For a Diverse and Advanced Economy / Cuban Law Association, Yanelis Ramirez Cruz

Yanelis Ramírez Cruz, Esq.

The economic crisis and the new conditions in which the world finds itself have made the need for a serious and profound modification of the overall state of production and economic exchange in our system of commerce unavoidable.

The foundation for the global process of adjustment and economic reform, which remains ongoing even today, arises out of the critical lessons learned from the experiences of other countries, most notably China, Vietnam and the former Soviet Union. But fundamentally it is based on the critical awareness of the distinctive features and specific national characteristics of the regional and global geopolitical environment in which a country finds itself.

We have seen numerous transformations of our economic reformation, among them the dollarization of the economy, the opening to investment of foreign capital, the reform of landholding and cultivation, the increase in self-employment, and the application of so-called Business Improvement.

All these changes are supported by law; the legal basis of the economic reform had its antecedents in Decree 50 of February 1982, and in the Constitutional Reform of 1992. Later, more specific rules were conceived: Decree Law 141 on the exercise of self-employment; Decree Law 174 of 1997 on this same subject; Law 77 of 1995 on foreign investment; Decrees 281 and 252 relating to Business Improvement, among others. Though it is true that the laws legitimated all these changes, many of them do not meet the demands that the new economic model calls for.

Add to this the fact that the experience of the old system of economic management and planning through material balances does not have much to contribute. It also lacks sufficient experience in the management and techniques  of the market, among other things, because there was virtually no precedent in national practice. Most of the companies operating both in the internal and external markets are not profitable, are not able to finance themselves and settle their trade debts, which causes great uncertainty in legal transactions.

Our system of economic law faces an uphill task, as it must establish the legal foundations to better structure the base of the economy and the trade relations that will emerge from ongoing global economic development, which we must not remain outside of.

17 June 2013