By Benamin Noria
HAVANA TIMES – According to Marino Murillo, one of the Cuban government’s vice-presidents and Head of the so-called Tarea Ordenamiento (economic reforms), these reforms will encourage equal pay in the country. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a political strategy for the Cuban government to stay in power a few more years, it’s not an economic one.
For example, a driver at Cuba’s Ministry of Interior earns 6500 pesos, a simple driver. A high-ranking MININT official earns 9000 Cuban pesos. A Head of Department at MININT, who sometimes hasn’t even graduated high school, earns 7500 Cuban pesos; an official in the Armed Revolutionary Forces earns 10,000 Cuban pesos; and last but not least, a Minister earns approximately 9050 pesos.
Yet, a Cuban doctor doesn’t earn more than 5500 Cuban pesos today, net. Construction workers don’t earn more than 3000 pesos per month, and that’s when a lot of Cuba’s main infrastructure projects depend on them.
As you can see, these reforms are only benefitting the military so that they have the backs of high-ranking State officials.
These reforms might be the last desperate attempt from the Cuban government. When it doesn’t work out and fails, I’m not sure what else they’ll be able to invent. They might show up with reform version 2-XY-F1, or with Temporary Situation: F2-XL-V2. They are great at inventing names and re-semanticizing concepts. I don’t know whether the Cuban people will be able to bear another failure after this.
Communism means: trend towards the general, equality. With this pay gap, I don’t think you can define these reforms and their inequal pay as communist. Over sixty years have passed, and we still haven’t been able to prove whether Communism can exist, thanks to totalitarians and State-centric socialists.
According to Karl Marx’s theory: everything would start with a conflict based on economics between the exploited and exploiters; then, the proletariat, which is the exploited class, would conquer power via a revolution, which would be their solution to this conflict.
The government would be a dictatorship of the proletariat and would oust the exploiters’ government (the bourgeoisie). Lastly, the State would disappear, humans would be able to live without the state, like a kind of primitive community, and wealth would be equally distributed.
That said, I haven’t been able to see the State disappear in 63 years of the Cuban Revolution. Or wealth being fairly distributed. The State has become more and more present and repressive instead, with a single party, centralized economy and a strong hold over the police and army.
An illusion of progress
The only thing the Cuban government has wanted to do right now is create the illusion of progress, increasing wages with money without any support; because if the country isn’t producing and last year’s GDP hasn’t grown, and we’ve been in a “temporary” recession ever since September 2019, then where did this money come from? The Cuban government is only good at governing misery.
The wage pyramid of the reforms process doesn’t look like it will benefit workers, or the working class in general. This pyramid was never conceived with them in mind. Every time the Cuban government makes changes or a reform, it hurts the Cuban people. Over 40 years of hardship and the country’s leaders becoming more powerful are testament to this. All of this so they can continue to manipulate the 11 million Cubans under them.