by Rafael Betancourt
As reported by the Cuban government on June 11, the post-COVID-19 strategy will consist of two stages: recovery―return to normality, avoid new outbreaks, develop coping capacities and reduce risks and vulnerabilities―and the strengthening of the country’s economic activity. The latter will include adjusting the 2020 and 2021 Economic Plan, strengthening savings, generating more foreign exchange earnings, using more of the country’s resources in a more efficient way, and boosting national production, particularly food.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has insisted that Cuba will resume the course of updating the economic and social model, outlined since 2010 in the documents of the Party and the government.1 Díaz-Canel stated that, to face the crisis caused by COVID-19, “we have to come up with different things…we can’t continue doing things the same way.” He stressed the need to direct the work of the Permanent Commission for Implementation and Development, in order to evaluate “how, in a faster, more determined, more organized way, we implement a group of issues that are pending implementation in the Conceptualization of the Economic and Social Model.” Among the elements that have not yet been implemented, he mentioned some forms of management and ownership. Also, the resizing of the business and private sectors and the adequate relationship that must exist between the two, of which, he pointed out, “we have good experiences in these times of pandemic.”
Although details have not been disclosed, there are indications that this will include, among other measures, giving a boost to the private sector―perhaps by expanding the list of activities authorized for self-employment or establishing one of banned activities, allowing the others―and some possibility of creating private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Thank god. However, it doesn’t seem they’re going to approve new industry and service cooperatives, misnamed “non-agricultural,” improve existing ones or modify the Ministry of Agriculture’s centralized management regime for agricultural cooperatives. Regrettable, if it is so.
Based on these ideas, the objective of this two-part series is to unveil the impacts of the new and necessary measures on existing economic and social inequalities and to demonstrate that, by consciously and articulately adopting the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the country would have more tools to face inequalities and boost inclusive local economic development, within the framework of the construction of socialism.
The post about “Social and Solidarity Economy’s contribution to building socialism in Cuba (I)" first appeared on the OnCuba News website.
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