Monday, May 9, 2011

The economic battle plan, 2 pesos per copy

The final version of the Communist Party’s “Lineamientos,” the policy guidelines for economic reform, is printed and on the street in Cuba. As best I can tell they are not on-line yet.

The draft version was published last November, it was discussed in meetings across Cuba, and it was debated in last month’s Party Congress. It had 291 numbered policy recommendations.

The final version has 313, and the 48-page publication on the street today includes, according to Granma, “information summarizing the study of each lineamiento and the reasoning behind the changes that were made based on the results of broad public debate, which express the will of our people contained in the policy of the Party, Government, and the State.”

The draft version cost one peso, the final sells for two.

The guidelines themselves do not change government policies. If the past few years’ experience is a guide, the policy changes will roll out one by one, often with no fanfare, in the form of new regulations and decrees published in the Gaceta Oficial.

Early reports indicate that the Lineamientos reiterate the decision to “establish the buying and selling of homes;” a new policy with potentially huge implications. AP says they encourage Cubans to form cooperatives outside the agricultural sector, another change of potentially high impact. Also, the document takes another crack at the long-discussed idea of allowing Cubans to travel freely: “Study a policy that allows Cubans living in the country to travel abroad as tourists,” it says.

Here are stories from AP, AFP, CNN, and Reuters.

For background: the November 2010 draft version, and my comments on the highlights, on the big enchilada of the process, and on the implications of opening a normal market in residential property.

More later.

1 comment:

brianmack said...

In my view, the recent selection of old liners during the party congress is now looking like the perfect move. Placate those from the "old school"
who despise change and revamp the entire system, i.e. car and real estate ownership. To be able to travel freely is the icing on the cake. Final thought, look for Silvio R. to become a major player.