Cuba approved the first 32 private micro, small and medium enterprises in more than 50 years
Almost three months after the protests that rocked Cuba, the government of Miguel Diaz Canel announced this Wednesday the approval of the first 32 micro, small and medium private enterprises (MSME) and three other island states. It is a model of economy abolished by Fidel Castro in 1968.
The initiative goes hand in hand with the promised economic reforms that break with the state monopoly of the socialist regime, in the midst of a serious crisis aggravated by the pandemic which caused the shortage of all kinds of basic necessities.
“The measure gives the green light to the creation of these new economic players, that they can now proceed to their constitution as legal persons to carry out their economic activities, ”indicates a note from the Ministry of the Economy published in the local media.
In what areas will MSMEs work in Cuba
New businesses come from 11 of the country’s 15 provinces. According to the official report, 13 of them will be dedicated to food production, six to manufacturing, three related to recycling activities and three others to technological activities. The other 7 have not been reported.
At the same time, 20 are a conversion from self-employment, until now the only form of employment in the private sector, on an individual basis, towards the new form of non-state management. The others are newly created.
“The rest of the requests (submitted since September 20) are being processed,” the ministry said.
The authorities specified that “so far, no request has been refused”.
Reforms in Cuba were halted for 4 years
After years of waiting which aroused the disbelief of those concerned, the government finally put into force the operating laws of MSMEs, as well as those of non-agricultural cooperatives, detained four years ago.
With an 85% state economy, a large portion of the more than 600,000 self-employed workers – working in services such as restaurants, transport and equipment repair – are expected to be the main source of private MSMEs.
Private MSMEs disappeared in Cuba in 1968, when Fidel Castro he began to fit into the model of the Soviet state and nationalized them in “the revolutionary offensive”. In the mid-1990s, the historic leader of the Revolution analyzed its re-implementation after taking a trip to China, but ultimately abandoned it.
“Strategic” sectors have been left out
The Cuban government approved in August eight decree-laws by which it recognizes and extends the management of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), non-agricultural cooperatives and independent workers (self-employed) as economic actors.
Cuban MSMEs can be public, private or mixed, and are classified as: microbusiness -whose range of employees is from 1 to 10 people-, small business -from 11 to 35 people- and the medium business which allows 36 to 100 people. They can be made up of a single partner and have as many partners as they wish, provided that the number of employees set by law is respected.
These companies will not be allowed in sectors considered “strategic” for the Cuban state such as health, telecommunications, energy, defense, the press and others that are not licensed for self-employed workers on the Internet. the island.
The country is facing a serious crisis due to the pandemic that has paralyzed the arrival of international tourism and the intensification of the American embargo which, among other things, has banned the sending of family funds to the island.
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