Home | News and Events | Cuba News and Events | Cuba is strengthening its Economic Base for Development of the Country

Site Search

Cuba is strengthening its Economic Base for Development of the Country Print E-mail

On May 6, the Canadian Cuban Friendship Association of Windsor held a public meeting on Socialism in 21st Century Cuba addressed by Jorge Soberón, Consul General of the Cuban Consulate in Toronto. The event was organized as part of the Mayworks Project in Windsor and brought together a diverse audience made up of workers, students, artists, journalists and members of the Cuba solidarity movement. The meeting was hosted by Artcite, Windsor's artist-run centre and an important hub of the Mayworks project.

 

In April of this year Cuba celebrated two very important 50th anniversaries: the Declaration of the Socialist Character of the Cuban Revolution and the Defeat of the U.S. sponsored and organized mercenary invasion at Playa Giron (also know as the Bay of Pigs). As Cubans were marking these two events, the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba convened, discussed and adopted a series of proposals designed to update, renew and strengthen the Cuban national project of independence, self-determination and social justice. This program was the result of an intense and extensive national discussion that was initiated on December 1, 2010, lasting until February 28, 2011. This was a national discussion in which more than 160,000 meetings were held, nearly 9-million people participated, and more than 3-million views and opinions expressed. The content of this national discussion was critical in guiding the deliberations and decisions of the 6th Congress. In short, more than three quarters of the Cuban population participated in charting the course of their country.

The main focus of the 6th Congress was the economy. Posted below is a report on the May 6 meeting in Windsor, where Jorge Soberón, Consul General of the Cuban Consulate in Toronto, outlined the ongoing process of economic renewal aimed at laying the basis for the further development of Cuba.

 


Cuba is strengthening its Economic Base for Development of the Country

On May 6, the Canadian Cuban Friendship Association of Windsor held a public meeting on Socialism in 21st Century Cuba addressed by Jorge Soberón, Consul General of the Cuban Consulate in Toronto. The event was organized as part of the Mayworks Project in Windsor and brought together a diverse audience made up of workers, students, artists, journalists and members of the Cuba solidarity movement. The meeting was hosted by Artcite, Windsor's artist-run centre and an important hub of the Mayworks project.



Showing the historic nature of relations between Canada and Cuba, Professor Howard Pawley, former premier of Manitoba and founding member of the CCFA-Windsor welcomed Soberón to Windsor. Pawley explained that he has been involved in solidarity with Cuba since the 1960s and was proud of this work. He highlighted the great support in Canada for Cuba, citing the over 900,000 Canadians who visited Cuba last year as a concrete example.

Soberón then opened the presentation, placing the economic changes taking place in Cuba in the context of the work to strengthen socialism in the realities of the 21st century. He began by clearly pointing out that the changes are part of an internal process of renewal and development and not the result of external pressures. He outlined the achievements of Cuba in the general standard of living of the people, including education, health and culture. He then explained that despite these positive aspects, the Cuban people, like the rest of the world are facing challenges. The three main challenges affecting Cuba now are: The effects of climate change (hurricanes and other natural disasters), the U.S. blockade of Cuba which has caused hundreds of billions of dollars of damages to the Cuban economy, and the global financial crisis. These factors have led the Cuban government to try and expand the economic base of the economy and expand its productive capacity.

He explained that in the state sector there is an excess of labour power and that an important part of the changes are aimed at expanding the economic base, through licensing of small businesses, developing foreign investment and foreign cooperation and expanding the tourism sector. The shifting of employment from the state sector, to other sectors will permit more productive capacity in the country he pointed out. In international relations he highlighted the growth of the Bolivarian Alliance for Peoples of Our Americas and the soon to be launched commonwealth of the Americas.

When asked about how to ensure foreign investment serves the country and not a small group, Soberón affirmed that the concentration of private property is not permitted, and outlined how these changes are to ensure that foreign investment brings in: 1) technology, 2) capital 3) access to markets. Foreign investment must be a benefit to the Cuban economy to be permitted.

He cited the example of the food processing sector in response to another question about food sovereignty, and explained that Cuba has increased its food production due to the use of urban and suburban agriculture and there is still more potential. However, he pointed out, without processing capacity, the full yield of the production can be wasted. This is an area in which foreign investment and technology is being explored. This example showed the audience how foreign investment is being viewed from a strategic and long-term view from the standpoint of how to expand the self-reliant nature of the economy so that it can provide for the people.

Soberón closed his presentation pointing out that when the U.S. government under George W. Bush had set up a "transitional government" in Cuba, the Cuba people gave a fitting response. They held a referendum in which they declared the irrevocable nature of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution, and established the right of the Cuban people to stop any attempts to revert back to subjugation, up to and including the use of armed force.

 
Copyright © 2017 canadiannetworkoncuba.ca. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.