Cuba Changes: A Deliberate Approach to Reform


HAVANA TIMES — The government of Cuba says it will continue on a gradual process of “updating” it’s socialist model with market reforms, keeping the State as the main force in the country’s economy. At the same time it opens to large foreign investment and offers some opportunities for private initiative for small businesses and the practice of some trades.

To describe the pace of introducing reforms while maintaining the existing system and powers, President Raul Castro has responded to his critics by saying the process will continue “without haste but without pause.”

On the topic, today we bring you an illustration by Yasser Castellanos entitled: “The Rush and the Delay.”

11 thoughts on “Cuba Changes: A Deliberate Approach to Reform

  • August 10, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Dude. This isn’t social science 101 ….no one is going to give you an essay respinse, and no one defines communism the way you do anyway. We, the rational, accept the real world interpretation of Communism.

  • August 10, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Ive never really had this conversation with you but I’m curious. …Why do you think businesses are created? Why do you think Steve Jobs, Gates or Zuckerberg started their companies? Would they have started otherwise?

  • August 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Could you please define “Cuban communism.”
    and how it differs from “Chinese communism” in your view?
    How does socialism differ from communism in your view?
    Which countries were socialist and which were communist in your view?
    How does “academic socialism ” differ from the socialist and communist examples you have in mind ?
    I’d like this info so I can have some idea of how you define terms and can then know better what you are trying to say.
    I know people have differing definitions so I’d like yours just for the record- ( I am beginning a study) and NOT to debate with you or criticize you. .

  • August 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Once free enterprise capitalism gets a start , you wind up with larger and larger companies as bigger ones swallow smaller ones and inevitably you wind up with an oligarchy: rule by the rich when they can control the electoral processes with money.
    As soon as someone, solely by virtue of having money, controls the means of production for the purposes of maximizing his/her profits and it is not an equal -share , democratically run operation , you get totalitarianism in the workplace which cross-contaminates all other democratic processes in the society.
    Such is the power of money in a capitalist society. .
    It’s like wanting to be only a little pregnant.
    I thoroughly agree with you that individuals must have control of their economic lives and that would be entrepreneurial endeavors as individuals or cooperatives .
    Once someone is “the boss” and has unequal power over another , it’s just not as good as a democratically-run workplace.
    There is an economic system devised by Michael Albert of ZCommunications called Parecon ( Participatory Economics)
    in which people are rewarded for their labor based on length , difficulty and onerousness /(unpleasantness) of the job.
    These pay scales directly tied to democratically set levels.
    You can read all about it in detail at ZNet.
    But, just to say it is just one of many alternatives out there to totalitarian economic systems like Cuba’s state capitalism and the Empire’s mandatory free-enterprise capitalism.
    I think we agree on a great many things .
    It’s a time for you to worry.

  • August 9, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    “The Cubans are not Chinese – Correct!
    Cuban communism is different from Chinese communism – about which Fidel Castro Ruz expressed amazement. But then that is true of both socialism and communism. No two versions are the same – except for the love of dictatorship.
    Within the reality of Cuba there is little discernible change. There is at the moment a lot of external media hype representing hopeful thinking.
    It can be interesting to read theoretical ponderings about Cuba – but that is what it is. The reality is entirely different from the academic socialist thinking.

  • August 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I don’t know how you can have a truly Democratic state without a free market system. If you mean that crony capitalism and monopoly enterprises needed to be prevented, I can see your point. To be free, individuals need to control their means of production. Effort should be rewarded in kind while preventing what economist call rent seekers that live off other people’s efforts.

  • August 8, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    The Cubans have a strict state capitalist economic structure that they are starting to open to entrepreneurial individuals as independent of state control.
    This is a process that must be done slowly so as to not undermine the social safety net provided by the ( benevolent as compared to free-enterprise capitalist [FEC]economies ) autochthonous Cuban state capitalist system .
    It’s a very slippery slope once the power of money takes hold in any major segment of a society because it means the beginning of the end of caring for the poorer people .
    Of course , the anarchist view of this is that it’s better than an outright dictatorship of money and for money such as exists in most of the FEC world where , to be boring and repeat, half the world barely exists and millions die yearly on less than $2.00 a day and without the health, education , housing guarantees, adequate nutrition guarantees and being able to live in a country where it’s safe for your family , that are found in Cuba .
    Cuba, for us democrats, has systems that amount to the lesser of the two evil ( undemocratic , top-down ) capitalist economic systems.
    The answer is democracy and that necessarily excludes FEC because it is totalitarian and it corrupts all the other democratic systems in a given society.
    The Cubans would be very wise to tread slowly and carefully.

  • August 8, 2015 at 9:11 am

    The pace is determined by the controls that can be put in place as the economy transforms from a primarily barter system to a monetized socialist system. In a system where the Government directly controls access to goods and services less sophistication is needed. A regulatory frame work, tax system and things of such nature need to be brought on line and tuned in order to not lose control. Similar slow progress is seen on opening the Internet. It will open at a pace that can be controlled.

    China is the best case for them to follow on how to exercise control in a modernized economy. The Cuban’s are not Chinese, so it won’t be a carbon copy. However the routers and security walls are well known. How to control banking sector and joint investment is also well modeled.

    The Cuban’s learn fast. Once the state gets comfortable, market activity will accelerate. That time is not too far in the distance. They also know that they have a window of opportunity that will close. Some risk needs to be taken.

    The other window that is closing is one of legacy. At average age of 85, the leadership has 5 to 10 years at most at the helm. Retirement calls for them.

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