Cuba on the tightrope

Posted on February 14, 2011


Since the middle of 2010 the Cuban government launched economic measures aimed to improve its low productivity. They intend to ease the creation of small business and to fire half a million State employees. Is this the start of a sort of Cuban NEP? May this bring to the building of a middle class with its own political party? will this be managed without ceding power as in China or will it all end in a Stalinist blood bath as in Russia?

They didn’t give many clues about the details. Previous experience with  self-employment in Cuba showed a lot of obstacles posed to people who ventured (we are talking of people doing TV repairs, selling pizza and such); from moral condemn, till drowning them with taxes, not allowing imports of inputs, etc. Other pragmatic questions are well delivered here.

On the other hand, the Catholic Church in Cuba tried to help with the social acceptance of those “entrepreneurs” with a suggestive stance: “Do not fear of riches”. I wonder if they discussed the theological basis for this; but -from the starting point of them- it seems early for this fear yet.

I think the mess of the “socialist” economy of Cuba could never be imagined by the old Karl Marx, who thought it as the arrival station of a developed Capitalism, not a bureaucratic all-encompassing State turned the main obstacle for the developing of the social forces. I wish luck for this beautiful and patient people who, for the most part, kept his loyalty to their hopes in the Revolution through 50 years of hardships.