‘Raul Castro reforms not enough’, Cuba’s bishops say

Go Lean Commentary

s bishops say - Photo 1

“Too little, too late.”

This seems to be the verdict of the observers in the foregoing news article on the subject of Cuba’s societal reforms. As a summary, Raul Castro serves as the President of Cuba, succeeding his brother, Fidel. The old economic models instituted by Fidel no longer work – the world has changed – so Raul has applied some reforms to alleviate the Failed-State status.

It is easy to criticize Cuba from afar, from outside looking in, so instead this commentary features the criticism from within, from stakeholders with some leadership, albeit religious, among the Cuban people. The below article highlights the assessment of the Roman Catholic Bishops serving the country:

HAVANA (AFP) —Cuba’s Roman Catholic bishops pressed the Americas’ only Communist government to deepen economic reforms and hinted at a desire for political opening in a document obtained by AFP Wednesday.

In a country with a centrally planned economy where opposition political parties remain outlawed, the Church is the only sizeable non-state actor that has an ongoing dialogue with President Raul Castro’s government.

And in its Pastoral Plan for 2014-2020, the first such document since Argentine-born Pope Francis’s papacy began last year, the bishops were blunt.

The government’s limited “economic reforms have not jump-started the economy in such a way that all Cuba’s people can feel,” the document reads in part.

During the more than five decades that the Communist government has been in power, health care, education and sports “experienced major progress” but are now “stagnant and in some cases in decline,” the document said, referring to what the government sees as its key achievements.

Castro — who replaced his brother, longtime president Fidel Castro who stepped aside in 2006 for health reasons — has ruled out the idea of any political opening.

And on the economic front, he has refused to embrace market economics as China or Vietnam have.

Instead, the former military chief has cut the government payroll and allowed more categories of self-employment.

But the cash-strapped economy depends heavily on Venezuela’s economic aid, and has no access to international loans. Most Cubans earn the equivalent of $20 a month.

“Despite the changes there have been,” the bishops said, “we sense that many citizens urgently want deeper and more appropriate reforms implemented to solve pressing problems generated by their being overwhelmed, plagued by uncertainly and worn out.”

While not aggressive, the document is more frank than some in the past which came as bishops were planning visits to Cuba by former and more conservative popes John Paul II in 1998 and Benedict XVI in 2012.

The new document broached the issue of political opening saying that many Cubans want their state to be “less bureaucratic and more participatory.”

Some “others who do not accept that way of thinking… are confusing the meaning of nationhood with an ideology, or with a party,” the document said.

“Dialogue among the various groups that make up our society is the only path toward achieving and maintaining social transformations that happen in Cuba,” the bishops said.

While Cubans’ everyday concerns have begun to emerge in the island’s state-run media and many political prisoners have been freed, new dissident arrests and violent attacks against them “continue to be worrisome and not constructive,” they added.

The bishops also reiterated longstanding opposition to the US trade embargo against Cuba in place for more than four decades.
Yahoo Online News Source (Posted and retrieved 09-11-2014) –

The issue of Cuba is very important from a macro Caribbean perspective. Theirs is a big island in the middle of the region and they possess a large population, the biggest in the Caribbean, 11,236,444 people as of 2010. Any plan to empower the Caribbean cannot be credible if it ignores Cuba. But there is the reality of the US Trade Embargo against Cuba. The US will not negotiate, bargain or trade with this country. So any viable plan must therefore emerge independent of the United States.

Here is that plan: the book Go Lean…Caribbean declares an interdependence with Cuba. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic  Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This is a super-national federal government to administer and optimize the economic/security/ governing engines of the region’s 30 member-states – including Cuba.

At the outset, the Go Lean roadmap recognizes the value of significance of Cuban reconciliation into any Caribbean integration with this statement in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12):

xiii. Whereas the legacy of dissensions in many member-states (for example: Haiti and Cuba) will require a concerted effort to integrate the exile community’s repatriation, the Federation must arrange for Reconciliation Commissions to satiate a demand for justice.

The foregoing article recognized the fact that Raul Castro implemented economic, security, and governing reforms, to a failed consequence. This was inevitable! Go Lean takes a different approach. The book posits that the problems of Cuba, or the entire Caribbean for that matter, are too big for any one member-state to address alone, that there must be a regional solution, one agnostic of the colonial, language or political differences of the individual countries.

This is a tall-order; this is heavy-lifting.

The book maintains that confederating with Cuba is a “Big Idea” for the Caribbean. It therefore provides the turn-by-turn directions for elevating Cuban society and reconciling the 55 year-old rift in US-Cuban relations.

The premise of this roadmap is that Cuban President Raul Castro has announced that he will retire in 2017. We welcome a post-Castro Cuba.

This commentary is not the first to focus on Cuba. Previous blogs featured many subjects of Cuba’s eventual integration into the Caribbean brotherhood. See these points in the sample here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1847 Cuban Cigars – Declared “Among the best in the world”
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1609 Cuba mulls economy in Parliament session
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=789 America’s War on the Caribbean
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=554 Cuban cancer medication registered in 28 countries
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=436 Cuba Approves New “Law on Foreign Investment”

The book Go Lean … Caribbean purports that anyone named “Castro” administering Cuba would be a guaranteed deterrent for international cooperation; especially so in American circles, and even more abhorrent in the Miami Cuban Exile community. But 2017 is not far away. Go Lean is the planning, with the community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to finally reform Cuba, and include “her” in the Caribbean brotherhood. See book samples here:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Voluntary Trade Creates Wealth Page 21
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategic – Vision – Integrating Region in to a Single Market Page 45
Strategic – Core Competence – Specialty Agriculture Page 58
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Office of Trade Negotiations Page 80
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Federal Courts – Truth & Reconciliation Commissions Page 90
Implementation – Assemble & Create Super-Regional Organs to represent all Caribbean Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization Page 119
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Cuba Page 127
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices Page 134
Planning – Lessons Learned from the Bible Page 143
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Ways to Improve Governance in the Caribbean Region Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Foundations Page 219
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Cuba Page 236

The foregoing article addresses reform in Cuba from the point-of-view of religious leaders, the Roman Catholic Church. This is welcomed! While Go Lean is a roadmap for economic empowerment, it does highlight the wisdom gleaned from a study of the Bible. But, the CU declares a religious-neutral stance and invites participation from many aspects of society, including religious groups, civic agencies, social charities, foundations and other non-governmental organizations.

The roadmap is especially inviting to the Caribbean Diaspora; it presents a plan for the contribution of their time, talents and treasuries in the elevation of the entire region.

There will be the need for reconciliation of this Diaspora class, especially in Cuba. We invite that now!

This is a new day, it’s time now for change in Cuba and throughout the rest of the region. It is time to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

Cuba será libre!

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Share this post:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *