The Productive Forces and Their Ties

9086778792_67dd2efe3c_oThe same day that Marino Murillo, Cuba’s Minister of Economy and Planning, appeared on television explaining the prosperity potential of the Cuban economic model in the municipality of Pinar del Rio, he met urgently with several farmers. The meeting took place in the town of San Juan y Martinez and focused on the agricultural state of emergency across the country. Among other topics, the official demanded that the cooperative members in the area — especially those dedicated to the cultivation of tobacco — sow more vegetables and grains. “The country is experiencing a food crisis,” he said, without provoking any turmoil among those listening because ordinary Cubans don’t remember any state other than crisis, anxiety and chronic collapse. “Keep sowing, and later the resources will come…” he said hurriedly to people who had heard more unmet promises than mockingbird songs.

At one point the meeting changed direction and those called together began to set the day’s agenda. Then the complaints rained down. A fruit grower explained the impediments to contracting directly with La Conchita factory and marketing his guavas and mangoes. Instead, he had to sell his production to Acopio, the State entity, which in turn was charged with supplying the pulp and jam industry. The official intermediary still exists, and gets the major economic share, the grower asserted. For his part, 400 yards of wire fencing to enclose the land costs a State agricultural company some 80 pesos ($3.30 USD); while the farmer affiliated with a cooperative can expect to pay 600 pesos ($25.00 USD) for the same amount. A sack of cement — indispensable in expanding the facilities of a farm — has a maximum value of 20 pesos ($0.83 USD) for the State farm, and 120 pesos ($5.00 USD) retail price for the cooperative member.

When the relations of production become a straitjacket for the development of the productive forces, then these relations have to change. This is in keeping with one of the Marxist conclusions we most study in high school and college. Thus, on comparing Marino Murillo’s declarations with the testimony of several farmers and the agricultural disaster all around us, one can only conclude that the current economic model behaves like a deadly embrace for the development and prosperity of Cuba. It’s not particularly helpful that the officials tell us that now, indeed, prosperity and progress are just around the corner. If the man in the furrow remains gripped by the absurd, who establish so many restrictions, they should step aside and make way for others who can do it better.

18 thoughts on “The Productive Forces and Their Ties

  1. Corruption is widespread, workers steal from the government enterprises where they work, bribing their bosses to get the goods out of the workplace and resell them in the black market.

    There is a high degree of corruption¬, fraud and public use of funds by the party apparatchiks. Managers of state enterprises divert good to sell on the black market. In June 2011, fifteen top executives of Cubana de Aviación were sentenced to prison for fraud. In April the vice president of Habanos S.A. and 10 others employees were under arrest for selling cigars illegally to foreign distributors. Pedro Alvarez, former head of Alimport, under investigation for corruption, escaped from the island in late December 2010. In August 2012, three vice-ministers and another nine state official of the Moa nickel plant were sentenced to prison in corruption scandals.

  2. we are an island full of myths and realities that are lived day to day, but we are Cubans and we have something very special, we fight for a better tomorrow” Asere ke Bola” we are cuban fashion & Farandula.

  3. Marabu said on #13 : “Every government makes mistakes, Cuba is no different.”

    Marabu! THE ONES WHO MADE THE MISTAKES ARE THE CASTROFASCIST OLIGACHY DEAR! DONT TRY TO PUT THE BLAME ON THE CUBAN PEOPLE! 54+ YEARS OF THE SAME LAST NAME CASTRO IN POWER SHOULD GIVE YOU A CLUE!

    FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE: The Castro family playground- Blake Hounshell – Friday, May 2, 2008
    During the past few years family members of both Fidel and Raúl Castro have come to occupy important positions in Cuba’s government. This Castro clan represents in addition to the military, the security apparatus and the Communist Party, a significant force in Cuba’s political and economic structures.

    Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart- Relationship: Fidel Castro’s son
    Position: Advisor, Ministry of Basic Industry

    Col. Alejandro Raúl Castro Espin – Releationship: Raúl Castro’s son
    Position: Chief, Intelligence Information Services, Ministry of the Interior; Coordinator, Intelligence Exchange with China

    Ramón Castro Ruz- Relationship: Fidel and Raúl’s oldest brother
    Position: Advisor, Ministry of Sugar

    Dr. Antonio Castro Soto – Relationship: Fidel Castro’s son
    Position: Investment Chief, Frank Pais Hospital. Doctor for Cuba’s baseball team

    Major Raúl Alejandro Rodríguez Castro – Relationship: Raúl Castro’s
    grandson
    Position: Raúl Castro’s military guard in charge of his personal security

    Deborah Castro Espin – Relationship: Raúl Castro’s daughter
    Position: Advisor, Ministry of Education

    Mariela Castro Espin – Relationship: Raúl Castro’s daughter
    Position: Head, Center for Sexual Education

    Marcos Portal León – Relationship: Married to Raúl Castro’s niece
    Position: In charge of nickel industry, member of the Central Committee
    of Cuba’s Communist Party

    Col. Luís Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja – Relationship: Raúl Castro’s son-in-law
    Chief Executive Officer of Grupo GAESA (Grupo de Administración de Empresas, S.A.) which supervises military enterprises Alfonsito Fraga, Related to Raúl CastroMinistry of
    Foreign Relations

    blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2008/05/02/the_castro_family_playground

  4. Marabu !! IT NOT ABOUT THE TYPE OF BLOG STRUCTURE THE REASON YOANI’S BLOG IS DOWN SO MANY TIMES! ITS THE CASTROFASCISTS’ AGENTS AND BOOTLICKERS WHO ARE CONSTANTLY TRYING TO CRASH THE SITE AND BRING IT DOWN DEAR! EVERYONE KNOWS THAT!

    HAVANA TIMES: Yoani Sanchez, the Film, Raises $110,000 – original article by Cafe Fuerte

    Puerto Rican actress and filmmaker Kesia Elwin has secured funding for a movie based on the life of Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez through the on-line crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

    Elwin and her production company, Open View Producciones, raised some US $110,079, going over the $108,000 requested. A total of 199 people donated funds to the project, which should be ready for distribution around December of 2015.

    The donation amounts were set at a minimum of one and a maximum of US $10,000. The campaign was promoted over social networks and relied on the decisive support of HavanaNewYork.com and New York’s Cuban Cultural Centre. The donation period ended on June 28th.

    The producers expressed their gratitude for the support offered the project and reaffirmed their commitment to the defense of freedom of expression and human rights around the world.

    “The inspiring story of Yoani needs to be told, not only to Cubans, but also to the entire world,” they stated.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=96456

  5. *** INCOMPETENT CUBAN OPPOSITION ***

    If you can’t run a blog, how do you dare to talk about more important problems of your country?

    Allright, I’ll tell you. If you don’t want the error like the ones mentioned here unter #3 to show do this:

    Put these two lines in the bootstrap of your code:

    ini_set(‘display_errors’, 0);
    error_reporting(NONE);

    And if you want a decent, secure blogging software let me repeat my offer to Yoani:

    FOR JUST 1% OF THE MONEY YOU HAVE GAINED ON YOUR TRIPS I WILL INSTALL YOUR BLOG ON A SECURE DEDICATED SERVER IN THE USA.

  6. @Humbeto
    Every government makes mistakes, Cuba is no different.

    IS CUBA TOO COWARD TO GRANT ASYLUM TO SNOWDEN?

    In recent speach Raul Castro has supported Latin American governments who offered asylumn to Snowden. That’s nice, but too little.

    Raul Castro stopped short of straightford offer of asylum to Snowden in Cuba.
    I only have one word for Raul: COWARD.

  7. Maribu is blindly ignorant. This blog was never down before. STUPID. It’s the prank pay back of a bully with powers because they plan was to have YS down for the count. REMEMBER BRAZIL. But the flyweight KO the heavyweight bully.

  8. Marabu !! I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS SIDE OF YOU!! THE CASTRO “GOVERNMENT” DOING SOMETHING WRONG? YOU COULD HAVE KNOCKED ME OVER WITH A FEATHER!

  9. The inevitable changes toward a more open political regime likely to follow Fidel Castro’s eventual death, the regime ruling elite has begun to prepare the ground for a wholesale assault on the country’s patrimony to safeguard its own economic well-being.

    The recent appearance of grand-scale corruption among high-ranking political elite is not very different from what was observed in most former communist countries.
    The level of corruption depends on the degree of monopoly exercised by the regime over the supply of goods and services, the degree of discretion enjoyed by government agencies in making resource-allocation decisions, and the degree of accountability. The regime ownership of productive facilities results in a lack of identifiable ownership and widespread misuse and theft of state resources.

  10. WHY IS MAHRIHUANA STILL ILLEGAL IN CUBA?

    The US “War on Drugs” is lost and the goverment is on retreat. 17 states have introduced mesuares to decriminalize or to tolerate marihuana, most recent measure planned in Washington, DC:

    http://rt.com/usa/washington-consider-decriminalization-marijuana-026/

    As far as I know, it is still an offence in Cuba?
    Why? The benefits of liberalisation are clear to everybody and even more in a counry, which wants to attract more tourism.

    ARE YOU A COWARD, RAUL? ARE YOU LACKING IMAGINATION?

  11. Good joB!!….Mr Cuban castrista..you turn down the freedon o speech through the free space in the internet,,,,How much do they pay u?..Traitor!!

  12. YOUTUBE: Víctimas del remolcador “13 de marzo”.- Victims of the Tugboat Massacre in their own words
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZlN_yVTMVk&feature=related

    WIKIPEDIA: The “Tugboat massacre” is the name given by Cuban-Americans, exiles, and dissidents, to a July 13, 1994, incident where 41 Cubans who attempted to leave the island of Cuba on a hijacked tugboat drowned at sea.[1][2] The Cuban archive project, a New York City based organization which promotes human rights in Cuba, has alleged that the Cuban coast guard deliberately sank the commandeered vessel and then refused to rescue some of the passengers.[3] For their part, the Cuban government has denied responsibility, and stated that the boat was sunk by accident.[1]

  13. CAN YOU SPELL “DESPERATE”? THAT’S WHAT THE CASTROFASCISTS ARE, IN TRYING TO KEEP AFLOAT THEIR POWER OLIGARCHY STRUCTURE!

    CNBC: Cuba Shows Beginnings of Free Enterprise, Sort of – by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

    HAVANA, Cuba—In a rare demonstration of openness, the Cuban government invited a group of business journalists to Cuba this week for a show-and-tell about changes it’s making to the Cuban economy. Journalists from CNBC, the Economist, and others from Germany, Argentina, and Canada are here to see what the socialist country is trying to show off.
    The timing coincided with a new law which took effect July 1—legislation allowing individuals, for the first time since the country turned socialist in 1959, to join together and form businesses in non-agricultural sectors of the economy. Neither the government nor anyone else here uses the word “business.” Instead they use the word “cooperative.”

    The efforts appear to have gotten off to a slow start. In a week-long program packed with events, visits, news conferences, and a cocktail party, the government did not show visiting reporters any of the new cooperatives—which the minister of employment said now number 197, in the restaurant, construction, industry, and transportation sector.

    CNBC tried to find some independently, but a new transportation group told us its start had been delayed. A privately-run wholesale warehouse on the outskirts of town, which was set to open July 1, stood empty. The guard told us it would open in a few weeks. A group of nine air-conditioning repairmen who took over a state-run air conditioning business invited CNBC to their headquarters at a small house in the suburb of Miramar, but then told us they didn’t want to speak with us. It is unclear why.

    WHEN $2 PER DAY IS GOOD MONEY

    Lopez’s storefront is freshly painted (a rarity here) with a modern retail layout. In the back three employees sit at 1950s-era Singer sewing machines making the sequined and satin dresses sold out front. Lopez told us she was selling roughly $100 worth of clothing per day. She pays the seamstress well above the average salary—roughly $2 a day, or between $40 and $60 a month. State workers make only $19 a month.

    When all is said and done, after paying taxes, Lopez said she clears $130 to $172 a month.

    That a store which uses 1950s-era Singer sewing machines is the shining star of a government-backed tour highlights just how far behind the country is economically speaking and how far it has to go.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100882235

  14. CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING PAYED IN A CURRENCY THAT IS 24 TIMES LOWER THAN THE CURRENCY YOU NEED TO BUY YOUR FOOD AND BASICS WHICH ARE EQUAL OR MORE TO THE USA PRICES? THAT’S HOW THE CASTROFASCISTS WORK! THEY INVENTED THIS SCHEME AND NOW IS COMING BACK TO BITE THEM!

    THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR: Meanwhile In Cuba – by Anne Hobson

    Last week, Raul announced that he was removing Ricardo Alarcón, former Parliament chief, from the Communist Party’s central committee, along with several others. Alarcón was one of the original revolutionaries that aided Castro’s guerrillas in the take down of Batista, as well as Fidel Castro’s longtime friend. A true member of the old guard, Alarcón also served in the 15-member Politburo, the Communist Party’s policy-making body, for 16 years. He was often considered the third-most powerful figure in Cuba. Nevertheless, there are those who view the shift from the old guard to the new as negligible. Newer loyalists do not mean newer policies. Furthermore, the Castro brothers have traditionally promised high and delivered low, as is to be expected from a rhetorical regime. In his speech this weekend, Raul trumpeted the importance of disbanding the dual currency system, a move that would amplify long-term economic growth and move to free the shackled economy. This is particularly vital because Cuba’s economic growth consistently falls short of projections.

    Cuba’s dual currency system is an outdated extension of government-mandated social and economic oppression. The value of the Cuban Convertible Peso—money used by foreigners at a value tied to the U.S. dollar—is 24 times the value of the Cuban Pesos paid to Cuban workers. Therefore, ordinary goods end up costing the average Cuban prices equivalent to multiple days or even weeks of work. For example, a desk fan which would cost foreigners 20 CUC, or roughly $22, costs a Cuban worker the equivalent of nearly $500.

    Equalizing the two currencies would allow all Cubans access to imported goods, lower the social barriers between foreigners and the Cuban people, decrease the gap between the rich and poor, simplify business transactions, and dramatically increase incomes. However, as Cuba Standard points out, any transition to a single currency system will have to be slow, because immediate shock in the form of abruptly equalizing the values would cause sharp inflation and scarcity of goods.

    Politics is often synonymous with unfulfilled promises, especially in fiscal fiefdoms like Cuba. Therefore, critics are rightly wondering: Will Castro walk the talk? Will the new guard usher in new policies? Or will that famous English proverb hold true: You can’t teach an old guard dog new politics.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    spectator.org/blog/2013/07/09/meanwhile-in-cuba

  15. Marabu on #3: DEAR! WE ALL KNOW THAT THE CASTROFASCISTS AND THEIR BOOT LICKERS KEEP TRYING TO BRING THIS SITE DOWN CONSTANTLY! YOANI HAS MENTIONED MANY TIMES HOW OFTEN THERE ARE ATTACKS PRACTICALLY EVERY DAY! THIS SITE HAS BEEN DOWN SO MANY TIMES BECAUSE THIS IS THE PUNISHMENT THAT THE CASTRO CLAN GIVES YOANI FOR SPEAKING OUT HER MIND. INTERESTING THAT THE SITE GOES DOWN MORE OFTEN WHEN SHE IS OUT OF THE COUNTRY! INTERESTING NO?

    DEMOCRACY AND SOCIETY: There and Back Again – May 31, 2013

    The future for Sánchez is surrounded by the same mystery that wrapped the authorization of Cuban authorities to let her travel outside the country after twenty failed application attempts. For her part, she expects to start and maintain a digital newspaper, a long wished project. However, the Castro regime would expectedly not be happy allowing a dissident to share her opinion freely in the internet (for instance, her famous blog Generation Y was hacked and kept offline for some days during her trip). Undoubtedly Sánchez has become an international figure, and the Cuban authorities could not as easily repress her as they have done in the past. But clearly as well the government will not allow Sánchez’s image to grow domestically, where she remains unknown to large sectors of the population.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.democracyandsociety.com/blog/2013/05/31/there-and-back-again/

  16. This site goes down due to the ignoracnce of its owners.

    Here is the evidence:
    After making my post a few minutes ago I got this dump on the screen:
    Warning: stripslashes() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /home/content/79/11373479/html/desdecuba/generationy/wp-content/plugins/akismet/akismet.php on line 200

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/79/11373479/html/desdecuba/generationy/wp-content/plugins/akismet/akismet.php:200) in /home/content/79/11373479/html/desdecuba/generationy/wp-comments-post.php on line 79

    Nobody even half-literate in the IT technology would allow the PHP errors be seen on the screen in the production environemt. Such errors and warning belong to en error log, accesible to admin only.

    Apparently, cuban “opposition” thinks that American Big Brother will not just feed them, but also work for them. They can only blame Castro and do nothing.

  17. Hackers, You are doing a great job taking down this site.

    I wish you well in your heroic battle against free speech by pacifists. I hope Castro is rewarding you well with in dollars or autographed copies of his greatest speeches.

    I wonder how many pro-Castro sites have ever been hacked and taken down by bad ole USA?

    Wait, don’t tell me, none.

    So basically, Castro won’t even tolerate free speech outside of Cuba.

    Isn’t this political interference in other countries?

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