A Cuban Entrepreneur Suggests…

By Carlos Garcia  (Kewelta)

A self employed ice-cream seller.

HAVANA TIMES — As you all probably know, new licenses won’t be given, for the moment, to future private workers in many fields. Those of us who support others in setting up their businesses, encouraging them to launch them with the best energy possible, know that this is a very difficult measure for those who have invested a lot of money and time getting ready to put themselves out on a market that demands great quality.

I also believe that it must have been difficult for the State to have reached this point, when now they are finally publicly saying that they aren’t happy with how a framework has developed, which had been designed and more than that, needed our help to create a healthy environment.

I believe that the time has come for all of us to play our part and work together to create a better system for private work in Cuba.

It has been four months today since I contributed my two cents on the subject, I read some words out in front of legal representatives from some institutions relating to I.T, which I then published on our blog under the heading: “Document read at the 2017 TICs event about the needs of TCPs (independent workers)” http://blog.kewelta.com/2017/04/01/texto-leido-en-el-evento-tics-2017-sobre-necesidades-de-tcps/

I think that if they were to ask me which two points are the most important in improving the whole system in my opinion, I would respond the following:

  • Allowing private workers to declare all of their costs! The logical thing for us to do would be to declare all of our expenses and then be taxed based on our profits, it’s important that businesses have the chance to be honest in their account books, practically nobody does this because the tax system has been poorly designed.
  • Let private workers do business deals with the State! Get rid of intermediaries like associations, artists and the many companies that take advantage of this situation to charge a commission fee for representation for contracts and then they use these same contracts to evade tax on their statutory declarations.

If they were to ask me, Carlos do you have a third opinion? Yes, I do have one, get rid of the name TCP (trabajadores por cuenta propia, leave it as just private workers. The name “Independent workers” represents a state-led sector who sees those of us who work in the private sector as a threat to our sovereignty and a “necessary evil”, much further away from a reality where we can contribute to a Cuba that is progressing without signs of stopping.

Traducción: Havana Times
  • Jay Jardin

    I support cutting out the middle man. Middleman economies are flawed.

    “The logical thing for us to do would be to declare all of our expenses and then be taxed based on our profits,”

    Taxes do not follow logic. In the US we get taxed on everything we make regardless of being profitable or not.

    • Leslie Myers

      That can’t be true for the US. In Canada, we deduct business or work expenses. I really think a business pays tax on it’s profit after salaries, rent and other expenses.

  • Eden Wong

    Good points. It would be a start.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    Independence of thought and action runs counter to communism. No doubt the communists who contribute to these pages will confim that?

    • Terry Downey

      “No doubt the communists who contribute to these pages will confirm that?”

      Really!! Really, Carlyle? And just WHO are these “communists” who contribute to these pages? Perhaps you mean anyone who, unlike you, retains a broader scope of consciousness that transcends your very limited black & white / good vs. evil / McCarthyism perception of right and wrong?

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Yes Terry there is contribution to these pages by several communists at least one of whom is a card carrying member of the Communist Party of the USA.

        • Nick

          I’m not a Communist myself Mr MacD.
          However I have met many perfectly fine and decent Communist supporters and party members in various parts of the world including Cuba.
          I’m afraid that the way in which you persistently denigrate others for not falling in line with your fairly narrow political opinions does not reflect very well on you.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            It is quite simple Nick, I detest communism, for I have both observed and experienced it.
            I support freedom and liberty for people to vote for any party they choose, including the communist party – providing that they accept the rights of others rather than supporting dictatorship. My friends include Liberals, Democratic Socialists and Conservatives. I have openly expressed oppostion to Reform (which Mr. Trump(f) embraced at one time.) Incidentally, Shirley Williams (Baroness to you) tried hard to get me to enter UK politics. As you will know, she saw the light and departed from the Labour Party having been amongst other offices Minister of Education. I note that you do not describe your own knowledge base. I have never thought of your flaccid opinions as those of a communist, they are far too mild.

          • Nick

            I feel sure that UK politics is all the worse off for Baroness Shirley’s failure to entice you.
            You state that you support ‘freedom and liberty’.
            But despite agreeing with you wholeheartedly on certain specific matters, I find that you do come across as a bit of an old school ideologue.
            I would have you down as someone who talks a good game, but is in reality an unwitting facilitator for a continuance of the neo-liberalist rampage that will cause the most severest imaginable damage if left unchecked.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Shirley certainly thought so Nick – and even you might admit that her qualifications for giving political opinion were greater than your own.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        See below Terry!

    • Jon

      Absurd statement. Picasso was a communist. I consider myself one because I believe in democracy and I see capitalism as anathema to democracy. It doesn’t mean democracy springs fully formed from the attempt to build socialism. Especially when there is a capitalist behemoth a mere 60 miles from your shore that has instituted a bullying illegal embargo on you. Doesn’t help.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        So Terry, up pops the first to admit being a communist. But Jon is not the card carrying member of the Communist Party of the USA to whom I referred. At least Jon is honest!

        • Nick

          There’s certainly nothing wrong in being a Communist.
          And therefore there’s nothing wrong in ‘admitting’ it.
          Let’s see if Mr MacD can admit to being a supporter of the failed neo-liberalist economic experiment?

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            There would be nothiong wrong in being a commuinist providing that you agree that other members of society have the right to pursue and vote for other parties.
            However such freedom of individual thought and action runs counter to Marx/Leninist belief. Communism is about compelling everybody to comply.
            In short Nick it is a repressive system and only those who believe and support such repression can be true communists. To admit to being a communist is to say that one supports the system which runs counter to those essential factors necessary for human development of freedom and liberty.
            You Nick have chosen to respect and even admire those of communist persuasion. Live with it!
            I remain totally in favour of individual rights and freedoms and oppose communisim. You can sneer at my doing so, but that’s OK, it defines you!

  • Moses Patterson

    The problem facing the Castro regime is fear. They realize that the only way forward is down the capitalism highway. They should be afraid. Unregulated “savage” capitalism leaves a trail of carnage in its wake. It also spurs innovation and entrepreneurship. Will it be possible to hang on to the social conscience of socialism and jump start a moribund Cuban economy at the same time? Dunno. Historically, its never happened before anywhere else. One thing is for sure. Cuba, after nearly 60 years of Castro-style socialism has little choice but to go forward. The status quo isn’t working.

  • Nick

    For decades Cuba had been a tax free society.
    There are many levels of beaurocracy in Cuba but until recently, income taxation has not really been one of them.
    The tax regulation surrounding paladares and casas paticulares once they started opening up has always been pretty blunt and clumsy.
    Now with a growing entrenepanorial sector the clumsy tax regulations are dragging behind. Obviously it is the case that profit after expenses is what should be taxed. The sooner this is broadly recognised, the better it will be for Cuba going forward.
    Shifting encomic models from one to another is not something that can be done seamlessly from one day to the next.