By Nelson P Valdés, Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
November 20, 2016
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“…. At a certain time Lenin raised the idea of the construction of capitalism even under the leadership of the proletariat. For your peace of mind, of course, I tell you that we have no such thing in mind, and it is not because we disagree with Lenin, but because the circumstances are different, since our process, which could count on the assistance of the Socialist camp and the USSR, has made great progress, has very solid forces and does not have to raise the issue in those terms. “Fidel Castro, August 6, 1995.
“I remember reading how at one point Lenin conceived the construction of capitalism under the leadership of the workers, of a workers’ government. He said: ‘We must build capitalism, we must develop our productive forces’. But such was the harassment, the aggression, the isolation and the critical situation that he had no choice but to accept that challenge; Marx would have put his hands on his head, really.” Fidel Castro, August 24, 1998.
“Revolution is a sense of the historical moment; It means to change everything that must be changed …” Fidel Castro, May 1, 2000.
Those who are supposed to study Cuba do not pay sufficient attention to the institutions and practices that exist in the country.
Most scholars and reporters from the outside discuss, write and prescribe an imaginary or imagined Cuba. They write about the future and very little about the real present or the one that was. In other words, they do not ask the question –for example: Why are there CUPET and ORO NEGRO gas stations? Why are there two instead of one single company selling gasoline? They do not wonder why there are so many different types of taxis: HavanaTaxi, PanaTaxi, etc. Everything is seen as ONE State controlling them all… and everything else… because this is not analyzed. Actually, it is not even perceived.
It is obvious that in Cuba there is an almost completely monopolistic state capitalism that faces many difficulties imposed from abroad –particularly by the US government. This description is not meant to be pejorative, it is only descriptive. This state capitalism, however, focuses on the distribution of what it produces or generates from products and income. These aspects differentiate it from the typical state capitalism that distributes profits only among private investors.
With state capitalism, there are corporations which are independent of one another and can respond to different sectors within the state itself. For example, MINFAR [Ministry of the Armed Forces] has companies (including the Banco Financiero Internacional -International Financial Bank –which is different from Banco Popular de Ahorro – (National Savings Bank, which it does not control). Also, MINFAR also has a line of hotels (Gaviota) and its own farms. These farms show us that there is “vertical integration” in different productive chains on the island. And these state entities and chains –autonomous from one another –COMPETE with other state entities.
Are there possible contradictions –in Marxist terms– between Gaviota and Cubanacan, for example? And, since when have these institutions existed? They began in 1985. And who has studied the economic and political process of Cuba on the basis of these conditions? What exactly is a “business group” (e.g., AZCUBA [Cuban sugar company)?
Those who call for the introduction of capitalist measures on the island and dream of the market are out of tune and clueless. Some elements already exist, but that is not the whole reality. Everything is more complex and complicated.
Journalists and many academics from abroad confuse this with the capitalism of private corporations. They do not understand that the practice of capitalism by semi-state-owned or fully state-owned corporations is something totally different. One big difference, of course, is who appropriates the profits and how they do it. The profits in private capitalism go –eventually– to private hands. State capitalism usually appropriates profits and distributes some of those profits among the administrators and –individually or socially– among those working in or out of the company. Both types pay taxes.
Note: In Cuba, there were precedents of this situation – and they were established by the United States government. For example, the Nicaro Nickel Company was a US state corporation. Nicaro was an administrative subsidiary of the Freeport Sulphur Company which in turn “acted” on behalf of the Defense Plant Corporation and Metals Reserve Company owned by the United States.
NOTE: The use of the term “state capitalism” has no pejorative intent.
Cubadebate, Contra el Terrorismo Mediático http://www.cubadebate.cu
By Marlene Moya
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Santiago de Cuba, Feb. 21 (ACN) The united vote in the March 11 elections means giving the Yes for Cuba, for social justice and the conquests of the Revolution, said Elvira Orozco, delegate of the Popular Power of the 76th constituency, in this city.
If we read the biographies of the candidates for the Provincial Assembly of People’s Power and the Cuban Parliament, we see that they are compañeras and compañeros with plenty of merit and genuine representatives from all sectors,” this professional radio journalist in Santiago de Cuba pointed out.
She commented that, a few days ago, she saw in the National Television Newsletter a material about Commander in Chief Fidel Castro’s visit to the José Martí Urban Center, in one of the previous trips to a similar process, in an area where the leader of the Revolution was a candidate for the National Assembly.
I had the privilege of doing that coverage and I remember his dialogue with the people gathered there spontaneously, knowing of his presence, about who were the proposed [candidates], people of the people, not millionaires as happens in other countries, and the most recent example is the current president of the United States, she said.
Donald Trump, she said, ranks in that category and does not care about any program that benefits the most vulnerable.
He said that the conquests of today, for which so many Cubans fought, for centuries, must be defended and the united vote is a way to do it.
We are not going to vote for someone who will benefit us personally or [because] we like them, we will vote for dignified men and women with a rich and revolutionary career, said Elvira.
This professional with the pen has more than a thousand voters in her constituency and this is her second term.
It has in its area, the Historic Center, three blocks from the Corredor Patrimonial Las Enramadas and several units of services, among those of commerce and gastronomy, pharmacy, two bakeries, the central post office, gymnasium and self-employed workers, especially food processing.
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El voto unido es una manera de defender la Revolución
Santiago de Cuba, 21 feb (ACN) El voto unido en los comicios del 11 de marzo significa dar el Sí por Cuba, por la justicia social y las conquistas de la Revolución, destacó Elvira Orozco, delegada del Poder Popular de la circunscripción 76, en esta ciudad.
Si leemos las biografías de los candidatos a la Asamblea Provincial del Poder Popular y al Parlamento Cubano, vemos que son compañeras y compañeros con sobrados méritos y genuinos representantes de todos los sectores, puntualizó a la ACN esa profesional del periodismo radial en Santiago de Cuba.
Comentó que hace pocos días vio en el Noticiero Nacional de Televisión un material sobre la visita del Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro al Centro Urbano José Martí, en uno de los recorridos previos a similar proceso, en un área por donde el líder de la Revolución fue candidato a la Asamblea Nacional.
Tuve el privilegio de hacer esa cobertura y recuerdo su diálogo con personas congregadas allí de forma espontánea, al saber de su presencia, sobre quiénes eran los propuestos, gente del pueblo, no millonarios como ocurre en otros países, y el ejemplo más reciente es el actual mandatario de los EE.UU, acotó.
Donald Trump, señaló, clasifica en esa categoría y no se preocupa por ningún programa que beneficie a los más desprotegidos.
Manifestó que las conquistas de hoy por las cuales lucharon tantos cubanos durante siglos hay que defenderlas y el voto unido es una manera de hacerlo.
No vamos a votar por alguien que nos beneficiará en lo personal o nos cae bien, lo haremos por hombres y mujeres dignos y con una rica trayectoria laboral y revolucionaria, apuntó Elvira.
Esa profesional de la pluma cuenta en su circunscripción con más de mil electores y este es su segundo mandato.
Tiene en su área, del Centro Histórico, tres cuadras del Corredor Patrimonial Las Enramadas y varias unidades de servicios, entre esas de comercio y gastronomía, farmacia, dos panaderías, el correo central, gimnasio y trabajadores por cuenta propia, sobre todo de elaboración de alimentos.
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