Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shock measures a la Cubana

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Shock measures a la Cubana
Luis Alberto López Rafaschieri and José Alberto López Rafaschieri

When Fernando de la Rua in Argentina proposed an agenda of fiscal
discipline and privatizations that copied the IMF's recipe, several
leftist sympathizers in Latin America had to be hospitalized due to
sudden heart diseases. Ironically, neither in the Domingo Cavallo's
Argentina, nor in the current indebted Greece, the IMF technocrats came
up with an economic program as ruthless as the one that the Cuban
government has been pursuing.

With words similar to that of Milton Friedman, the Cuban regime is now
talking about the need to eliminate "unreasonable expenses", but prefers
an economic policy that would embarrass even the father of
neoliberalism. 10% of the Cuban labor force was fired from its state
employment as a saving measure and thrown into the streets to survive at
its own, without social security, fixed income or solid legal guarantees
to start its own business. 500 thousand human beings who are also only
allowed to open small hair salons or mobile food sales, which means that
a whole mass of people will start, at the same time, identical
businesses to compete savagely in an archaic market with very little
money movement.

To make matters worse, as these people have been working during years
for a Marxist bureaucracy, they do not have the preparation or
experience needed to succeed in private businesses.

As if it was not enough, these new local micro entrepreneurs must cope
with the giants that come from outside the country, because Cuba is also
privatizing several sectors of its economy into the hands of
international private capital, with the hope to generate the development
that the communist government was never able to materialize.

And like most governments looking for help of the International Monetary
Fund, Cuba is forced to practice emergency measures once it is in the
brink of a more extreme economic disaster, resulting in traumatic

We can add the words humanism, socialism or global warming, which
combine better with a Leninist propaganda, but economically, what Castro
is doing is a grip so cruel that we do not remember having seen
something similar in any of the IMF's bailouts.


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