Photo Feature by Elio Delgado Valdes

Area for self employed vendors.

HAVANA TIMES — More than 400,000 Cubans are now active in private economic activities on the island. Some were fired from government jobs and others had worked illegally but today have a license and pay taxes.

According to the government plan more than a million workers will be surplus in the coming years with the option to seek survival for themselves in one of the permitted private activities.

The non-state forms of making a living are mainly focused on food services, collective taxis and rental housing, in addition to farmers, whose number has increased with the delivery of idle land in usufruct.

The government is offering micro loans of less than US $300 on the average, but has not yet established wholesale markets to supply the businesses of self employed persons, leaving this role to the black market that includes theft from state-run businesses.

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13 thoughts on “Cubans Struggling for Themselves

  • September 11, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    You blame everything on Fidel. Like a typical American, you are obsessed with celebrity–personalities. Shallow, shallow, shallow. I’ve spoken over and over about how the Marxian state monopoly program is an incorrect formula for socialist economy, and that it distorts all of society. All you can rant about is how Fidel hurt your Cuban friend, and such as that. Your are only interested in spewing venom about personalities. Shallow and silly.

    The reason the wages of workers in Cuba are so low is because state monopoly ownership extracts all surplus value produced by workers, and puts it directly into state coffers. This is utterly stupid and dysfunctional, because workers need to keep much of the surplus values they produce in order to feed it into the economy for all sorts of goods and services, thereby stoking the economy. That’s how it works under capitalism, and it could work the same way under authentic socialism, but you can’t help the Cuban comrades correct their system because you are mainly interested in character assassination and negative predictions.

    But, Moses, you can’t offer anything constructive because you are locked into a capitalistic mindset and ideology that judges everything on a shallow, self-projection plane. Your mind is wasted on crap, and you wallow in the intellectual slime of counter-revolution.

    Why the hell are you going to Cuba, anyway? What is your mission? Come on, tell me . . . tell me, Lawrence W. and everyone else. And where are you getting the money to make all those trips?

  • September 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I see Fidel in a negative light because as recent as my last trip to Cuba in January, I was asked to deliver a DVD to my Cuban buddy’s mom who is dying of brain cancer. You see, he could not deliver it himself because he is not allowed to return to Cuba. He was a doctor who decided to emigrate to the US ten years ago. He did so after working 12 years in Cuba for never more than $20 per month. The DVD I delivered showed images of his American family including his young children who likewise have never seen their Cuban grandmother. Fidel’s government has precluded this family reunion. For what Grady? Is he a national security risk? Does his visiting his dying mother imperil Rail’s economic reforms? No, it is just about being mean. You can deify Fidel for all his internationalist ideals as you choose. I know one family who has suffered unnecessarily because of Fidel.

  • September 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    You got your Marxist theory backwards, Lawrence.

    According to Marxism, first comes socialism under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Then as the “new socialist man” is born, the state is supposed to wither away and an era of utopia know as Communism blooms.

    The governments of the USSR, Eastern Europe, China and Vietnam all called their system Socialist, specifically, the Marxist version, not the social-democratic version espoused by various Western political parties.

    You can look it up in your trusty wikipedia:

    The fact that this transition never happens as laid out by Marx and his disciples is evidence his crack-pot theories are nonsense.

  • September 11, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Absolutely correct ‘Moses’, it will no doubt be difficult for Cuba’s leadership to relinquish power it has had for 53 years so you can imagine how difficult it will be for US elites to the relinquish the power it has had for 237 years.

    Cuba’s leadership primarily fears what you represent and are doing – selling regime change – which causes legitimate paranoia which you admit may be justified. You should know of course. All revolutions require confidence there is no force trying to overthrow the revolution before they can relax.

    Look no further than your country for an example. Ever ask what the devil the War of 1812 was about? (disclaimer: I’m Canadian so am not a neutral player). More than 30 years after 1776, the Americans were still paranoid over Britain dealing with trade restrictions brought about by Britain, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honour after humiliations on the high seas, and a possible American desire to annex Canada. (Wikipedia)

    Once your country drops its embargo and folks like you stop calling for and promoting regime change, we will be able to assess better what form the Cuban government takes.

  • September 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    How is it possible to exchange with someone like you who only sees Fidel and the Cuban revolutionaries as grasping thugs? You project yourself and the rotten gang of capitalist rats you identify with into the socialist revolutionaries, and don’t really know a thing about the world socialist movement.

    We are going to transform the world for the better, whether you and your ilk like it, or know it. I may not live to see it, but I assure you, Moses. You are on the side of evil, and you will be remembered for what you are and do, and what you value.

    I believe that the Cuban revolution has an excellent chance to correct itself. They have the honor and the battle-hardened valor to overcome all obstacles, especially their own stupid mistakes. I am so glad that the future of humanity is in the hands of Fidel and people like him, and nothing you can say will dissuade me.

    My word to you is continue with what you think and do, and we will see how it all plays out.

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