viernes, 30 de diciembre de 2016

Raul Castro wishes to withdraw from power fully faithful to his brother's principles. Nothing, not a single sign of change

Raul Castro wishes to withdraw from power fully faithful to his
brother's principles. Nothing, not a single sign of change
PEDRO CAMPOS | La Habana | 30 de Diciembre de 2016 - 00:33 CET.

The general philosophy that will pervade the Government next year, until
the promised resignation of General Raúl Castro, was clearly outlined in
his closing speech at the regular session of the eighth convocation of
the National Assembly of Popular Power.

According to a summary of the speech published by Granma on Dec. 27,
Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, blamed "the limitations on fuel supplies
and aggravated financial stress on falling export earnings and the
prices of the main goods" for the poor performance of the nationalized
Cuban economy, which last year saw a 0.9% decrease in its Gross Domestic
Product (GDP).

And he went on: "Another factor impacting the Cuban economy was the
damage done by Hurricane Mathew" and "the negative effects generated by
the blockade cannot be forgotten," while stating that "nevertheless,
free education and health services will be preserved.2

Based on these excerpts, it is clear that the blame for our problems and
economic disaster will continue to be blamed on external factors and
natural disasters, without any recognition of the ruinous role of
statism, the centralization of decisions and the country's property and
resources, or a reevaluation of the poor performance of state monopolies
on the domestic and foreign markets. To top it all off, the regime shall
persist in preaching the idea of ​​the state as sacrosanct creator of
wealth, while snubbing producers, and in claiming that health care and
education are "free."

Moreover, he stated that to achieve the modest growth figure of 2% in
the plan for 2017 it will be necessary to follow through on three key
objectives: "ensuring exports and timely collection on them, increasing
domestic production, replacing imports; and reducing any non-essential
spending." He also added that: "A crucial aspect to achieve this will be
overcoming, once and for all, the outdated mentality, steeped in
prejudices, against foreign investment."

The lines reveal that hopes for development and growth will be left to
factors stated on other occasions, and will have nothing to do with
pursuing efficiency in production methods and organization. Neither will
there be any effort to provide incentives to work, and production
methods and technologies – such as payment for labor, cooperatives and
domestic private enterprise – will continue to be neglected. Rather,
hopes will be placed on international capitalism coming to save "Cuban
socialism" from the foreseeable debacle.

Raúl Castro added that "the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution left
us his undying example, his unwavering optimism and faith in victory.
The best monument to his ideals and work is to realize every day the
principles enshrined in his brilliant definition of the concept of
Revolution."

This reference to Fidel's faith in victory and the vague principles of
the "Fidelian" vision of revolution, so distant from that of Marx and
other modern revolutionaries, serves to further suggest that the same
path of populism, voluntarism, centralism and state employment that have
characterized the policies applied in Cuba since 1959 will be taken.

Raul Castro wishes to withdraw from power fully faithful to his
brother's principles. Nothing, not a single sign of changes. The idea
seems to be to let those who follow fend for themselves.

The democratic aims propounded to mobilize the Cuban people in the
struggle against Batista, and wielded by the Socialists in 1961 to
enlist workers, peasants, students and all the people to build a more
advanced society, will be once again deferred, to further pursue social
justice according to fidelismo, which have nothing to do with democracy,
human rights, or socialism.

It remains to be seen whether the decrepit economy, foreign generosity
and the aspirations of the majority of the Cuban people will endure
another year, without somehow sparking the urgent and necessary
political, economic and social changes demanded by a good part of Cuba's
intellectuals, workers and people at large.

Source: Raul Castro wishes to withdraw from power fully faithful to his
brother's principles. Nothing, not a single sign of change | Diario de
Cuba - http://www.diariodecuba.com/node/27762

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