The regime is torn between ideological commitments that lead nowhere and
economic development, which depends on the reviled market economy
HILDEBRANDO CHAVIANO MONTES | La Habana | 6 de Noviembre de 2016 - 12:34
Last Monday's edition of Granma, the official newspaper of the Communist
Party of Cuba, contains two articles illustrating the Party's
On the front page the 2016 FIHAV (Havana International Fair) was
announced, in red. This convention, of an eminently commercial nature,
opens its doors to more than 4,500 exhibitors who "converge to seek
business opportunities at the event, which has established itself as the
Caribbean's greatest marketplace."
Terms such as "business opportunities," "marketplace," "foreign
investment," "production of goods and services," "external funding,"
etc., refer to both productive and service activities, and to the
market, a vital element necessary to establish relationships between
producers and consumers.
The foreign companies attending the event are international, while the
Cuban entities, no matter what they are called or what they are
dedicated to, belong to a single employer: the Cuban State. This last
factor is one of those explaining why these fairs do not yield all the
commercial commitments that would be desirable.
Despite the Cuban state's interest in establishing normal market
relationships with companies around the world, on the fourth page of the
same newspaper there appears an utterly contradictory article announcing
a "Continental Day for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism," denying any
possibility of market-based relations: "the struggle against free trade
and transnationals," "integration ... centered on solidarity,
reciprocity, cooperation and complementarity, breaking with the logic of
This means that, while a major commercial fair is announced on one page,
another page condemns market relationships and calls for others, based
solely on solidarity, reciprocity, cooperation and complementarity. This
would, apparently, exist in a world where there is no profit motive, and
in which everyone works for everyone else, altruistically, like
Here we encounter another important reason why foreign companies are
reluctant to do business with the Cuban State: in the end the Government
of Cuba is not really interested in buying or selling, but rather in
being assisted, and in others being reciprocal, cooperative and
complementary, not in a situation of emergency, but always, due to the
moral obligation of those that produce through efficiency, creativity,
thrift, and investment to maintain others who, presumably, have a right
to be inefficient, lazy, incapable and wasteful.
Some countries develop and others do not to the extent that their
businesspeople are able to act in accordance with the "logic of the
market." If market-based relationships create inequalities in those
places, they are hardly as unjust as the "socialist equality" under
which we Cubans languish.
After all, we have no right to take advantage of the wealth produced by
the purportedly unhappy and exploited proletarians of the world where
the market economy prevails, and capitalists are not obliged to share
their profits with enemies that seek to destroy and bury them.
The vaunted "fight against free trade and transnational corporations" is
a struggle against the very entrepreneurs participating in the
International Fair in Havana, because it is not the governments of
allied countries that are attending the event, but rather vulgar
capitalists actually interested in making profits, from more than 75
The market generates wealth, while charity condemns one to begging. We
liberals want a prosperous and democratic Cuba, while the Communists
prefer a country that inspires pity, and exploits its doctors in
exchange for oil and votes at the UN.
The International Fair and anti-capitalist Continental Day are held
simultaneously, as the regime is torn between ideological commitments
that lead nowhere and economic development, which depends on the reviled
market economy. To be or not to be ... a real headache.
Source: The regime is torn between ideological commitments that lead
nowhere and economic development, which depends on the reviled market
economy | Diario de Cuba -