The owners of MSMEs They tried to separate themselves from the links to the Cuban government attributed to them from exile, the opposition, and the Cuban population itself. In a demonstration held this Monday at the headquarters of a food production and import company in Havana, some of the new entrepreneurs asked the United States for the same facilities that are in the private sector in other countries. country that is also authorized by the Department of Transportation. State.
The press conference followed the intervention of the Western Hemisphere subcommittee of the US Congress, where some congressmen, such as the Republican of Cuban origin, María Elvira Salazarse, spoke about the Cuban private sector.
The Florida representative assured that many owners of MSMEs whose number of approvals has exceeded 10,000 are in fact people linked to the Government of the Island, which he describes as “the Hamas of the continent.”
Oniel Hernández, co-founder of the consulting firm Auge, stated that Salazar’s hearing was an “attempt to try to tie the hands of the Administration” of Democratic President Joe Biden
Oniel Hernández, co-founder of the consulting firm Auge, stated that Salazar’s hearing was an “attempt to tie the hands of the administration” of Democratic President Joe Biden in its policy towards Cuba and assured that the private business of the island “is the truth.”.
“It is impossible for a sector where 1.6 million people work to be completely linked to the government or the leaders of the Communist Party,” he defended.
In the hearing of the Congress of the United States, Eric Jacobstein, deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Latin American Affairs of the Department of State, assured that Washington does not currently plan to allow MSMEs access to the US banking system, which is a relief for congressmen like Salazar, who warned that doing so would “violate the embargo.”
Carlos Miguel Pérez, partner in a software company and also a deputy, says the appearance is “very reprehensible,” but he also warns that the position of Congresswoman Salazar coincides with the “Cuban ultra-left,” which is against the private sector of the island.
Some specialists consider them the great drivers of the economy, while others blame them for high inflation and the fact that the high prices of their products promote and deepen social differences in the country.
19.6% of MSMEs are dedicated to manufacturing activities and 12% to food and beverage production. This sector employs more than 15% of the country’s workforce and contributes just under 14% of GDP, according to official figures.
Among those who ridicule the emerging private sector of the regime is the Havana Consulting Group, which believes that it is intended to build a façade to pretend economic freedoms that do not really exist on the island. “To approve, the MSMEs must pass through many filters, from local and provincial governments to the Ministry of Economy and Planning, including the secret filters of counterintelligence and the PCC. It is a method of selection that is fertile ground for discriminatory separation for ideological reasons and for corruption,” he said in one of his reports.
Pavel Vidal: “A part of the ruling party that does not want reforms will be very happy today with the pessimistic vision that seems to be the majority regarding SMEs.”
Emilio Morales, the researcher in charge of the report, also warned of the possibility that the US government will end favoring these companies to stop the wave of migration. “It is understandable that the Biden Administration (…) is trying to find formulas that offer incentives to Cubans so that they stay on the island and do not make the dangerous departure from the country to emigrate to the United States. However, what prevents this empowerment is the Cuban regime itself, with gag laws, with relentless repression, and with constant obstruction and persecution of the generation of wealth.”
At the opposite pole, the Trotskyist organization criticized the regime’s Communists of Cuba for favoring the private sector, which, in its opinion, encouraged capitalism. “The Cuban ruling bureaucracy that once boasted of the growth of food production, or industrialization, publishing the results in the press, now, every month, spreads the growth of capitalist companies under the euphemism of MSMEs.“.
On the contrary, other economists, such as Pavel Vidal, requested that the blame for Cuba’s economic ills stop being placed on MSMEs, which are not responsible, like the government. “A part of the ruling party that does not want reforms today will be very happy with the pessimistic vision that seems to be mostly about SMEs,” he argued.