In Cuba the circle is squared: private property no,private sector yes

In Cuba the circle is squared: private property no,private sector yes

HAVANA, June 10  Some media outlets propagate the Manichaean idea that there is no private economic sector in Cuba, a debate recently exacerbated due to the measures announced by the Biden Administration, focused on MSMEs, companies that for many simply make up a tangle of Castro’s figureheads.

But this narrative without nuances is far from the reality that millions of Cubans perceive daily, who buy in the store that a lifelong neighbor opened in their neighborhood, financed by an uncle who lives in Miami.

And although private property is indeed only an illusion momentarily permitted where the law is the exclusive power of a totalitarian government, it must be recognized that currently, Cubans do have permission to create companies and get rich as long as Castroism allows it, or get ruined when it does. decide it. But does the fact that the property is not really owned mean that there is no private business?

In democratic countries, entrepreneurs go into debt to use bank resources in their ventures, and that does not mean they are no longer considered private agents.

Castroism is like a bank with which Cubans are born in debt, everything belongs to Castroism, but that does not mean that when Cubans start a business they are not seeking their exclusive interest as private agents… even if they are unhealthy indebted to that Government that He can seize them whenever he wants.

Thus, in Cuba, there is no private sector subject to law, but there is a private sector subject to permission that, at least for the moment, has sufficient autonomy and decentralization to undertake for its benefit and, therefore, theoretically and informatively, it should be recognized as a private sector.

Not knowing the existence of this sector prevents a correct understanding of Castroism’s plans and, therefore, fails to explain how it intends to perpetuate itself in power by mimicking capitalist mechanisms to fix six decades of socialist destruction.

Thus, for example, Biden’s opening measures can be interpreted according to whether or not there is a private sector in Cuba, and from there these can be perceived as a threat or an opportunity for those who long for a democratic nation… which does not mean That opportunity is going to materialize because the regime knows how to defend itself.

Allowing private entrepreneurship is a matter of survival for Castroism, and since it knows from experience that the stateization of the means of production is economic suicide, its current project is not to create a false private sector, but to allow a real one that can eventually be instrumentalized. and integrated into the system as the Chinese Communist Party does. How long until we see capitalist millionaires voting unanimously in the Cuban socialist “Parliament”?

Castroism allows the private sector to germinate and then prune it where necessary or fertilize it where it is most convenient. The gardening shears chosen this time are not nationalization or confiscation, but rather the perversion of business competition, rigging the internal market so that over time – this strategy is long-term – the companies and entrepreneurs that under the most are interested.

But just as before pruning a tree you have to allow it to grow in all directions, Castroism, before giving shape to the Cuban private sector, is allowing its more or less free proliferation.

The system is designed as a filter. Up to a certain level, there is and will be autonomy, but starting from an undefined limit of “concentration” of constitutionally prohibited wealth, companies that succeed and grow, even when initially purely private, will eventually have to subordinate themselves to the Government, since, at After all, they only exist because it allows them to.

But Castroism neither needs nor wants all companies to be front men in these beginnings, on the contrary, it knows that, by allowing freedom to undertake, the innate human entrepreneurship, long repressed in Cuba, will foster an enriching dynamic that would not even come to fruition if They try to prune it ahead of time.

The Castro regime’s plan, in essence, is to promote a private sector without property rights to benefit from capitalist productivity, but without exposing itself to the risk of an opposition amalgamated in civil society, arising from the relationships fostered by a private business fabric with true rights. proprietary.

If it works, this plan would condemn the country to decades of totalitarian ignominy, now compounded by humiliating class differences and growing pockets of marginality and misery.

We will not avoid that fate by ignoring the reality: in Cuba, there is a private sector, it is there, it exists. The only doubt is: will Castroism be allowed to handle it as it pleases, or will something be done from the opposition, from exile?