14ymedio, Havana, November 8, 2019 — Cuban economists have spent years coming up with ideas on how to emerge from the permanent crisis that exists on the Island, now aggravated by the economic meltdown of the friend that has fundamentally sustained the Revolution: Venezuela. The Cuban Conflict Observatory is now pushing citizens to come up with ideas by organizing a contest: “How can Cuba emerge from the economic crisis?”
The purpose is for participants to assess and complete a series of ideas offered expressly for the competition by experts. The candidates can choose the proposals they mostly agree with or that seem the most relevant, can bring up new measures that haven’t been referenced and can explain briefly what people must do to get the Government to approve them.
Only Cubans who reside on the island can participate in this competition, preferably by sending 500 words to put forth their proposal, although the word limit can be exceeded if necessary. In addition, their argument may be accompanied by audiovisual or multimedia material.
The deadline for proposals is midnight, December 15, and should be sent via email to email@example.com. Applicants will be contacted by email.
The winner will be announced to participants by the press and email on December 20, 2019, and will receive a prize of $300. There will also be three second prizes with each person receiving $100 and four honorable mentions of $50 each.
Although it is not necessary to identify yourself, the organizers propose that at least you mention your province, sex and age.
The economists present the following proposals for the contest:
1. Expand the list of professions approved for self-employment and eliminate the prohibition for professionals to work for themselves in their specialty.
2. Have the right to begin and direct private businesses and non-agricultural cooperatives and services.
3. Eliminate the employment agency imposed on foreign companies and permit them to directly contract and pay their employees. [Foreign companies operating in Cuba must hire (and pay) their Cuban employees through the government, which takes a cut of the wages.]
4. Approve private exportation and importation so private companies can buy, obtain technology and sell their products abroad.
5. Transform State enterprise by making it autonomous, independent and competitive in order to eliminate State subsidies.
6. Give land to the farmers and let them decide what to plant, where to sell and how to price their products.
7. Legalize fully independent agricultural cooperatives.
8. Remove bureaucratic obstacles and provisions from agriculture, including the State monopoly on collection and distribution, and create private farmers’ markets.
9. Remove the 10% State tax on the U.S. dollar for exchanging it for Cuban Convertible pesos.
10. Unify the currency. [Currently Cuba has two currencies, the Cuban peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible peso CUC).]
Translated by Regina Anavy
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