The Cuban Communist Party has its priorities straight. First comes the party and securing revenue for the ruling elite. Then, if anything is left over, everything else. This is socialism in action.
Amidst a Food Crisis, Cuba’s Communist Party Remodels a Propaganda Center
The priorities of Cuba’s Communist Party are constructing hotels and financing propaganda.
The Cuban regime recently inaugurated the Ideas Multimedios center. It will encompass the five media or programs for privileged propaganda put out by the Cuban Communist Party: Cubadebate; Con Filo; Fidel, soldado de las ideas; Mesa Redonda, and Cuadrando la caja. The five are dedicated to communicating the orientations of the Cuban Communist Party to the population about domestic and international topics.
Barely a month from Parliament president Esteban Lazo’s fit of anger for the scant production of food in the country and for having to import everything that is distributed to the people through the rationing system, it is surprising to find no concrete measures to increase food production. We are talking about chronic food shortages that have gone on for 32 years since the end of Soviet subsidies.
In that context, the new propaganda center located in the Playa municipality, features three floors and has electric power partially guaranteed through solar panels and photovoltaic energy. Cubadebate highlighted the speed at which 60% of the building had been remodeled in just three months. It isn’t possible to know the total investment required or the costs of reconstructing the building. The source of the investment is also unknown. Did the investment come from the national budget? Is it part of central government expenses? As is usually the case, the government does not account for its expenses.
The lack of balance in the state budget’s investment reveals the government’s priorities
According to economist Pedro Monreal, the government’s budget line for Entrepreneurial Services, Real Estate activities and Rentals –which includes everything related to hotel construction- tops the sector investment allocation list in Cuba, according to the most recent data published by the National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI, by its Spanish acronym) for the first Semester of 2022.
In percentages, these expenses are equivalent to 33.8% of all investments undertaken, which is alarming if compared to the funds allocated for Agriculture and Cattle which, when considering the shortages context, represents barely 2.6% of the total budget invested, that is, approximately 830 million Cuban pesos.
According to ONEI, in the first Quarter of this year, only 2.9% of the budget was allocated to Agriculture, Cattle and Forestry, while 23% of the national budget was allocated to Real Estate activities and Rentals. In other words, 585 million Cuban pesos for the production of food products, compared to more than 4.7 billion Cuban pesos for the construction of hotels. We can add the precarious sum of 0.4% allocated to the Fishing industry.
It is alarming that the greater portion of the national budget is still being allocated to the construction of hotels. No other sector in the economy is allocated a larger investment. If the official discourse states that food security is a matter of “national security”, in practice, Cuba allocates the largest part of its budget to the construction of hotels, with an occupancy of 14% of its total capacity as of 2022.
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