Regulations Go, Regulations Come / Fernando Damaso
Posted on February 16, 2014
The most recently approved regulations which now govern self-employment
(private labor) prohibit the sale of manufactured goods. Henceforth,
budding private businesses may sell only hand-made goods. Applying such
obsolete rules in the twenty-first century is akin to feudalism and
amounts to a return to a pre-industrial era.
Meanwhile, the government purchases shoddy goods at clearance sale
prices from China, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico and other countries. It later
offers them for sale in its hard currency stores at exorbitant prices
which are several times higher than their original wholesale costs. This
puts them well out of reach of most Cubans and creates a monopoly in the
sale of manufactured goods.
Many years ago, at the beginning of the experiment, its chief inventor
said, “This is the revolution of the poor, by the poor and for the
poor.” It seems to have quickly lost direction, becoming instead a
behemoth which threatens the poor, one which does not allow them to
either develop their initiatives or get ahead.
Never before in Cuba’s history as a nation has a government manipulated
and abused so many of its citizens. Cubans have endured family
separation, persecution for political, religious, sexual and even
musical preferences, as well as a decades-long prohibition against
travelling abroad, buying or selling a home or car, or staying in resort
Cubans have had to endure poverty-level wages and pensions.
Professionals have been contracted out to other countries as slave
labor. Cubans have served as cannon fodder for foreign wars, have
suffered the loss of moral values and have been subjected to inflated
prices for both basic commodities and non-essential goods. They have had
to put up with low-quality social services, denial of home internet
access, press censorship, repression of freedom of thought, and so on.
José Martí warned us of this but we did not take heed. He cautioned that
socialism poses two dangers: the first stems from misunderstood and
incomplete readings of the works of foreign writers; the second from the
arrogance and repressed rage of ambitious men, who rise up by standing
on the shoulders of others, pretending to be ardent defenders of the
helpless (Collected Works, volume 3, page l68, published in Cuba).
14 February 2014
Source: Regulations Go, Regulations Come / Fernando Damaso | Translating