The decision of Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro to reestablish diplomatic relations, broken off some 50 years ago, will change the medium-term political and economic outlook of Latin America. However, they will need to overcome some obstacles imposed by regressive factors, which will impede the path toward transition to a peaceful coexistence and greater prosperity for the peoples of America.
As one of the last bastions of Stalinism or so-called real socialism, the Cuban regime had prolonged its agony with the aid of dollars handed over in the spirit of solidarity by deceased President Hugo Chavez, who, violating Venezuelan law, never consulted the other branches of government. The purpose of this was to hide the failure of the Castro brothers’ authoritarian socialism and to open the way for a framework that allowed Chavez to justify imitating them and perpetuating his hold on power until the end of his life.
However, after Raul Castro visited China and was able to witness that country’s economic progress, due to reforms put in place by Deng Xiaoping which opened China up to foreign capital and the results of which exceed almost every country in the world in terms of sustained growth of their gross domestic product, the current president of Cuba set about convincing his army chief of staff of the need to save the glory of the revolution, then approaching 40 years of age, from complete failure.
Once Cuba’s political and military apparatus was on board, even though he still felt the hierarchical shadow of his older brother, Raul Castro decided to seriously overhaul an unproductive bureaucracy and resolved to dismiss a million public workers to get them to create small companies – characteristic of capitalism – with income tax payments. This was meant to encourage the personal initiative to be able to undertake productive activities, as they do in China and in the United States, capitalist powers that are contending for commercial and economic hegemony of the world. In the same way, he has allowed automobile sales and private home purchases and is slowly opening the door to greater participation of Cubans in private companies, now favored by the U.S. economy.
With these reforms, Raul Castro is not only confirming what Fidel Castro asserted in regard to communism not serving the interests of Cubans; he has also ended Commander Chavez and his heirs’ obsolete and parasitic strategy. If Deng Xiaoping said and proved, more than 20 years ago, that the state appropriating the means of production was not viable due to inefficiency and a lack of productivity, Raul Castro has dealt a final blow to 21st-century socialism.
About this publication