Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Counterrevolution That Has Paralyzed Cuba

The Counterrevolution That Has Paralyzed Cuba
December 21, 2015
By Pedro Campos

HAVANA TIMES — In the most classic sense of the word, the
counterrevolution is that which prevents the advance of revolutionary
measures in Cuba's political and economic spheres and keeps the country
from making progress.

What is the counterrevolution, specifically? Where is it located and
what power does it truly hold?

Are we speaking of the "counterrevolution" that the bureaucracy has
always equated with the traditional opposition, which calls for the
restoration of democracy and full respect towards human rights, or is it
the other, objective, real and palpable process which prevents the
resolutions of the Communist Party itself from being implemented?

The issue won't be treated with the profoundness it requires by the

Whoever wants to identify this counterrevolutionary process can do so by
answering a few simple questions (which aren't limited to those below).

Who prevents the development of the self-employed sector and insist that
it be regulated by laws that seem taken out of the 15th century?

Who refuses to authorize autonomous cooperatives and forces applicants
who wish to open an independent cooperative to request permission from
the Council of State?

Who keeps State companies from enjoying real autonomy in terms of
handling their assets and paying their employees according to their work?

Who keeps State companies from distributing part of their profits among
workers, as proposed in Fidel Castro's History Will Absolve Me (where he
called for the redistribution of 30% of the profits among employees), so
that these may have better incomes, work more happily and develop a true
sense of belonging?

Who forces farmers to hand over part of their harvests to the State at
ludicrous prices and apply abusive taxes on the sale of products freed
from these commitments, thus de-incentivizing agricultural production?

Who forces tobacco growers to sell their leaves to a single buyer and do
not authorize any added value, who imposes monopolistic prices on
farmers, like the Tobacco Law in colonial times did, causing an uprising
among tobacco growers?

Who stands in the way of foreign investment, needed for the development
of major sectors of the economy, as well as mid-sized and small
businesses, be these State-run, private or joint ventures?

Who maintains an absurd, counterproductive tax law that corrupts
individuals and inhibits economic and social development, forcing
producers and service providers to pay as much as 50% of their incomes
if they earn over two thousand dollars (the equivalent of 50 thousand
Cuban pesos)?

Who forces all of us who pay taxes to direct our payments directly to
the State treasury and prevents a part of these to remain at the
municipal level, to be administered in accordance with local needs, as
identified by residents?

Who denies representatives of the People's Power Councils, the only ones
directly elected by the people, any real power, as people have been
saying for over 20 years?

Who prevents any changes to Cuba's electoral law and constitution,
changes that would allow voters to elect their municipal mayors and
provincial governors, the president of the republic and provincial and
national members of parliament, through a direct and secret vote?

Who makes it impossible for the representatives of the provincial
assemblies, and the National Assembly as such, to be directly elected by
the people?

Who prevents any direct and close relationship between national
representatives and those who vote for them, denying the electorate
direct accounting by these representatives?

Who prevents local People's Power entities from having any real impact
on financial and other types of entities and institutions in their
jurisdiction and keeps all decision-making mechanisms centralized and
out of reach?

Who keeps local People's Power bodies from dealing with the repair of
streets and sidewalks, the maintenance of schools, hospitals and public
spaces in their respective jurisdictions?

Who forces the employees of foreign companies and doctors and
professionals who offer services abroad to keep a small part of the
salaries they receive and destine the rest to the State coffers?

Who denies the people transparent accounting systems, such that they
will have a sense of how much the country takes in and how this money is
invested or spent?

Who maintains the two-currency system, paying people in a devalued
currency and charging them in a hard currency on the par with the US dollar?

Who maintains monopolistic control over the hard currency market and set
prices that are prohibitive for most average Cubans?

Who denies Cubans the right to freely exchange, sell and buy what we
produce as individuals?

Who denies Cubans the right to buy and sell abroad (with customs
regulations and a moderate tax as the sole applicable mechanisms for this)?

Who maintains laws that deny Cubans the right to reside abroad as long
as they want?

Who denies Cubans residing abroad or holding two nationalities the right
to invest in their country of origin?

Who denies Cubans full access to the Internet?

Who keeps cell phone and Internet prices high and prevents mass access
to these?

Who prevents Wi-Fi services – today expensive, awkward and even
dangerous for users – from being accessed directly from home, through
servers accessed through telephone lines?

Though I could go on forever, I will conclude with this question: Who
makes it impossible for an article of this nature to be published in
Cuba's official newspapers, or for it to be read or analyzed on Cuban
television by the author, or to be debated on by panelists at a round table?

In short, dear reader, arrive at your own conclusions about the
counterrevolution that has paralyzed the country.

Source: The Counterrevolution That Has Paralyzed Cuba - Havana Times.org
- http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=115626

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