The bureaucracy fostered by the strong socialist state structure
Miguel Diaz-Canel stated that the bureaucracy fostered by the iron-clad socialist state in 60 years has been a fence during his 10 months in the presidency of Cuba. The summaries evidence it in their pronouncements at the meetings of the Council of Ministers and the assessment of the work of the ministries in 2018.
The president proposes to “undo the wrongs” of Raúl Castro. He wants to take an advantage of the environment created for the February 24 referendum and the issuance of the complementary laws of the new Constitution.
Diaz-Canel reiterated to all agencies the need to eliminate the bureaucracy; open the mind and be more proactive. He also expressed that work is being done to make planning more flexible and generate a more propitious scenario so that the different economic actors can perform more efficiently.
Also, tourism will have to assume the fundamental role in the economy, along with foreign investment and production chains to substitute imports and generate exports. Hence the combination of health tourism and the search to diversify markets, the strengthening of the national industry, and the non-state sector as a complement to tourism.
According to official media, for the period 2019-2021 several items have been selected to focus efforts and resources:
- Nickel, sugar, cocoa, tobacco, honey, coal, rum, biomedical products and the sea, medical services, tourism, telecommunications, educational, cultural and sports.
As far as sugar is concerned, the exports are very low after covering national consumption.
The Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, mentioned uncompetitive goods and low technological integration among the problems. He expressed that there are still barriers to overcome, fallacies in the training of personnel, the slowness and complexity of the procedures, etc. to develop businesses with foreign capital.
For his part, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil, referred to the fact that procedures and work schedules are sometimes not complied. Also, there is insufficient communication between the planning directorates and the entities in their territory. This generates, among other consequences, a lack of quality in the information received.
Since the 1960s there have been several campaigns against bureaucratism. Specialists in the preparation of spreadsheets and forms, submitted to the higher authorities, replaced the economic controls of the moment. The “socialism” to resolve any need forged the fear of making decisions and hindering change. This is how almost 80% of the Cuban population born after 1959 has been raised.
In the meetings cited, there are no motivating changes in the fundamental element: the human being. The State is a monopoly employer, but salaries are miserable. It is difficult to fill the positions of managers and staff in general. Also, the permanence in the jobs.
The continuist government unfulfilled promises and increased in financial difficulties. It is bad due to the government needs credibility among the population.
In conclusion, it will be difficult to unravel bureaucratism. The population is waiting with fear the complementary laws and decrees of the new Constitution. Probably, they will impose greater restrictions and sanctions. This would be very counterproductive the economic difficulties, with no other grip than the sacrifices and labor of Cubans.