GIGA Focus International Edition English

Cuba: On the Way to Market Socialism?

GIGA Focus | International Edition English | Nummer 05 |

Cuba’s government has initiated plans to lay off half a million state employees by March 2011; an additional 500,000 employees are to follow. An expansion of the private sector will supposedly absorb the newly unemployed personnel.

Analysis
The acute state finance crisis has forced the Cuban government to undertake the most dramatic reform measure since Raúl Castro took office in July 2006. Nevertheless, the leadership continues to argue internally about how much market economy Cuba’s socialism will permit.

  • The laid-off state employees are to transition to occupations in the "non-state sector." This will entail the greatest opening up to private-sector economic activities since the 1959 revolution. With this opening, the question of new social disparities will become an acute one.

  • There is still no consensus among Cuba’s leadership regarding the future role of the private sector: For the reformers, the state should actively promote the new self-employed as an important part of a market socialism modeled after the Vietnamese or Chinese example. However, still-powerful forces in the party and the bureaucracy see the private sector rather as a necessary evil which is politically dangerous and thus needs to be kept limited.

  • In many ways the reform will initially mean the “whitening” of already existing black-market activities. Nevertheless, there are many indications that the opening up to the private sector will take place, also in the future, largely without strong legal foundations. While a lack of legal certainty provides the state with control and sanctioning power, it is also a hindrance to the economic dynamic which these reforms could generate for the economy as a whole.

  • With its awarding of the Sakharov Prize to Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas, the EU Parliament has demonstrated its solidarity with Cuba’s opposition. Although the EU has decided to maintain its "Common Position" on Cuba, it will nevertheless strengthen its efforts to make bilateral relations more flexible—not least because if it does not, increased solo action at the national level is to be expected.

  • Fidel Castro’s public appearances of recent weeks do not herald his political comeback. To the contrary: Raúl Castro has consolidated his power; Fidel’s presence has served primarily to legitimate his brother’s government.

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Vorgeschlagene Zitierweise

Hoffmann, Bert (2010), Cuba: On the Way to Market Socialism?, GIGA Focus International Edition English, 05, urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-275162

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Das GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies – Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien in Hamburg gibt Focus-Reihen zu Afrika, Asien, Lateinamerika, Nahost und zu globalen Fragen heraus. Der GIGA Focus wird vom GIGA redaktionell gestaltet. Die vertretenen Auffassungen stellen die der Autoren und nicht unbedingt die des Instituts dar. Die Autoren sind für den Inhalt ihrer Beiträge verantwortlich. Irrtümer und Auslassungen bleiben vorbehalten. Das GIGA und die Autoren haften nicht für Richtigkeit und Vollständigkeit oder für Konsequenzen, die sich aus der Nutzung der bereitgestellten Informationen ergeben. Auf die Nennung der weiblichen Form von Personen und Funktionen wird ausschließlich aus Gründen der Lesefreundlichkeit verzichtet.

Gesamtredaktion GIGA Focus: Prof. Dr. Sabine Kurtenbach

Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann

Leitung GIGA Berlin Büro
Senior Research Fellow

Prof. Dr. Bert Hoffmann ist Senior Research Fellow am GIGA Institut für Lateinamerika-Studien, Leiter des GIGA Berlin-Büros und Professor für Politikwissenschaft an der Freien Universität Berlin. Er ist Verfasser zahlreicher wissenschaftlicher Publikationen zur politischen und wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung Kubas.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Katrin Hansing / Bert Hoffmann

The return of racial inequalities: assessing the re-stratification of Cuban society

Latin American Politics and Society, forthcoming

Katrin Hansing / Bert Hoffmann

Cuban Society: Becoming More Unequal, Connected and Diverse

in: Philip Brenner / Marguerite Rose Jiménez / John M. Kirk / William M. LeoGrande (eds.), A Contemporary Cuba Reader: The Revolution Under Raúl Castro, 2nd ed., London: Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming

Sven Creutzmann / Bernd Hoffmann

Havanna

München: Frederking & Thaler, 2019

Sven Creutzmann / Bernd Hoffmann

Havanna

München: Frederking & Thaler, 2019

Bert Hoffmann

¿Una nueve Cuba en gestación? Política y Sociedad en la era post-Castro

in: Francesc Fàbregues / Oriol Farrés (eds.), Anuario Internacional CIDOB 2019, CIDOB , 2019, 242-249