Cuban Government in a full swing towards reform
- Submitted by: manso
- Editorial Articles
- 10 / 01 / 2011
President Raul Castro has said the country would like to advance even faster but current problems do not allow to do so because measures need to be carefully studied before applying them in order not to commit errors.
Half a year after the Communist Party Congress decided to grant state companies more autonomy, the government is beginning a political reorganization that includes the disappearance of the once-almighty Sugar Ministry as well as the creation of an Energy Ministry and possibly an Industry Ministry.
As part of this overhaul, the government announced it is forming an autonomous state sugar company. It is also expected to set up state oil company CubaPetróleo (Cupet) and utility Unión Eléctrica (UNE) as standalone companies.
The “great reorganization” of the sugar sector, underway since 2004 on the background of ever-declining production, is “an example of how things work out well when they’re well conceived before they are implemented, and that are rectified in time during every step,” President Raúl Castro told his cabinet during a Council of Ministers meeting Sept. 24, Communist Party daily Granma reported on Sept. 29.
The Grupo Empresarial de la Agroindustria Azucarera is a holding of 13 provincial sugar companies, which in turn operate 56 sugar mills. The idea behind the new state sugar company is to enable the industry to “generate, with their exports, hard currency to cover their own expenses,” Castro said.
According to observers, the government is also close to announcing the formation of an Energy Ministry that will be in charge of regulating the oil and electricity sectors. Until now, both companies have been tightly run by the Ministry of Basic Industries (MINBAS).
The government might also create an Industry Ministry that would regulate the pharmaceutical and cement industries (currently under MINBAS), as well as the steel, machine and light industries.
During the meeting, Castro defended the pace of reforms, which are slowly beginning to take shape, months since the rank-and-file congress of the Communist Party passed a package of more than reforms 300 measures in April.
“Even though we would like to advance faster, the complexity of our current problems inevitably leads us to use more time studying them before taking any decision, thus trying to no commit any errors due to haste,” Castro said. “It doesn’t matter how much they criticize us because they think the process is slow. We won’t do things hastily to meet deadlines.”