Some time ago, as I began to write a text about my country, I surprised myself with this thought: “… it seems as though a change toward participatory democracy is becoming reality.” That was my inspiration which turned into my written words, but before finishing the text, a friend whom I asked to critique my writing suggested I should eliminate that idea. It was a notorious moment. Although the concept was never devoid of free will, at some point I wanted to convey a very distant but not outlandish hope. Revisiting after seeing the activities for the 55th anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution and hearing the speech of the President of the Council of State and Ministers, it is nonsense.
As an attorney, to speak in economic terms is a litmus test or a tightrope walk, and which both situations demand respect for a central issue in the lives of other social spheres in which man intervenes.
I will not elaborate further, I will comment as to my views on the new, but limited, economic opening that is being talked of in the country today.
The issue of development in Cuba goes back and forth between dissimilar solutions, between truths and errors, heading toward new labyrinths that contain new and more complex situations difficult to control with a simple decree.
Last year Decrees 305 and 306 were issued in order to establish as a source of law a rule which itself shelters disadvantages with exclusive principles of new forms of non-agricultural cooperatives.
Many people work in the TRD* chain of shops, subject to what may be called military regulations. A vast number of those workers are unaware of the rights which could help them in the face of possible violations of labor discipline.
How could a process be fair in which, per Resolution 1072 of 2011 which regulates this activity, the person who issues the sanction is the same person who addresses the initial claim?
Setting aside, obviously, the possibility that this person recognizes that he made a mistake in the first place and the affected party gets a favorable response.
Nevertheless, workers who appeal – because they disagree with the outcome – would only have the route of going back to their immediate bosses who disciplined them in the first place, without having the slightest possibility of the judicial system hearing the matter and perhaps resolving it in accordance with the law, which by constitutional mandates would apply to this situation.
It is a process lacking in transparency and impartiality, which has been abolished for many years in the contemporary legal world. This idea could be tried among the TRD workers in the discussion of the future Workers’ Code in this country and perhaps lay a new foundation for what, on the issue of labor discipline, the military institutions have encouraged, completely alienated from the institutions that administer the law such as the Popular Courts.
*Translator’s note: TRD is the acronym for “Tiendas de Recuperacion de Divisas”; literally “Stores for Recovering Hard Currency.” These are the stores operated by the State which sell only in hard currency (Cuban Convertible Pesos, or CUC). They are the only source of many basic products available legally nowhere else (as well as luxuries), and are designed to “recover” the cash sent to Cubans as remittances from friends and family abroad, a function clearly stated in the name the State has chosen to give them.