Yoani Stumbles Upon an Important Contradiction
Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez has a great op-ed in The New York Times entitled, “The Castros in Their Labyrinth.”
She’s spot-on regarding the general premise — that the Castros are quickly headed towards a dead end.
“Castrismo is losing the battle. Biology is ending the historic generation, while the economic opening is creating a class that does not depend on government salaries, the growing dissident faction is slashing the regime’s international prestige, and the loss of control over information is reducing its leverage over people. All of these are, at the very least, death-threatening obstacles in its way.”
Can’t disagree with that.
However, she stumbles upon a contradiction in describing the “class that does not depend on government salaries,” which she loosely labels the “private sector.”
“In 1993, spurred by an economic crisis, Fidel Castro permitted the reopening of the private sector. This turned out to be Mr. Castro’s worst defeat — one he tried to mask as a victory, as he usually did whenever he stumbled… Since taking power in 2008, Raúl Castro has granted a series of concessions that spin the island’s compass toward a system without paternalism, but also without rights. Permission to set up small private companies coincided with the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of Cubans, who held government positions for decades and are now unemployed.”
Once again, she’s spot-on that the lack of rights of this so-called “private sector”
But therein lies her contradiction — for there can be no private sector without rights.
A private sector requires a legal framework for its existence, including business structures, an independent judiciary, contractual sanctity and recourse. In other words, a rule of law.
Moreover, a private sector requires physical and intellectual property rights.
None of this exists in Cuba.
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