Cuban economists react to the dismissal of Alejandro Gil: ‘The problem is the system’

Cuban economists react to the dismissal of Alejandro Gil: 'The problem is the system'

HAVANA, February 4. The dismissal of the Deputy Prime Minister of Cuba and Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil,has provoked dissimilar reactions on the Island, ranging from those who applaud the changes of officials in key positions to those who make a more calm analysis of the issue.

“Excellent news, I have been waiting for it for a long time,” Alicia García celebrated in the forum of the note with the announcement of the Council of State on the official site of Cubadebate.

“It was time for the Ministry of Economy to be headed by an economist and not an engineer in transportation exploitation,” she added, about the appointment to the position of Joaquín Alonso Vázquez, current minister-president of the Central Bank of Cuba.

For his part, Antonio Rojas added: “The most serious thing that the country faces is the economic issue due to the political consequences that derive from it. Will the nation have the possibility of compensating itself understandably and credibly? We, the people, think that a lot of time has been lost.”

A user who uses the pseudonym The Concerned commented: “The renewal is still insufficient. In the case of the Ministry of Agriculture and AZCUBA, it must also be analyzed. In my opinion, there are no results.”

And the forum member who signs as Tranquilino added: “Many congratulations to all those promoted and success in their new task. In the particular case of colleague Gil, this change will only show that he is not the problem.”

In his profile on the social network implementation schedule’, at least in February”, of the economic package, whose first measures were postponed in the last 48 hours.

“Replacing two of the three key ministers of a ‘macroeconomic stabilization’ program could indicate some type of ‘incident’ (non-cyber) in the period between the Council of Ministers (1/29/2024) and the postponement of the increase in fuel prices (1/31/2024)”, he noted, about the pretext used by the authorities to postpone the application of the increase in fuel rates.

“At the first meeting of the Council of Ministers on 1/29/2024, an ‘action plan’ and the ‘implementation schedule update’ were presented, and there is no public information that both had not been approved or criticized. “.

“Nothing predicted, with the public information available, that they were going to ‘change horses in the middle of the river.’ The crisis and the problems of the package are systemic, but it is problematic to make substantive changes in the team that designed an approved and recently started package “he reiterated.

Monreal recalled that, according to the Government’s announcements, in February “what has probably been designed as the biggest price shock of the package would be applied and ‘advance’ would be made in proposals on the exchange market and foreign exchange allocation”;

That is to say, during the current month “a potentially irritating measure at the citizen level (price increases) would come into effect and there would be bureaucratic hustle and bustle to try to modify processes and amounts of the distribution of the scarcest resource in the national economy: foreign currency.”

“Perhaps apprehensions regarding possible social and political instability, plus possible bureaucratic disagreements regarding the distribution of currencies, ‘blow’ the schedule and caused changes in the economic team,” he concluded.

The Cuban economist Mauricio de Miranda Parrondo also launched his diagnosis, which in his case pointed more to the political meaning of the current situation.

“In any country, these types of events occur, especially when things do not work well. However, if we go by this, the list of changes could be longer. For now, I will only say one thing: the problem is not the ministers “The problem is the system,” he said in a post on his Facebook wall.

“The problem is that we continue to appeal to a failed model. The problem is that entrepreneurship continues to be restricted, which is only allowed following rules that respond to a high level of discretion. The problem is that we need to support agricultural producers and those who enter the industry, with development credits,” he listed.

“The problem is that there is no agricultural, industrial, or international insertion policy that produces structural changes that allow us to overcome paralysis. Talking about development right now is almost a matter of science fiction.”

“The problem is that the State is gigantic and ineffective. And also, authoritarian and despotic. The problem is that the policy of ‘cadres’ (to use that language that is so foreign to me) has been based on fundamentally promoting those who follow orders and they follow the pre-established script, and not those who think for themselves and question.”

“The problem is that we, the people, although the Constitution makes us sovereign, cannot exercise that sovereignty by freely choosing those who must assume the responsibilities of government for finite periods. Others decide for us because, to paraphrase Orwell, they are more sovereign than us. We have to start there,” he emphasized.

De Miranda recalled that Miguel Díaz-Canel asked people a few days ago and for the umpteenth time to have “confidence”, since the package was correct and would bring more well-being.

“I think that several economists have been quite explicit about what we think regarding the measures. Each one with our way of saying things. However, the president, the prime minister and the recently dismissed Minister of Economy and Planning have asked for support for the measures,” he noted.

“What is going to happen when the economy does not grow sufficiently? What is going to happen when the already very deteriorated standard of living of the population is not recovered? What is going to happen when macroeconomic stabilization is not achieved, which is not will be achieved with the announced measures? What will happen when the ordinary Cuban’s table continues to be a table of hunger? What will happen when going to work continues to be an ordeal because there is no transportation?”

“What is going to happen when the electricity cuts continue? What is going to happen when it is not possible to reverse the reality that the income from work of the vast majority of Cubans continues to not guarantee decent living conditions? What is going to happen when we cannot overcome the boredom of so many people whose lives are diluted in sacrifice after sacrifice without seeing results? What is going to happen to our elderly? Once again, nothing? Rectify mistakes? Once again? “, he listed.

“I repeat, the problem is the system. It never worked well, but it is already exhausted, and not doing everything necessary to change it in a democratic way and with the active participation of the people will only bring more misery for Cubans, greater misfortune, greater emigration, greater desolation for our elderly, more and more unprotected every day. And it could lead to even more serious consequences. This is not just an economic problem, it is an essentially political problem,” he concluded.