Higher Taxes / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Damaso, 6 July 2017 — It is no secret among Cubans that their government is inept and inefficient. Fifty-eight years of failure attest to this.

With the emergence of self-employment, however, officials have found a way to fill the state’s coffers without having to devote resources or effort to it. It’s called taxes.

They have devised (and continue to devise) taxes of all kinds to drain citizens who have decided to work for themselves rather than depend on the state.

The recent tax increase on the sale of homes is one example and there is talk of increases in other areas as well. A contract was recently announced in which homeowners would provide rooms to Public Health clients in order to care for those who are ill or need medical attention.

As logic would have it, it would be at the homeowner’s expense even though every medical tourist’s insurance pays for it. Never in Cuban history, even during the colonial era, has there been a government that exploited its citizens more than this one.

No one disputes the need for taxes as a contribution to the maintenance of the state and its social services. But the assumption is that the state will create wealth and not use taxes as its main source of income. There is also no entity or authority that exercises control on citizens’ behalf over the expenses of the state. The so-called Comptroller General of the Republic exercises this role only over her own ministry, not over the president or vice-presidents.

According to the legislation passed last month at a special session of the National Assemby, “the accumulation of property and weath by citizens is not and will not be permitted.”

Fortunately for the citizens, the laws are made by men, and when they disappear most of the time the laws disappear as well. Nothing is eternal. To believe otherwise shows a lack of intelligence.