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    July 23, 2013

    Cuba’s Reforms Won’t Work
    By Carlos Alberto Montaner

    They were caught in the Panama Canal with their hands in the missile jar.

    Castroism doesn’t change. The complicity between Cuba and North Korea
    proves it. As stated in Havana by the North Korean Army chief of staff,
    Gen. Kim Kyok Sik: “I visit Cuba to meet with my comrades in the same
    trench, namely my Cuban comrades.” Lord, have mercy.

    In addition, Raúl Castro is very annoyed. The country is a disaster. He
    said so, publicly, some days ago. The Cubans are thieves and boors,
    especially the young, who like dirty dancing and the reggaetón. Raúl had
    promised that everyone would be entitled to a glass of milk and hasn’t
    managed to provide it. Not even that.

    There are fewer eggs, less meat, even less chicken. There’s no way to
    end rationing or the two-currency scam. The state pays with the bad
    currency, the worthless money, and sells for the good money, the
    valuable one. Raúl Castro knows that he’s perpetrating a swindle but
    refuses to put an end to the crime.

    None of this is new. Some 25 years ago, Raúl Castro began to realize
    that Cuban communism was radically unproductive. Then he sent some of
    his officials to take management courses in several capitalist
    countries. He thought it was an administrative problem. He had just read
    Perestroika, Mikhail Gorbachev’s book, and was bedazzled.

    At that time, Raúl was still unable to understand that Marxism was a
    harebrained theory that inevitably led to catastrophe. Fidel aggravated
    the problem with his ridiculous volunteerism, his inflexibility, his
    absurd initiatives and his lack of common sense, but did not generate
    disaster. The problem lay in the theoretical premises.

    Today, things are different. By now, Raúl Castro, who no longer fears
    Fidel and has eliminated from his entourage all of his brother’s
    acolytes, who has had seven years’ experience as a ruler, knows that
    collectivist recipes and the gabble of dialectical materialism are only
    useful for staying in power.

    But here comes the paradox. Despite that certainty, Raúl Castro wants to
    save a system in which neither he nor any of his closest subordinates
    believe. Why the contradiction? Because it’s not a question of a
    theoretical battle. When Raúl said that he was not assuming the
    presidency to bury the system, he really meant that he was not replacing
    his brother to give up the power.

    In any case, how does Raúl intend to save his regime? He has said it: by
    changing the methods of production. By inventing a robust socialist
    entrepreneurial fabric that is efficient, competitive and scrupulously
    handled by communist cadres turned into honest managers who’ll work
    tirelessly, without seeking any personal advantages.

    Because he couldn’t create New Men, Raúl wants to create new bureaucrats.

    In other words, we’re seeing a variation of the developmental delirium
    of his brother Fidel. Fidel was the smart inventor, always looking for
    the prodigiously productive cow, fed with moringa leaves, with which he
    could solve all problems. Raúl is the rigorous foreman who thinks of
    himself as a pragmatic, organized and iron-fisted man who can set things
    right through control and vigilance.

    That vigorous state apparatus imagined by Raúl would coexist with a weak
    and closely watched private sector – “bonsai businesses,” as economist
    Oscar Espinosa Chepe calls them – whose function would be to provide
    small services and be the repository for workers dropped from the public
    sector.

    Now, self-employed entrepreneurs are being attacked because some of them
    are purportedly saving their gains and becoming wealthy. Raúl wants
    capitalism without capital.

    How long will it take for Raúl Castro to discover that his reform will
    not work because it is as unreal as his brother’s farming follies? It
    took five years for Gorbachev to admit that the system could not be
    reformed and the only way out was to demolish it.

    Though Raúl has a hard noggin, he will eventually come to the same
    conclusion. As his brother Fidel used to say – and their teacher, Father
    Llorente, once revealed – “This boy is not very bright.”

    Carlos Alberto Montaner was born in Havana in 1943 and has lived in
    Madrid since 1970. A former university professor, he is an acclaimed
    writer and journalist. His syndicated column appears in dozens of
    newspapers in the United States, Latin America and Spain. Originally
    published in the Miami Herald. Republished with author permission.

    Source: “RealClearWorld – Cuba’s Reforms Won’t Work” –
    http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2013/07/23/cubas_reforms_wont_work.html

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