Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another "Broom" Law

Another "Broom" Law / Rosa Maria Rodriguez
Posted on August 23, 2014

The National Assembly or Cuban parliament easily approved (nothing odd
for that body when the issue is something that, although not divinely
ordained, "comes from above") the new foreign investment law. One does
not need a crystal ball to know that the new legislation — like the
proverbial broom* — will sweep efficiently, basically for those in power
and the barriers they have created.

The breathless financiers of the antiquated Cuban political model
demonstrate that for la nomenklatura, the need of their wallets — or the
need to upgrade,or air out, their state capitalism — is more important
than to truly revive the the battered "socialist economy".

As with all laws that "are to be (dis)respected" in post-1959 Cuba, it
passed unanimously, i.e., everyone was in agreement — or at least, they
all raised their hands — in that caricature of a senate composed almost
entirely of members of the sole legal party in Cuba, which has been in
power for 55 years and which, despite calling itself Communist, really

It follows, therefore, to suggest to the Cuban authorities that to be
consistent with their own laws, they should conduct an aggiornamento
(update) of the philosophical foundations of their ideology, and of the
historic government party.

The Cuban state has long had its eyes on foreign investors. Rodrigo
Malmierca, minister of exterior commerce and foreign investment, stated
several months ago in Brazil that Cuba will continue to have just one
political party. He was, of course, speaking to the interests of
Brazilian entrepreneurs, and emphasizing the message of confidence and
stability that Cuba's governing class wants to convey so as to encourage
them to do business on the island.

This standard produces another discriminatory law that baits foreigners
with financial benefits and tax breaks, in contrast to the prohibitive
taxes imposed on Cuban nationals who launch themselves into the private
sector. They took everything away from Cuban and foreign entrepreneurs
when this model was imposed, and now they stimulate and favor only
foreign capitalists to invest in our country. They say it's not a
giveaway, but any citizen of other provenance is placed above our own
nationals, who once again are excluded from investing in the medium and
large companies on their home soil.

Just as our Spanish forebears did, they engage in shameless and abusive
marginalization of Cubans on their own turf, and restrict Cubans'
economic role in their own national home. The state continues holding
"the master key" of the hiring process. It serves as the employment
agency to calm the fears of its followers and urge them to continue
their unconditional support, with the established and visible promise of
compensation and privilege — albeit with a diminutive, revolutionary,
symbolic and coveted "little slice" of the national pie.

On the other hand, the impunity that inheres to bureaucrats in
management, along with the lack of respect toward Cuban society implied
in their excessive secrecy, unbuttons the shirt of corruption.

Some of the many examples that strike a nerve among Cubans of diverse
geographic areas are: What is the state of affairs of the country? What
are the revenue and expenditures of different phases of the economy? Why
do they not inform the public of the annual income generated from
remittances by Cuban émigrés, and how these resources are used?

I could say and write much about the new law and the same old
discrimination and practices contained in the same old legislation. As
far as I am concerned, despite everything, the result is just another
flea-bitten dog with a reversible — but no different — collar.

But that would be giving too much relevance to the segregationist,
shoddy and desperate hunt for money by the elite in power, which needs
ever more colossal sums of evil capital to "sustain" its unsustainable
bureaucracy and inefficient model.

Anyway, this new law – like the proverbial broom – will always sweep
clean for them. Considering their dynastic, highborn, 50-plus-year-old
lifestyles, this seems to be all that matters to them.

*Translator's Note: The writer refers to a saying, "Escobita nueva barre
bien" – parallel to the English a new broom sweeps clean.

Translated by Alicia Barraqué Ellison

15 April 2014

Source: Another "Broom" Law / Rosa Maria Rodriguez | Translating Cuba -

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