A Better Cuba is More Possible Than Ever / 14ymedio, Pedro Campos
Posted on January 19, 2015
14ymedio, Pedro Campos, Havana, 16 January 2015 — The resumption of
diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States and the
beginning of the normalization of ties of every kind between both
countries, which implies the elimination of the political blockade that
the great power of the north sustained against the small Caribbean
Island, opens a compass of hope and a new space that, taken good
advantage of by all the constructive and democratic Cuban forces,
creates — as never before — the conditions for a better Cuba for all Cubans.
Some at the extremes consider that this approach could distance, rather
than bring closer, a better future for all citizens. Some because they
believe that it will prolong and consolidate the Castro dictatorship,
others because the “empire” will appropriate the economy and the hearts
Apart from the narrow sectarian interests that may be hiding behind
these visions, none of them seem to realize the full benefits of this
event for the vast majority of the Cuban people, their democratic hopes,
their creativity, their productive forces and especially for their
sovereignty as authentic decision maker and executor of their own future.
Some time ago I wrote that if the solutions to the problems of the Cuban
people are entrusted to the help and benevolence of the powerful
northern neighbor it would mean handing over the country for a miserable
pittance. To ignore the advantages of a constructive and peaceful
relationship with the U.S., would condemn the nation “besieged citadel”
to the mercy of nationalist opportunism of all kinds.
Move the country along the path between those positions from a major and
growing participation of citizens in decisions of all kinds, in politics
and in economics, is the key and, at the same time, the great challenge
of the Cuban democratic left .
The “update of the model” promoted by the government of Raul Castro,
ceding to cooperatives and self-employment a secondary space in the
economy, giving priority to state enterprises and leaving unmet his own
assertion that the State should not run enterprises, without
understanding the significance of free labor, associated or not for
socialism, and forgetting the initial objectives of this Revolution,
which does not belong to them but to all the people, about the
reestablishment of democracy.
If in parallel with the process of negotiations with the US and its
participation in supporting the development of the economy there is not
a deepening of the process of socialization of property through the
extension of self-employment, small and medium enterprises of all types,
cooperatives, and worker participation in management, administration and
distribution of the profits of state enterprises, with democratization
and diversification of institutions of political participation at all
levels, Cuba runs the risk of moving from a monopoly decadent state
capitalism, imposed in the name of a socialism that has ever existed, to
a form of authoritarian State capitalism, controlled by a
political-military elite in association with the great American capital.
We have to recognize the presidents of the United States and Cuba have
taken this step to create primary conditions for a country better than
has ever been possible. But let this opportunity opens the way to the
Cuba “with all and for the good of all” that Martí dreamed of and for
which several generations of Cubans fought for nearly two centuries,
relying on the citizens themselves and their own intelligence.
This is the time for dialogue and consultation, prudential waiting and
popular and democratic alliances working with the interests of the majority.
If Raul and his inner circle want to consolidate their position and
bring the upgrade of the model to fruition, they will have to remove
all the obstacles imposed by the heavy burden of the old neo-Stalinist
party bureaucracy that controls the mass organizations, electoral
processes, local authorities and state enterprises, and seek an alliance
with the workers and the middle classes, opening every possible space.
We must avoid foreign companies ending up investing only in cooperation
with state enterprises, without real independence to contact for labor,
without credit or possibilities to develop small and medium sized
businesses, with private or associated capital.
In this sense, the Investment Law will be relaxed and become a simple
law of businesses, so that Cuban capital sources of whatever dimension,
inside the country and abroad, can deploy their initiatives.
The State has to open the possibilities for external and internal trade,
as currently their control remains the main cause of high prices which
prevents the lowering of the costs of input and of a wide range popular
consumer goods, especially food.
Another aspect to immediately review is the tax law that continues to
tax revenues, not profits — a factor limiting the expansion of emerging
companies — and to eliminate all the paraphernalia of absurd permissions
to open businesses and cooperatives, whether in services or production.
All the constructive and peaceful forces in the country should, within
and outside the government, within and outside Cuba, set aside grudges
and revenge and engage in a national dialogue that makes possible a
shared path of national progress towards a new constitution, democratic
in its content, and towards how to achieve it.
The upcoming elections to the National Assembly of People’s Power are
moving forward. This is a good opportunity for the government to
demonstrate its commitment to democracy, to end the legal repression of
of the political activism of those who think differently, to facilitate
the expansion of freedom of expression and association, and to make
changes to the electoral law that enable more democratic forms of
putting forward candidates, and direct elections of mayors, provincial
governors and the President of the Republic.
The nation will move forward with everyone it it will never be. None of
its parts is entitled to hijack the future for narrow interests.
From the defense of the positions of the Participatory and Democratic
Socialism, we advocate consultation, dialogue, meeting, national
reconciliation and prosperity for the Cuban people in an atmosphere of
peace and democracy.
A better Cuba is more possible than ever. To achieve is it is the
responsibility of all Cubans of goodwill.
16 January 2015
Source: A Better Cuba is More Possible Than Ever / 14ymedio, Pedro
Campos | Translating Cuba –