Warnings of Cuba Transitioning into a ‘Mafia State’ Much Like Putin’s

The agreement between Cuba and Russia will facilitate the future hegemony of Moscow over the Cuban economy, Cuba Siglo 21 (21st Century Cuba) has warned. (Presidencia)

14ymedio biggerThe agreement between Cuba and Russia will facilitate the future hegemony of Moscow over the Cuban economy, Cuba Siglo 21 [21st Century Cuba] has warned. (Presidencia)14ymedio, Havana, 22 January 2023 — The creation of a Centre for Economic Transformation — the agreement reached last Friday between Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and the chief of the Cuba-Russia Business Council, Boris Titov Yurievich — confirms the transition from a “model with a nationalised economy” to the blueprint for “a Russian mafioso market”, according to the think-tank Cuba Siglo 21 .

The independent Cuban civil society organisation with its HQ in Madrid emphasised that this agreement expresses the “clear decision by the elite” on the Island to make economic transformations under the direction of the Kremlin, that’s to say the “standardisation will facilitate the future hegemony of Moscow over the economy”.

The NGO said that when we talk of mafia states, we mean “countries in which a kleptocratic and autocratic elite exercises absolute power to promote its own interests over national interests”, which is detailed in the report, published on 14 January — Cuba: From Communism to Mafia State.

In this report it is shown that the “subjugation” of Havana by Moscow will result in “the new dominant class being a kleptocratic and autocratic oligarchy” that controls the greatest wealth in the country for its own benefit. Raúl Castro, it says, “expanded the oligopoly of the State entity Gaesa, thus strangling the incipient enterprise sector”.

The report warns that Cuba is initiating a transition towards a mafia state market, much like Putin’s. The NGO reminds us that as part of the agreement between Cuba and Russia it was announced that the aim is to prepare “economic transformations in Cuba based on the development of private business”, which would open the market to the Russians.

Cuba Siglo 21 explained that this model will “liberate market relations but put them under the hegemony of an oligarchy” and will be organised in such a way that it will “not be free and competitive”. The organisation said that although many will seemingly be able to participate, “it is nevertheless guaranteed that only the oligarchy’s chosen few from the political establishment will rise to the top”.

In the NGO’s opinion this accord is a “provocation” in that it came about in the same week that there were conversations in Havana between the Cuban and American governments.

“We have to keep in mind that the proposition of creating a major economic agreement between the two countries comes at the height of the Kremlin’s war of agression against Ukraine and the growing impact of western sanctions against Russia”, Cuba Siglo 21 pointed out.

To remove Cuba from the list of countries that do not collaborate in the fight against terrorism “will mean that after this renewed public alliance with Moscow, Cuban banks will be able to launder money” and that they will be able to provide effective support to Putin’s financial manoeuvres in avoiding western sanctions.

Boris Titov Yurievich, the independent organisation said, is a businessman and politician who “specialises in creating market economies compatible with regimes dominated by autocratic elites”.

This Wednesday, Titov, as part of this alliance, emphasised the start of a “strong exchange effort” at the level of  intergovernmental commission, different ministries and other bodies, and the businessmen of his country, on the instructions of Putin, with the principal objective of “developing bilateral relations from all points of view”.

The Cuban government has shown interest in importing Russian fertiliser, gasoline and wheat, the Russian ministry of the economy reported at the end of the bilateral intergovernmental commission held in Moscow before the Cuban president’s visit.

Translated by Ricardo Recluso


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