Raul Castro Loud and Clear on Cuba’s Future

Some remarks on Cuban President Raul Castro’s summary of the 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers Federation (CTC).

Pedro Campos

Raul Castro addressing the Cuban Workers Federation congress on Feb. 24, 2014. Photo: granma.cubaweb.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban President Raul Castro has just summarized the outcome of the 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers Association (CTC). His statements were very clear:

“We must never forget that the economic system that will prevail in socialist, independent and sovereign Cuba will continue to base itself in the people’s ownership over the fundamental means of production and that State companies will continue to be the main form of organization of the domestic economy – and that the building of our socialist system will depend on their performance.”

Thus, Cuba’s “prosperous and sustainable” socialism will continue to depend on State companies, those that exploit the salaried labor of Cubans with miserable wages and have demonstrated their utter inefficiency in the course of over fifty years. Free labor associations, cooperatives or free individual work – these, the forms of production that Marxists believe should predominate under socialism, will not be the basis of the system.

Raul Castro should be congratulated for being so clear and sincere. If anyone had any doubts about the possibility of important changes under his leadership, everything is now clear as day. Many of us were already aware of the situation some time before, but some continued to wait for true reforms.

I imagine fewer and fewer people continue to believe that Cuba’s State monopoly capitalism can mutate into a form of socialism.

After these pronouncements, does anyone still have any doubts that democratization is a condition of socialism?

To say anything else would be to harp on the same old issues.
—–
Pedro Campos: pedrocampos313@yahoo.es

16 thoughts on “Raul Castro Loud and Clear on Cuba’s Future

  • February 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm
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    Raul forgot to mention the annual $5 billion in remittances and goods sent from family and loved ones living abroad and the 100,000 barrels of oil daily sent from the Cuban colony Venezuela worth nearly another $4 billion each year. This outside support, equaling almost 15% of Cuba’s annual budget, is proof that on its own, Castro-style socialism is a failure and always has been.

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    • March 1, 2014 at 11:52 am
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      Why bother but-Moses, you hypocrite – if Cuba’s socialist-style economy is a failure due to its own inherent faults why then the need for the war on the Cuban economy ?
      The embargo was set in place back about 45 years ago with the explicit purpose not of making Cuba democratic but of making it return to capitalism .
      The people who set the embargo in place clearly said AT THAT TIME that the purpose was to make life for all Cubans so hard that they would overthrow their own (SOCIALIST- STYLE) revolution.
      Were you a student of or someone knowledgeable about U.S. foreign policy history you’d have known that there are few to no examples of U.S foreign policy actions to install democracies and a huge majority of foreign policy actions to kill off any rise of socialism .
      U.S. actions against Cuba are based SOLELY on the long-standing objective of defeating democratic economic movements around the world .
      Cuba’s socialist style economy is the ONLY factor responsible for the survival of the revolution in the face of the overwhelming economic power wielded against Cuba by the GOUSA.
      Well…. that and the fact that Fidel taught his people well .
      They know what will happen if they surrender to U.S. imperialism .

      Reply
  • February 26, 2014 at 5:19 pm
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    untll cuba relies on private enterprise as the engine of growth it will continue to be a subsistence economy for most of its people. china learned this; cuba hasnt thus far. and it appears venezuela is on the same road as cuba.

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    • February 27, 2014 at 2:53 pm
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      “Subsistence economy”….. Ron, that’s a very accurate description of present day Cuba. But China didn’t have to contend with the economic embargo that Cuba is still forced to live with. Exit the embargo, and perhaps then parallels concerning Cuba’s potential future and China’s present day success could be both anticipated and massaged to become a reality.

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  • February 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm
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    When will these “critics” learn that for as long as the embargo exists no one will take any criticisms of Cuba’s economy seriously. Give Cuba a fair chance and let it run its course, at least then your criticisms might be believable or carry any weight.

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    • February 27, 2014 at 7:06 pm
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      When will pro-Castro supporters accept that until Cuba meets the conditions set forth under Helms-Burton, the embargo will remain in place? Give Cubans a fair chance and let them determine what form of government and what President they want for themselves through an open and free election and then if they choose a socialist-style system, only then will your support of Castro-style socialism carry any weight.

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      • February 27, 2014 at 11:34 pm
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        Moses, when will you learn and accept that it’s not YOUR governments place, responsibility, or right to help decide anything for the Cuban government or the Cuban people. Unless the Cuban government poses an immediate and direct threat to the US….there is no justifiable argument or credible explanation for a continuation of that cruel and insane economic embargo affecting Cuba. The world has condemned your country’s policy for 22 straight years. And yet your government thumbs it’s nose at this almost unanimous democratic vote…all the while professing to uphold democracy as the cornerstone to your country’s very existence and perceived gift to the world. Absolute utter hypocrisy. It’s not difficult to realize who the REAL tyrant is in this world.

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        • February 28, 2014 at 8:35 am
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          You grossly misunderstand. No one presumes to DECIDE anything for Cuba. On the contrary, and read this closely as many on your side seem to fail to grasp the difference: US policy is directed at bringing about the opportunity for CUBANS to decide what type of government they wish. This is a choice denied them for at least 55 if not 61 years. Please don’t tell me that Cuban elections reflect the true will of the people. US/Cuban policy is a bilateral conflict. The annual UN vote is a toothless tiger with little or no impact on US relations with any country. Thankfully, your clear anti-US bias is shared by only a few around the world, even fewer especially after natural disasters or political catastrophes when the usual outcry is “Where are the Americans?”

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          • February 28, 2014 at 11:06 am
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            Moses, the very fact that the embargo exists is clear confirmation that America is attempting to decide what is best for Cuba. It’s a clear indication that your government is attempting to remove Cuba’s current government. That’s a clear violation. That’s meddling in another country’s affairs. That’s definitely over-stepping America’s responsibility. No matter what your country’s opinions might be about Cuba’s present government, and how abhorrent their governing system might be to you, your government doesn’t have any right to attempt to change that government through the direct and indirect use of force. The economic embargo is the use of force…it’s a siege mentality that has been meant to cause the over-throw of their government. But Cuba’s government poses no threat to the US…and they pose little threat to their population as well. America’s policies towards Cuba are the real threat because they clearly violate world opinion and international law.

            “The annual UN vote is a toothless tiger with little or no impact on US relations with any country.”

            Moses, obviously to you, the only determining factor to bring value to this continuing UN condemnation is whether it is affecting US relations. Never mind that it’s just another indicator of America’s hypocracy…never mind that it’s another indicator of American arrogance…and never mind that it’s simply wrong for America to ignore it. You can’t have it both ways….you can’t expect the world to respect America when America doesn’t respect the rest of the world. Moses, I think you’re living in a bit of a dream world when you suggest that my anti-US bias is shared by only a few around the world. To first correct you…I’m not anti-US citizen…I’m anti-US government. Even the US population is being held hostage by your government and their inept foreign policies. So I can sympathize with them too…no matter what their individual opinion might be on Cuba. But Moses, you’re really being quite dillusional when you suggest that the world at large is committed to a continuing love-affair with America. It’s really quite to the contrary. Once again, you’ve been drinking far too much of your nation’s propaganda cool aide to know the difference.

      • February 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm
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        Under the Helms-Burton the embargo/blocade would remain in effect if they wished to keep their socialist-style system. The Helms Burton clearly states that Cuba needs to move to a market-oriented economy with private property rights. The most common understanding of this term is outright capitalism. Possibly Grady’s Socio-capitalism would be allowed, but nobody really knows what is allowed and what isn’t.

        The embargo would also remain in effect unless they agreed to disband the CDRs, allow US government-funded Radio/TV Marti to broadcast and allow PRIVATE media and telecommunications companies (American) 24/7 propaganda rights. Even if Cuba had a publicly owned broadcasting corporation like the BBC this wouldn’t be allowed under the Helms-Burton Act. The UK wouldn’t accept these conditions, neither would Canada, so why should Cuba.

        Even if Cuba complied with everything in the act, the US can still bring out their trump card – they decide whether the election was fair or not. There is potential for this to be abused and could be little more than an euphemism for waiting to see whether an Amerian-backed/financed candidate gets elected. If they don’t then its over to Plan Venezuela.

        However, your comments are close to getting to the nub of the problem/deadlock on this issue. The US needs to allow Cuba self-determination without pressure or interference. Cuba needs to ratify the human rights accords and prove that its system/government has the backing of the vast majority or come up with a new constitution that does.

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        • February 28, 2014 at 7:21 pm
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          Very well said dani.

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  • February 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm
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    I clearly understand your rejection of American foreign policy. It is obviously intended to promote AMERICAN interests. Just like Canadian policy, and Mexican policy and Spanish policy, etc. is designed to promote the policies of their respective countries. It is only that the US, as the world’s superpower, is far more effective at promoting our policies. It’s the old “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” in the real world.

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    • February 28, 2014 at 7:19 pm
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      There is very little that is beautiful about America these days. At one time…yes. But that was back before America adopted its paranoid obsession with fighting communism both around the world and at home. At one time there WERE obvious reasons to do so, but not anymore in Cuba. Ironically, I heard on the radio this morning that one still can’t be given an Academy Award if they are a communist. That’s crazy, and a disgraceful remnant of McCarthyism and the cold war years that is still in place today. So as much as you’ve promoted that there should be free elections in Cuba so the Cuban people can decide their form of government, the US government continues to undermine the Communist Party USA at home as well. That political alternative has been all but ostracized in the minds of the American public through your government’s continuing propaganda campaign to discredit communism at every turn.

      “It’s the old “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” in the real world.”

      Moses, I beg to differ…to be more REAL about our world, a more accurate expression reads…. ‘don’t hate me because I have more money, more weaponry, and more power than you do, granting me the liberty to do anything I wish with impunity….and without any remorse for rejecting world opinion’.

      Reply
  • March 1, 2014 at 7:18 am
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    A bag of words to please the hard liners so that he can move forward with reforms. How the state controls major industry can change over time. Raul seeks more productivity and he means to have it my unleashing individual incentive. Look to states such as Sweden for models of advanced states. Raul knows that an impoverished Cuba can’t be viable.

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  • March 3, 2014 at 10:48 am
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    either it gets fix or our children will stealit from cuba by force. cuba doesnt have a leg to stand on we should just take it like everything else we do around the world

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  • March 3, 2014 at 10:56 am
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    como en cuba hay en miami, una pila de pendejos que le tienen miedo a todo hasta sus sombra que cagada es ser cubano y ver la mierda que nos trata hacer comer. Cuba ya devida ser e
    hecho un paqueo.

    Reply

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