Priest calls for honest dialogue on Cuba’s economy

The Catholic newspaper for the Archdiocese of Havana, “New Word,” recently published an opinion column calling for internal dialogue regarding the current economic crisis on the island and offering suggestions for improving Cuba’s economy.

The column, written by Father Boris Moreno who holds a Master of Science in Economics, noted that Cuba’s economic situation  “has become significantly more complicated” and appears to be “plunging deeper into decline.” Fr. Moreno also suggested that the worst may be yet to come.

The priest and economist charged that the island’s economic woes are a result of the political system that uses a rigid centralized ideology “to maintain an economic system that believes it essential to avoid other political options despite its own manifested inefficiency.” 

Cuba’s economy is currently debilitated by its own internal imbalances, caught up in the worldwide economic recession and is affected by a decrease in tourist visits.

It is also negatively impacted by a lower yield of nickel, a substance whose price has already fallen by 80%.

“The calls to work hard and to work efficiently will not succeed in changing the situation,” the article noted. “The socioeconomic conditions of a country cannot change because of decrees or discourse.”

Fr. Moreno proposed a few basic measures for improving the Cuban economy: promoting independent work and protecting such work by law; implementing and amplifying pay for positive results; international investment with better security; and accomplishing a budget with the principle of subsidiarity.  

He also proposed a few measures for “general anesthesia,” saying, “I believe the first and foremost would be for the government to formally promise to recognize the capacity of every citizen to have an opinion without fear of repercussion, because it would generate a climate favorable to debate.”

“I would like for this article, under the auspices of the means by which it was published, to spark a debate on these and other means of helping the economy,” noted Fr. Moreno.

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