Reports from Cuba: Another Sweeping Law

By Rosa Maria Rodriguez in Translating Cuba:

Another Sweeping Law

The National Assembly or Cuban parliament approved with no problems — not a rare thing for this organ where although it’s not divine it “comes from above” — the new foreign investment law. You don’t need a crystal ball to know that new legislation, like the new broom of the refrain, sweeps fundamentally well for them and their orbit.

The suffocating financiers of the nineteenth-century Cuban political model shows that for the nomenklatura the urgency of their bank balances or updating — aerating — their state capitalism is more important than truly reviving the battered “socialist economy.”

Like every law “that is disrespected” in Cuba after 1959, it was approved unanimously, meaning that everyone agreed, or at least raised their hands, in a caricature of a senate composed almost entirely of members of the only party legalized in Cuba which has been in government for 55 years and although it calls itself communist, it is not.

One might then suggest to the Cuban authorities, to be consistent with their own laws, to carry out an aggiornamento also of the philosophical basis of their ideology and the name of the historical party of government.

The Cuban state has had its eyes on foreign investment for a long time. Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, said earlier this year in Brazil, which in Cuba there would continue to be only one party. Emphasizing, of course, the interest in Brazilian entrepreneurs and the message of confidence and stability he wants to convey to them from the Cuban ruling class, to encourage them to do business in Cuba.

This norm becomes another discriminatory law “with the bait” of fiscal and tax benefits for foreigners, in contrast to the thunderous taxes payable by nationals who venture into the private sector. They did away with all the Cuban and foreign businesses when this model came to power and now stimulate and encourage only foreign capitalists to invest in our country.

They say they aren’t giving it away, but any citizen from other climes is placed above nationals, who once again are excluded from the opportunity to invest in medium and large companies in their own country.

Just like our Spanish ancestors committed shameless abuses and marginalized native Cubans and restricted them in their economic role in their own national home.

The state still owns “the master key” of labor contracting–the employing company– to calm their followers and to urge them to continue giving their unconditional support to the established and visible promise that they will be rewarded and privileged, if only with a tiny, revolutionary, symbolic and coveted “mini-slice” of the state pie.

On the other hand, the impunity in the management of public officials, on part with the lack of respect for society implicit in secrecy, exposes the heart of corruption. One of the many examples that get under the skin of Cubans of various geographic coordinates is, what is the state of the country’s accounts. What are the periodic incomes and expenses in different parts of the economy. Why isn’t Cuban society informed about the annual amount of the income from remittances from Cubans who have emigrated, and how these resources are used?

A lot could be said and written about the new law and the old discrimination and practices contained in previous legislation, which for me is a horse of a changeable–not another–color.

But it would give a lot of relevance to the segregationist, sloppy and desperate search for money by power elite in Cuba, which requires increasingly huge sums of “evil capital” to sustain its inefficient bureaucracy and unsustainable model.

In short, the new law, like the proverbial broom, will always sweep well for them and that seems to be all that, according to their dynastic mentalities, fiftieth anniversaries and blue-blooded lifestyles, they care about.