NEW PRO-CAPITALIST MEASURES INTRODUCED BY RAUL CASTRO
In September 2010 the Cuban government announced a series of economic "modernisations". Among the most significant of these was the proposal to slash 500,000 jobs in the state sector by March 2011 as a first step to reducing employment by 1 million. Licenses are to be issued by the state to allow the creation of self-employed persons ("cuentapropistas") with the legal right to employ other employees, not just family members.
These measures are the governments' response to a worsening economic situation which has gripped the country, resulting in worsening living standards, food shortages and a deteriorating quality of life for the mass of the population. The "reforms" have opened a discussion within Cuba and amongst socialists internationally about the future of Cuba and the planned economy – which although weakened by bureaucratic measures at the moment remains largely intact - and the prospect of capitalist restoration. Such a development, should it take place, would represent a set back for workers and the labour movement world wide. It would undoubtedly be used by the capitalist class internationally, and especially in Latin America, to discredit the idea of "socialism" and propagate the idea that capitalism is the only viable social system.