It’s anyone’s guess whether or when the ideas, suggestions, and proddings in
But in the meantime, Juventud Rebelde continues to make for interesting reading.
Yesterday’s paper ran a column by one Jose Alejandro Rodríguez calling for open criticism of socialism’s failings. He cited a “sick obsession” with protecting the image of the country or a ministry or an enterprise, at the expense of honest diagnoses that could make things better. He noted that “corruption” used to be a “bad word,” but now the Cuban government has established a special agency to stamp it out. He ridiculed the idea that honest internal criticism gives “weapons to the enemy.” Silence and conformity, he said, are “the most dangerous missile” that could be given to those who want to “dismantle the work of 50 years.” EFE story here.
Then there was this August 15 article on rice production in Vertientes,
Then there was this long August 22 piece that reads like a call to end excessive centralization. It opens with an anecdote about a local initiative where officials in Jatibonico, Sancti Spiritus, rescued a locomotive headed for the boneyard and used it to established passenger service for seven communities. But this type of effort is exceptional, the article says, because most localities wait for “decisions, solutions, and even initiatives” to come from above “in the same way in which manna was send to the Israelites in Biblical times.”
The article goes on to cite academics, officials, and farmers who have ideas about local initiatives. “Why do cooperatives have to be only in agriculture,” one asks, giving as an example an illegal car body painting enterprise whose four workers should be able to form a cooperative and pay taxes. Another notes that enterprises, stovepiped into different ministries, can’t offer services to each other even though there would be benefits for society and for the economy’s efficicency. And a farm cooperative president says that the agriculture bureaucracy is excessive; there’s “a lot of personnel that doesn’t produce any development and doesn’t decide much either.”