Human Rights in Cuba

Time To Change

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Topics Meeting on Self-Employment / Regina Coyula

Regina Coyula, Translator: Unstated

I'm too lazy to get out! But I do not regret having gone to the meeting

yesterday of the last Thursday of each month at the journal Temas

(Topics). The theme was the self-employment. A large audience, including

24 Communications students from a in southern California.

I expanded my horizons as a housewife. I learned that artists and

religious priests are also "self-employed" workers, and that this

category will soon become 20% of the workforce. I also found a display

on 600 employed persons, which showed that they earn on average six

times more than in their former state job (is the concept of

"exploitation of man by man" falling into disuse?).

There were those who came to the defense of the reviled carretilleros,

walking vendors with their carts, who have received a ton of abuse, as

if they were responsible for the lack of variety and the high price of

vegetables.

Although the panel members still used archaic language (especially the

one "self-employed" panel), they generally spoke of the positive impact

of this emerging sector in the recovery of the value of working and the

need to change social attitudes that see this work as reprehensible — a

form of mild forgetfulness that it is a natural reaction to a half

century of government stigma associated with private and personal

enrichment.

The best part came with the comments. There was a call for a clear

regulatory framework and public statistics about this new line of work;

there was talk of cooperatives in , (the oldest will remember

the COA).

The writer Yoss posed a theoretical problem: If all economic power

generates political power, is the state resigned to the possibility of

losing their power? Then they addressed a legal issue Would it be better

to prohibit early what you can NOT do, rather than approve what you can.

The self-employed comrade on the panel made clear that, contrary to what

we were taught in the manual of political , economic changes will

not bring political change, and the party will remain solely and

exclusively in charge. The panel moderator joked about science fiction,

Yoss's favorite genre, but he also must remember, like almost all who

have studied in Cuba, the topic of changes, an exam question.

Someone suggested a revision in the 1960 phone book regarding the

classifications of national products, which are now imported due to the

suppression of private labor. He urged scholars to define what are the

basic means of production, which by law must be in state hands.

The young people, as always, shone a bright light. One talked about

eliminating the fear of the reality of the changes, another asked if it

they import and export, if State services such as SEPSA (security) can

be used, if credit cards work. Another said that the union's role is to

defend the worker, not tell the bad news through a press organ of the

Party. Another young professor explained his experience being

self-employed and advocated that the measures to be regularized before

implementation and not vice versa.

I left there in a better mood. We are neither brutish nor dull. What we

lack is .

June 1 2012

http://translatingcuba.com/?p=18824

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