Thursday, September 6, 2007

15 proposals

Via Kaos en la Red, we have an interesting set of ideas about economic policy from Pedro Campos, a retired diplomat and researcher at the University of Havana’s Center for the Study of the United States. His “15 concrete proposals to revive socialism in Cuba” respond to the Cuban communist party’s call for debate over Raul Castro’s July 26 speech, which itself called for “structural changes.”

Campos’ ideas are not revolutionary in our sense of the word.

But they are “revolutionary” in Cuba’s context in two ways: they fit within a discussion that the leadership has started, and they buck the tendency of recent years by arguing for decentralization and a degree of private initiative.

Campos believes his measures would “guarantee the continuity of the revolution, the deepening of socialism, and wide public support.”

They include:

  • Ending the dual-currency system, making Cuba’s convertible peso the single currency, keeping hard-currency retail prices unchanged while adjusting the prices for goods and services now bought in Cuban pesos. [Could Cuba’s central bank pull that off?]

  • Returning the convertible peso to par with the U.S. dollar and charging only minimal exchange fees to stimulate tourism, remittances, and “controlled foreign investment.” [This would end a penalty of nearly 20 percent paid since 2005 by those exchanging dollars for convertible pesos.]

  • In Cuban enterprises, allowing the election of management, allowing enterprises to debate and determine their plans and operations, instituting profit sharing, and allowing enterprises to contract with each other across sectors.

  • Liberalizing agricultural policy, distributing land to individuals and new small cooperatives, creating banks to lend to farmers, and “full liberalization of the internal market” for all farm and fishery products. [The last suggestion would end the state’s monopoly on beef, dairy products, shellfish, and many other items.]

  • Ending the libreta (ration book), which now provides heavily subsidized staples to every household, and replacing it with subsidies for the needy only.

  • Addressing the transportation problem through new enterprises and cooperatives and by bringing private taxis into cooperatives.

  • “Free issuance of all licenses for self-employment,” elimination of the current non-refundable monthly tax payment (cuota fija mensual), elimination of all tax for those earning less than 100 convertible pesos monthly, and reducing the rates in the progressive tax schedule that determines how much small entrepreneurs now pay at year’s end.

It’s not clear to me how his ideas for state enterprises would play out in practice.

As for the rest, I believe that the currency unification, if feasible, would be immensely popular.

The ideas on agriculture policy and self-employment would generate increased production, a reduction in black market activity, and most likely an increase in tax revenues.

The political impact would be equally interesting. At minimum the measures would generate a sense of relief and change in direction in Cuba, probably increasing political support for the government. In Miami and Washington, some of the issues discussed here would come into play.

19 comments:

Elgentleman said...

Si esas sugerencias llegan a ponerse en práctica creo que tendrían un gran apoyo popular y consolidarían al proyecto político cubano en una perspectiva a largo plazo. El punto ahora es implementarlas lo más rápido posible y hacerlo con una visión económica sistémica, no como "parches" inconexos de coyuntura. Cuando esas transformaciones se afirmen el liderazgo estaría en capacidad para abrir espacios de representación política en el parlamento a corrientes de pensamiento distinto al oficialista.

Fantomas said...

fijate como en ningun momento se habla de cambiar el sistema politico ni liberar los presos politicos cosa esencial en cualquier cambio de sociedad.

mas de lo mismo?

Elgentleman said...

Eso estaría implícito, Fantomas

Anonymous said...

Oye fantomas, como se nota que nada te complace, es claro que no vives en Cuba y la suerte de mi pueblo poco te interesa. Eres el clasico MELCHORA, por que no te largas de una vez de este debate que se empaña con tus estupideces? no te das cuenta que te queda grande? Espero que nadie piense que todos somos como tu.

Troglo said...

He aconsejado mucho a Fantomas pero no oye. Tal vez necesite un breve tratamiento en mi instituto, en sesiones de avivamiento y meditacion. Tal vez se enamore de alguna enfermera. Tok

Anonymous said...

Seria lo mejor que le pudiera pasar, yo en su lugar aceptaria la propuesta, si necesitas fondos me haces saber, yo conozco a quien los esta repartiendo y se entenderia que son para la causa de la transicion en Cuba, a fn de cuetas, que el desajuste emocional o el "me desordeno" a lo estilo Carilda Oliver, o mejor dicho a lo Frank Calzon, han pasado a ser proyectos subsidiados por el gran Tio Sam para que Cuba tenga un futuro mejor. Tampoco seria mala idea enviarlo un tiempecito a Europa, sus ideas tendrian gran exito en el debate profundo que sobre Cuba se hace alli, talvez el ayude a obtener la libertad para los cubanos.

Fantomas said...

ano, fijate como te importa un pepino la dicha de los inocentes presos politicos en Cuba. Inclusive a lo mejor como vives en Cuba, piensas como Roque cuando dice que en Cuba no existen presos politicos. Yo a ti te enviaria a una celda en kilo 7, Boniato, te daria una semana alli para que veas con tus propios ojos como se mueve el mambo alla dentro

Fantomas said...

Eso estaría implícito, Fantomas

Llevan 48 años engañando al pueblo y chantageando a la opinion publica internacional

Por que rayos creerles que actuan de buena fe...

Biscet a la calle y despues lo que corresponda , paso a paso

Anonymous said...

Creo que me adelante a tu propuesta, sufri en las carceles de Cuba varios años y termine en EU como muchos, pero eso no me da la legitimidad que buscas, esa me la da la objetividad de mis ideas y mi esperanza absoluta en un futuro mejor para Cuba en el que personajillos como tu nunca encontraran un lugar.

leftside said...

Overall, while there may be several discussion-worthy points, this seems like precisely the kind of thinking that Fidel was writing about the other day.

Charlie Bravo said...

For your information, the guy BACKTRACKED!

Sandra and Lidice said...

The future of Cuban socialism (as if it actually existed) is, according to this list of changes, capitalism!!

Juan Cuellar said...

Francisco Gonzalez Aruca sufrio carceles tambien y mire usted donde esta. Su reportero en Cuba, Alberto Ramy es otro "political prisoner" but still is an officer of the MININT with el "Manco Martin." Strange things happen in Cuba..and here, I must add.

Fantomas said...

y mi esperanza absoluta en un futuro mejor para Cuba en el que personajillos como tu nunca encontraran un lugar.

lo que pasa es que Cuba ha estado gobernada 48 años por unos personajillos muy malos... Ellos probaron SER MUY INEPTOS... Yo creo que es hora de darle chance a otros

Jose said...

Fantasmos is at it again. Hey buddy, as my Cuban wife (now living in US) says, "what does it have to do with you???"

Point = I've met many anti-castro cubans in the US who get real frustrated when they see Americans (cuban americans or gringos) talking about "the future of Cuba". If you are not in Cuba, if you don't hold a Cuban passport - its NONE of your business!

I am very anti-castro by the way, he has destroyed the country < BUT its the imperialist mind of the gringos (and CA in Miami) that have facilitated this.

We (americans) have no business telling ANY country what they should or shouldn't Do. This sentiment is especailly true for those CA's in Miami who have NEVER even been to Cuba! what presumption!

Down with castro! Down with Miami! viva los cubanos (with passports for Cuba)

Fantomas said...

jose what are you talking about ? Do you know me?

I was born and raised there under castro , i lived there , I have the cuban passport( expired)

De que coños hablas. Dont get confuse with a fantomas ever

Ernesto said...

Phil, I think this post should be updated. Regards,
E.

Anonymous said...

NO fueron esas las propuestas que Fidel Castro rechazó el otro dia? NI eso quiere, a pesar de tener un pie en la sepultura. Como va aquello de "genio y figura.."?

Anonymous said...

One of the most critical "structural" reform needed in Cuba is the necessity of turning over state lands into private property of the citizens, and allow adequate space for entrepreneurship. If not the Cubans citizens who sacrificed for the revolution may find themselves doubly cheated if in some future change scenario the Miami dissidents get their hands on Cuba.