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Institutionalizing the Country

Institutionalizing the Country
HILDEBRANDO CHAVIANO MONTES | La Habana | 21 Oct 2015 – 9:05 pm.

In order to win the confidence of foreign investors, Raul Castro should
first win that of the Cuban people.

The government is desperately seeking foreign investment. It lobbies, it
promises, it winks, but … as they say in Cuba, “the drunk thinks one
thing, while the winemaker another.” This is no fault of the
capitalists, who are eager to establish their businesses in a virtually
untapped market, with thousands of workers prepared to assimilate the
new technologies.

The problem is that the Communist system’s laws do not recognize the
private ownership of the means of production, ignore the laws of the
market, and make it clear that the lion’s share and core of the economy
will continue to be controlled by the state, centralized and planned.
The Communist system also outlaws the accumulation of wealth, while the
hiring of employees is carried out through state employment agencies
(intermediaries) that charge capitalist investors in dollars while
paying workers just a tiny portion in the country’s devalued national
currency, at 25 to 1. Finally, import and export activity is monopolized
by the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

In Cuba the President is a general, and the major companies and
government agencies are headed by senior officers of the Armed Forces. A
country with so many military personnel engaged in activities that are
not related to defense generates wariness among investors, to say the
least, who know how incompetent the military usually is outside their
regular sphere.

Flashing one’s best smile to capitalist entrepreneurs while attacking at
every turn private property, the market economy, and democracy – which
he is an ambassador of – is hypocritical and belies the true intentions
of the Cuban ruler, who recognizes, in practice, that only the
capitalist economic system, with its law of supply and demand and
respect for private property, is capable of creating the wealth that
Communism then aims to arbitrarily distribute.

This arbitrary distribution of wealth will allow Antonio Castro Soto del
Valle, or any other daddy’s boy, to cruise the Mediterranean in a yacht,
accompanied by a handful of cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking hangers-on,
even while there aren’t enough state funds to import drugs for general
use amongst the population, or install modern means of communication for
the benefit of all.

The Morales, Correas and Ortegas out there go hoarse denouncing
capitalism, but deep down they know that with the nationalization of the
economy the only beneficiaries would be the predators in their inner
circles, while the scraps, thrown to people in the form of public
education and health, would be more and more paltry.

Corruption, a lack of productivity, the absence of freedom and the
spawning of every form of physical and human misery are inherent to
Communism. Although it is now in fashion to call it 21st-century
Socialism, or New Socialism, or a New Social Project, it is easily
identifiable by its populist and demagogic discourse, and the gradual
curbing of civil and political rights, first converted into social
defects, and later into crimes; and verbal and even physical attacks
against those who espouse different ideas. Another invariable trademark
of these leaders is their compulsive need to be re-elected, to install
themselves perpetually in power, all of them exhibiting a kind of
messianic madness, even when the example they smugly follow is a man who
in 1960 declared that the so-called “Program of the Moncada” had been
realized, while more than half a century later his successor struggles
to clean up the mess he made of Cuba’s socialist project.

Foreign investors (nationals are not allowed) are doing what the Cuban
people should have from the outset: not believing Cuban leaders’
promises. They have shown that they are not to be trusted, as their
intentions clash with the interests of their people.

If Raúl Castro seeks to win the trust of foreign capitalists, he ought
to realize that he first must win that of those he governs by
implementing laws guaranteeing fundamental freedoms and rights –
including that to private property.

Without these minimum initial measures, which should form the basis of
his government program, when in 2018 the General/President passes power
to his successor, he will really be giving him a rotten piece of fruit,
or even a time bomb.

Source: Institutionalizing the Country | Diario de Cuba –
www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1445454339_17630.html

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