The “Silk Revolution” of Cuba

Mihai-Silviu Chirila

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It looks like Fidel Castro’s opinions on the state economy of Cuba and on the restructuring that is most needed is taking shape into a very unusual provision the Communist state has taken today in its attempt to boost the economic development.

Thus, in a completely unprecedented way for a system that claims to be “of the working class for the working class,” Cuban labor federation announced today that over one million people, that is almost 10 percent of the 11 million population of the country, will lose their jobs, half of them by March next year.

Furthermore, these soon-to-be-unemployed are encouraged to find themselves new jobs by joining the new private enterprises, on which the state is going a little easier now.

It goes beyond saying that all of the people who are about to be laid off used to be employed in the state sector of economy, which in every Communist country is the entire economy actually.

This is the most important shift in Cuba’s politics since the revolution in 1959, when the small Carribean island, under the leadership of Fidel himself, decided to become a Communist country.

The decision the regime is forced to make today represents in fact the ideological end of the Communist era in Cuba, since the “imperialist” solution is being applied to the country, and the workers upon which the Communist regimes are built are practically “thrown into the arms of exploiters.”

Cuban government still controls almost all aspects of the economy and employees some 85% of the workforce.

The labor federation said that the state shouldn’t keep under its control all the productive economic entities, services and budgeted sectors that consume the resources of the national gross domestic product without producing anything in exchange.

By that, Cuba follows into the steps of all the Eastern European countries (except for Romania, which destroyed completely its own economy by political decisions made by utterly incompetent and completely corrupt leaders Romanian constituents have been constantly voting into offices since the bloody Revolution in 1989), who relinquished most of the economical sectors to private entrepreneurs, thus making a more or less bearable transition from the Communist model to the capitalist one, to such a point that some of them became serious competitors in different branches of economy (except for Romania again, which used to be a competitor in many fields of industry during the Communist regime, not to mention agriculture, but has sunk now into an age of pre-industrialization, and, which is worse, of “pre-agriculture”).

The Cuban government intends to relax the legislation in force now, and to allow people to become self-employed or to be employed by private companies.

There are people who have been working for themselves even during the Communist regime, as hairdressers or taxi-drivers, or small restaurant owners.

There are people who work on some sort of black market, in liberal profession, which have not been able to declare their trades or their income for fear of being arrested under the accusation of performing “imperialist and capitalist” actions.

Cuban regime displayed its first signs of reform in August, when Raoul Castro said the state had to put an end to the idea that Cuba is the only place on earth where people could live without working.

Every since the revolution in 1959, and especially since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the White House leaders had been asking themselves how would they get rid of the Communist regime in the Carribean island. If we are to believe Fidel Castro, even assassination attempts have been made against him, and nothing seemed to work.

Finally, Cuba is following its natural course, with old age and economic crisis as agents through which a dystopian ideology can be dismissed and the people of this country can at last go about their lives after the most natural and untroubled revolution the world has seen since the “silk revolution” in Prague, in 1989.11

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