The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC) supports the forces seeking a change towards a free, open and democratic society that is also prosperous.
We cannot postpone the task of thinking the ways towards prosperity.
In order to know their opinions on the potential of Cuba to make a successful change towards a prosperous society for all Cubans, we brought together three recognized experts on these topics: Dr. Jorge Sanguinetty, an economist and consultant in several countries undergoing economic transitions; consultant Emilio Morales, marketing specialist and president of the Havana Consulting Group; and the successful Cuban-American businessman Domingo Moreira.
Cuba’s Exceptional Advantages for a Successful Change towards Prosperity
- It is estimated that the combination of all the sources of capital that is feasible to attract would add up to between 50 and 80 billion dollars in a period of three years, which would be a great financial buffer to be able to carry out that change quickly and efficiently.
- The country can benefit from various sources of investment and financing: the Cuban diaspora (which was the source of financing for most of the 60,000 Cuban entrepreneurs who started businesses in 2011), international financial institutions such as the World Bank (whose vice president is Cuban) and the Inter-American Development Bank (whose current president is Cuban), private investment funds seeking new markets and areas for production, individual companies and business people, and the adjustment schemes that can be achieved from the claims of owners who were confiscated without compensation.
- Cuba has the privilege of being a few miles from the most important market in the world with which a free trade agreement could be negotiated under very favorable conditions. In the 1950s, there were already farmers in Pinar del Río who harvested their tomatoes, sent them by ferry to Florida and within 24 hours they were being retailed to American consumers.
- The Cuban population is today transnational and Cubans living abroad possess not only abundant financial capital but also human capital (know-how and practical market economy experience) and social capital (relationships and access to foreign financial networks and businesses) acquired through their own business development over many years in the diaspora.
- Tariff and tax facilities should be given – very low or none at all – to investments in areas of high need, massive job creation and rapid capital return, such as food production, housing construction, transport systems or introduction and updating of technologies.
- Cuba has the necessary conditions to make a rapid and successful transition to a market economy and the historical experience shows that rapid transitions are the most successful in raising the living standards of the population.
Indispensable Conditions for a Successful Change
Throughout their presentations, the three distinguished experts underlined the need for certain essential changes to start this prosperous future.
An indispensable requirement is to free Cuba’s productive forces from all the prohibitions that today are hindering citizens from exercising their right to seek happiness while creating wealth and well-being for all of society.
Releasing the productive forces implies freeing the market, the state-run enterprises, the labor force, and domestic and foreign trade from all state interference and monopoly, such as the Produce Collecting system (Acopio) in agriculture, or from state stores in retail trade, and from the companies of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment on the import and export of products and services, that serve as the only means to attract and approve foreign capital investments in the country.
An indispensable part of the above requirements is that the laws be changed to recognize and protect property titles to private lands and businesses.
Losing fear and breaking down the wall of the internal blockade
Cubans have to lose their fear of change and break down the wall of the internal blockade by the Cuban state. A much better existence awaits you not in an ambiguous “future” but in your own lifetime.
The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba identifies with these points of view of the distinguished panelists. For this reason it fully supports the demands of the farmers’ campaign Without Farming there is no Country, and the one called for the end of October entitled “No More Destitution.” Both demand releasing the productive forces from the internal blockade to which the Cuban state has subjected them for more than sixty years.
It is time for a change!