Experience from a friend of Cuba after observations during a recent trip to Havana.

Only socialism can preserve the gains of the Revolution. Because of this the enemies undermine and weaken continually those transformations like health, education, sport, culture etc. that make possible productivity, development and social progress. Now changes are demanded due to the worldwide capitalist crisis. The Revolution belongs to all peoples. The guidelines to modify the economic model have been approved, yet they must be put into practice. The goal of the VI Communist Party Congress of Cuba was accomplished.

A strong link among unions and private workers must be created to avoid exploitation that hinders workers’ rights. The intimate and close association of workers, unions and management is one way to motivate the parties to negotiate differences. For example, we have heard that cooperatives of basic food products resolve many problems around agriculture and contribute to capacities to increase national exports vital for social and economic growth.

To control the growth of exploitation and protect persons (aged, disabled, youth) that cannot work, regulations are necessary. In regard to many Cuban men and women, a culture off work does not exist. To increase productivity and efficiency, first it is important to understand that cooperative and collective work is indispensible. These activities are to develop the men and women of the future to overcome individualism and isolation.

Second, there is will, desire and motivation to change stagnant policy to improve efficiency and sustainable growth to advance the Revolution. In case of higher incomes, workers will respond when they have raw materials and advise counsel to help them make decisions. Then we can build a consciousness, a culture of work, a strong society to resolve our own problems and eliminate errors that dull development, happiness and peace.

More details are lacking but cooperation with correct competence can attract workers and companies in charge of much education and experience to cooperate with administration to negotiate contracts and agreements on desired terms. It will take some time to change customs of sale, legal or clandestine. But the solution and determination must come from within Cuban society, not from outside.

Richard Grassl

June 2, 2011

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