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Posted December 20, 2010 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

Even the casual Cuba watcher knows “this time it’s different” in Cuba.

For several months now Raul Castro has been leading the charge for MAJOR economic reforms in Cuba. And, so far, Fidel Castro has not tried to sabotage Raul’s efforts. Fidel is making speeches to University of Havana students who couldn’t care less about the old man other than to show him respect as the Father of the Revolution.

They certainly are not looking to him for their future.

So, this time it is different because Fidel is out of the way and Raul HAS to make major economic changes or everything in Cuba will collapse. Those are not just my words but Raul is saying this openly for all in Cuba and to people around the world. Cuba HAS to change and change VERY soon.

Can Cuba accomplish economic change without social unrest or political dissent?

IF he keeps strict military control over the entire island then I suppose there is a chance that Cuba can limp along as a failed economy as it has for five decades so one could safely assume that all this talk turns out to be “same shit, different day” but I think it’s going to be impossible to rule the island with an iron fist while letting small businesses and entrepreneurs have the freedom to operate a profitable business.

This is not a Chinese model of free markets under Communism

Let’s not forget that the new taxes on small business art set to to ENSURE that small businesses are not too successful. For example, paladares and casas particulares have to pay taxes whether or not they have customers and payroll taxes will be structured in such a way that the more employees a business owner hires, the higher the payroll tax will be on new hires. So, the new system has a built in cap on the success of new business and that’s a recipe for failure.

Cuba is broken and Raul is a MANAGER not a LEADER. Cuba needs a leader and Raul is not the person to oversee this major restructuring of the Cuban economy.

A broken system cannot be fixed by someone who has been benefiting from a broken system for fifty years. So, Raul nor Fidel can fix Cuba. I think both will either say they are allowing economic change but in reality blocking major reform or they have allowed the genie out of the bottle and the only fix is for both of them to get out of the way entirely.

So, who can oversee this new Cuba? I think we might find out in April at the Communist Party Congress.

I have given up trying to make predictions about the future of Cuba so I can only say that I am comfortable being on record to assume that 2011 will be a historic year in Cuba.

Panic, anger as Cuba plans to lay off 1 of every 10 workers

Cuba’s draconian plan to lay off 10 percent of its workforce is running into a slew of problems — not the least of which are the growing fights over who will wind up on the street.

Cuban and foreign economists say it’s too much, too fast.

Radical leftists are branding Raúl Castro as a capitalist exploiter of workers and – in an odd alignment with Cuban dissidents – are urging workers to fight the job cuts…

Others say the country is awash in fear, especially among the bureaucrats, administrators, elderly, academics and recent university graduates seen as most likely to be left jobless.

Cuba’s Economic Paradigm Shift: A Work in Progress

Cuba’s proposed economic reforms have attracted much attention, the focus falling on plans to redeploy up to one million employees from state sector to self-employment and small business. The comments mostly reflect a particular ideological perspective or interpret the policy changes through the lens of neoliberal adjustment programs of the kind familiar to us in the Caricom Caribbean. The proposals, which are contained in 291 points in the Draft Economic and Social Policy Guidelines released in November, need to be considered in their totality and set in context.

Government will let loss-making state companies falter

During a frank, four-day exchange with deputies of the national parliament about economic reform projects, Raúl Castro and Marino Murillo, Cuba’s point man of the reform, said that loss-making state companies are running out of time and will be gradually stripped of subsidies.

“We have companies in Cuba that have had 10 years of losses,” Murillo told the deputies. “Either they get out of their losses or we shut them down. It’s not possible to have four or five consecutive years of a company making losses and the state subsidizing the losses. This makes no sense.”

  1. Follow up post #1 added on December 20, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    In case there are not enough negatives in the article above, perhaps these two articles from Marc Frank of Reuters will drive the point home…

    Cuba sees further decline in raw sugar production

    * Relentless decline to continue in 2011-Economy Minister

    * Reorganization of industry to begin in May

    Cuba’s 2011 sugar harvest will produce less raw sugar than this year’s record low 1.1 million tonnes, Economy Minister Marino Murillo said, despite a recent statement to the contrary by the country’s Sugar Minister.

    Murillo made the forecast during a year-end session of the National Assembly on Saturday. The forecast followed remarks he made last week that a long-expected revamping of the industry would begin when the harvest ended in May.

    Murillo said the country had fallen 195,700 tonnes short of this year’s 1.3 million tonne plan

    “Raw sugar production (in 2011) will be slightly less than this year due to a lack of cane,” Murillo said on Saturday, blaming the shortfall on drought, early harvesting of cane meant for 2011, poor cultivation and planting.

    Cuba says 2010 nickel output fell below plan

    * Economy Minister says failed to produce 6,700 tonnes

    * Final 2010 output not announced

    Cuban unrefined nickel plus cobalt production fell well short of target this year, costing the cash-strapped country precious exports earnings, Economy Minister Marino Murillo said over the weekend.

    “The nickel industry failed to complete its production and export plan by 6,700 tonnes, which meant it failed to earn $120 million,” Murillo said, providing no further details during a year end speech to the National Assembly on Saturday.

    The government’s goal for the state-run industry was never made public after 2009 output weighed in at 70,100 tonnes. Cuba produced 70,400 tonnes of unrefined nickel and cobalt in 2008, after averaging between 74,000 and 75,000 tonnes during much of the decade.

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on December 20, 2010 by it's not over yet

    What happens if that rig strikes oil in the spring of next year?

    Surely, that will change everything.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on May 14, 2011 by SoWierdFeeling

    The author of this sounds like a spy

  4. Follow up post #4 added on May 19, 2011 by ReyRebelde

    obviously it means, they are pocketing money, and showing those RE-DONQULOUS losses that jsut don’t add up.
    I have a cuban son, he lives in Guanabacoa, and he knows how to stretch the truth just enough, and he’s only 6, but remember, my son also believes Fidel is considered his Uncle. 
    ok, ok, maybe not that bad,
    but he does know that he was the man.

    Cuba needs to be Re-Revolutionized.

    Its been a matter of time,
    and now, the Castro Brothers are
    cashing out their chips faster then
    when they starting asking for the US Dollars back
    from all the Cuban citizens or fines would be upto 20%,
    which is what the trade Tax is out there,
    $100.00 U.S. Cash is equal to $80 New Cuban Pesos (Chavitos)
    and 1 to 1 if you want to trade back.  That place is as corrupt as the OWNERS as well as the STAFF and its people.  Everyone is usually trying to pull a fast one on you.  No matter how simple or how complex, Cubans in Cuba are SHARPER then a 4-sided razor-blade .

    ok, enough said.


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