Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Is Cuba's socialism being scrapped from above?

Flag of CubaRecently the Cuban authorities decreed that up to one million workers would be fired, 500,000 already this year. They are supposed to find their means of subsistence in a pseudo-private sector that mostly doesn't work. How many hairdressers do you need in a country of 10 million people? Not to mention whether hairdressing is not itself a consumerist bourgeois practice (I have not used a hairdresser in more than 20 years and I am doing fine).

Now the PCC has voted to approve the purchase and sale of homes. Until now you could pass your home to your offspring or swap it in a bureaucratic process but now this essential item of popular survival will fall into the hands of speculators, who will be able to earn money on peoples' basic needs. 

Can we say that Cuba is still socialist? What would Che say if he could see this?

This is exactly the downside slippery slope that the USSR followed already in 1980s but specially after Yeltsin's coup: soon all the public companies were owned by mafioso speculators and the Russian and other peoples of the Soviet Union were deprived of their economic rights and dumped into the most cruel of "free markets", full of criminal mafias and desperation.

A very similar path was followed by China and Vietnam, with some greater material success, admittedly, but not less injustices and corruption associated to it. 

Whatever one may think, it is clear that emphasizing private property is not the way ahead for any socialist system that wants to continue being that. It would be much better if La Habana secured first political reforms that guaranteed that all these projects (or others) would be put to popular referendum before being approved. Right now, regardless of self-criticisms, it is a minority who is making the decisions for the people and I doubt that these "reforms" would ever be approved if submitted to democratic approval/rejection by the Cuban People.

It is really a pity when socialist conquests are being destroyed by the very people who are supposed to defend them.

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