HAVANA TIMES – At the end of 2017, over 600 Cuban lawmakers in the National Assembly of People’s Power, the one chamber legislative power, unanimously approved the State Budget for 2018, like they normally do.
The budget gathers the times and stages in which the State will distribute investments and disbursements for the following year in a centralized and planned manner, as well as how much they expect to receive in revenue for these expenditures and investments.
The following is their outline:
Before January 10, 2018, the Ministry of Finances and Prices distributes and notifies every Body, Higher Business Management Organizations (OSDE) and the Governing Bodies of the People’s Power Local Assemblies of their projected revenue and budget.
Before January 30th, these higher organizations notify their subordinate bodies about the “Economy and Budget Plan”, who then manage them.
Before February 15th, every subordinate body makes a breakdown of the Budget and plans it for revenue, expenditures and monthly execution for the rest of the year. This schedule is based on estimated activity levels both in production of goods as well as rendering services for the next 12 months.
You don’t have to be a genius to understand how impossible it is to foresee how a country’s extremely complex economy is going to behave throughout an entire year. That would be the case if the country was completely autonomous and not an economy like Cuba’s, whose only trace of modernity is being greatly interwoven in the global market’s ebbing and flowing.
This absolutely obsolete and proven-to-be dysfunctional centralism is the last thing that the Party-Government is clinging onto in order to withhold some kind of grounds to continue saying that Cuba is a socialist country led by a Communist Party.
It goes without saying that what we have here in Cuba isn’t socialism or communism, but the State’s monopoly of pure and crude capitalism, where an elite conglomerated into a Party hierarchy owns every mode of production and employs the rest of the population using the extremely capitalist wages system, taking control of what Marx called “surplus”.
Of course they cover the costs of education and healthcare, culture and pensions, national defense and repression with a part of this surplus. Without some expenditure they couldn’t hold onto the power of managing the fruits of every Cuban’s labor without reporting back to anyone and to top that off, hoping that we thank them for their infinite kindness.
The problem is that a centralized economy only works if the country you are ruling is a country of robots who answer to every input with the exact right output, and as they haven’t managed to do that yet, their economic system hasn’t even half worked, and so the elite has had to fight a double battle.
To within, they try to program citizens’ brains, wiping them clean of any possible individual feeling and collectivizing their ideas so as to facilitate their manipulation. After years of nagging propaganda, the New Man they were waiting for has come, but far from being a socialized being, he is more individualistic than any man that has ever stepped foot on Earth since the native Tainos languished smoking the best cigars in the world.
To the outside world, their war has consisted of keeping up the false appearance of being “under siege”. the world’s last hope for progress, as the champion of proletarian solidarity, the defender of the poor’s causes and blah blah blah in order to cash up first serving as a Soviet front man in this hemisphere and them as a professor of its Venezuelan childlike offspring.
Today, they have lost on both fronts and the elite is now waiting to get out of this mess, Raul leaving behind 10 years of dashed hopes and a country at the worst crossroads in its history, and the recently awarded Labor Heroes, Machado Ventura, Ramiro Valdez and Guillermo Garcia, all of whom are members of the ruling gerontocracy and close to being mummified, piling up their medals, than retiring.
I wonder how much a Cuban Labor Hero medal will go for when revolutionary souvenirs are up for sale in the future like what happened in Russia in the ‘90s.