21 January 2007

Economic Reforms "Debated" In Cuba

The Cuban regime realizes that if it doesn’t make some changes soon, things are going to get ugly.

The population is young and disenchanted in their parent’s “revolution”. All they have ever known is sacrifice, misery and empty speeches and slogans.

The Regime needs to make some reforms to alleviate some of the social pressures.

The Miami Herald has a piece on the “debate” supposedly occurring within the regime.

Obviously, the decisions have already been made and they’re just waiting until after the funeral to announce the reforms.

''There is a debate,'' said Rafael Hernández, the editor of the quarterly Cuban magazine Temas, or Issues, and one of the country's leading intellectuals.

Hernández said the debate taking place at different levels of Cuba's government and society focuses on proposals such as decentralizing the highly centralized economy, forming cooperatives in areas outside of agriculture, and creating openings for more small and medium-size private enterprises.

''In Cuba, no IMF formula is foreseeable,'' said Hernández, referring to the international Monetary Fund and its free-market economic policies.

The primary concern for the regime is to keep political control of the society so any changes will be gradual at first and will have built-in mechanisms to guarantee that the regime gets its cut of the profits.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal had an article on the expected economic reforms on the island.
Another proponent of reforms, prominent Cuban economist Pedro Monreal, recently told The Wall Street Journal that Cuba needs an overhaul to inject motivation and innovation into the economy although the direction of the debate is difficult to follow. ''It's a kind of black-box process,'' he said

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba flirted with free market reforms, (out of necessity), by allowing the use of Dollars and for small family businesses that could employ workers. These steps, "created a bifurcated economy that gives some people access to hard currency and others not” according to Philip Peters, Cuba analyst at the Lexington Institute, a think tank in Arlington, Va.

This infuriated Fidel, the egalitarian, who put and end to fledging businesses as soon as he was able.

Article Here

No comments: