hard work. The people have to feel they can make it, but therefore those on the top have to give up their influence and bureaucracy. And everybody knows Raul is all about bureacracy and institutionalization. It will hardly work out, because all bureaucrats keep working bad until they get bribed. Further the personal left in Cuba is not capable of it due to a lack of experience how efficient systems work. Reinventing everyday for new the world.
    Just look at Havana best restaurant, good prices, and where did they cook work, in Italy and Spain. Cuba will never develop with the dreamers in the country. It would but capitalism is still developing faster and therefore Cuba will fall back further.
    Here is the idea: Motivate successful cuban entrepreneurs to come back to Cuba. Just open them the markets, to reorganize for the state, share the profits and let them work.

  • Well stated criteria, Circles. We will see how they fare.

    On the question of whether the “Chinese path” is being taken, I think they are trying to employ entrepreneurial leadership to relieve the constipation and pain of Marxian state monopolism. I only hope the Cubans can make their entrepreneurialism cooperative rather than capitalistic.

  • These are my own feelings on the ifs, I am sure wiser people than it will have further comments soon…

    As a socialist I am still trying to digest the info but It does look like they are taking the Chinese path to the restoration of capitalism with more “market friendly” oriented reforms and introducing supply and demand to some areas of the economy

    Many ideas about economic reform are in their initial stages will run into problems and we have seen different segments for different reasons of the bureaucracy sabotage of the layoffs of up to a million workers and not counting the lack of funds to ameliorate transition costs and speed up the implementation of the new policies and program

    The biggest problem for the reform process will be addressing the fact that workers in Cuba’s ag industrty, social services and as a whole have already been disadvantaged by the development of Cuban tourism and other industries with access to hard currency or CUC and the elimination of the ration books, cuts in workplace cafeterias, social services and education.

    There is still no direct participation of democracy by the workers and workers control, the leadership of the party has expanded with people of color and women but have failed to address corruption at all levels and miltary managers are in place in most top spots.

    The government is analyzing whether to legalize the sale of cars and homes.

    I am sure more will come out in the coming days and analysis will follow but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    Rojo Rojito


  • I give you a heavy dose of KUDOS for actually allowing me to post comments here! I submitted couple of comments on the Huffington Post’s article by Mike Farrell (the actor) two days ago and either they have not appeared and one that was a comment on a comment just vanished!

    This is the article: Been to Cuba Lately? by Mike Farrell-Actor, ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘Providence’

  • …and the Easter Bunny is coming tomorrow…(no, really).

  • Those are a lot of “IF’s”! “IF” in 52 years the country has run into the ground, what makes you think than in “5 magical years” all those problems will magically dissappear? I think the biggest “IF” is if Raul and Fidel and all the other imcompetent leaders leave power! That is a very big “IF”, but it “WONT” happen!

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