In Cuba, the hare carries the tortoise
Small business initiatives are moving much faster than the slow pace of state legalization.
Raul Castro’s motto for updating the Cuban economic model is, “slowly, but surely.” It’s like turning on the faucet so that the water will only drip out.
At the recent session of the National Assembly, Castro again rejected calls to accelerate the pace, accusing those who ask him of wanting to, “damage the trust and support of the people in building socialism.”
At that rate, work permitted by those who are self-employed reached a figure of 201 categories at the end of September, 18 more than the initial 183 published three years ago.
The maddening pace has led some economists to wonder if it wouldn’t be easier and convenient for the country’s prosperity to publish lists of what is forbidden and assume that all other private jobs are allowed.
One consequence is that the popular initiative to create offers that meet the myriad needs of Cubans moves faster than the ability of the government’s pace to authorize them.
One of the categories that had been approved was pony rides for children or carts pulled by goats. Now the Cuban Community Communicators Network reports that on the streets of the capital, the renting of ponies has become an individual business.
The price for a 2 block ride is 5 pesos in national currency (CUP).
A note by José Antonio Sieres Ramallo states that the animal’s caretaker and the person responsible for the business, charges a rate of 10 pesos per child for a distance of about six blocks , thereby covering the cost of a license.
But the author points out that children ride the ponies without a saddle- the dream of every child –and this is not included in the licenses approved by the National Tax Administration (ONAT, its acronym in Spanish).
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