Communist Party to experiment with free enterprise
The Sixth Cuban Communist Party (PCC) congress will take place from tomorrow 16th April 2011 until 19th April. Around 1,000 delegates will attend in a congress which is expected to make a number of free market recommendations to the Council of State.
Over the past year there have been thousands of discussions with people all over Cuba based on a 291 point document entitled ‘Guidelines of Economic and Social Policy’.
If passed these will see major changes including the widening of approved private enterprises, of which there are currently 178; more licenses for Cubans to set up their own businesses from the current 180,000 Cubans to closer to a million and a plan to lease government land to as many as 100,000 small farmers.
Other areas that will be discussed over the four day congress, the first in 13 years, are:
- A gradual opening of a real estate market
- More focus on golf, marinas, cruises, eco tourism and health tourism
- Private sector to be allowed into construction
- More autonomy for state enterprises, but also more risk that if they don’t make a profit they will be allowed to go bankrupt
- Creation of a wholesale supply and credit infrastructure for small businesses and cooperatives
- More investment into infrastructure, especially water and waterways; also more renewable energy generation
- More autonomy for municipalities
- Creation of Special Development Zones for export & import as well as high-tech manufacturing.
Currently around 80% of all Cubans work for the state, if the recommendations are passed then that could all be about to change.