Exorbitant fines for peasants in Cuba

Exorbitant fines for peasants in Cuba
Exorbitant fines for peasants in Cuba

The Decree-Law imposes rules that are not only discouraging, but also overwhelming and unworthy for producers, which, if met, would have an effect diametrically opposed to the objectives it claims to pursue.

The strong clasps of the “straitjacket” would be the following:

– The basis of commercialization is to maintain the obligation of the peasant to contract 80% or more of his agricultural production directly with the State, but now only with the productive form to which it is subordinated (almost always a cooperative) and the Government Municipal through a Contracting Committee, which assumes the right to decide the destinations of these productions, according to its priorities.

– Peasants or landowners who are not associated with a productive form with legal personality, or when they do not have a plan or contract for the commercialization of their productions through it, would not be registered in the Agricultural Marketing Information System, and this implies a fine of 2,000 pesos. In other words, the new rule makes it mandatory to associate.

– The farmer who does not contract the full potential of his productions or sells part of the contract to another destination than the authorized one, would be fined with an amount equivalent to three times the value of the “diverted” or undeclared product. That is, if you stop declaring or “divert”, for example, ten quintals of sweet potatoes, and if these are worth 3,000 pesos at the state price, the fine would be 9,000 pesos.

– A similar fine would be imposed on a non-state wholesaler who is assigned a destination for its products and does not comply with that order. In other words, his clients are not chosen by him, but by the Municipality’s Hiring Committee.

– The land-owning peasants are authorized to make retail sales only of their productive surpluses once the contract has been paid with the productive form to which it is subordinated. Such surpluses would be minimal, because the peasant must declare the full potential of his production.

– Land-owning peasants can participate in wholesale trade as long as they are entrepreneurs, obtain a license for it and create the infrastructure; But it will also be the Municipal Marketing Committee who decides the destination of its marketed products; that is, your customers. Also, the producer could not make retail sales of those products, but only of the surpluses of his contract as an individual producer.

Diario de Cuba continues: “As can be seen, the decision-making power is in the hands of the municipal Marketing Committees, led by the mayor of the Municipal Government, which in turn is governed by the homologous Committee at the provincial level, with the Governor in person in charge The agricultural entities that produce, collect and sell participate in these committees, but obviously the government has the upper hand.

Then, the Ministry of Agriculture in the Council of Ministers determines the prices of some products of national interest.

As you can see, the Cuban agricultural system is becoming more and more feudal. The man who works does not have much room for freedom and is tied to the land, which is a means of production that can neither be bought nor sold, because it is imposed by the State.

On the other hand, the measure that authorizes various economic actors in agricultural marketing does not mean greater competitiveness or greater options for farmers to choose between them.

The obligation to be associated with a productive form subordinate to the interests of the State is reinforced, as well as the obligation to commercialize almost all of the productions in this way. All this with prices imposed “from above”.

Meanwhile, the peasants do not even know if their work will be profitable or not, because in the middle of the so-called “Ordinance Task” the prices of inputs multiplied between five and ten times, while those of production did not. “

Refusing to accept the new rules is not even possible: to coerce farmers to work according to these pressure mechanisms are exorbitant fines, threats of land expropriation and penalties if they refuse to produce and leave the land idle. . All well detailed in decree laws and ministerial resolutions. The highly mediatic opening of the Cuban countryside, with 63 measures to make agriculture more flexible, beyond small adjustments that unblock the bureaucracy or reduce some excessively abusive prices of the “Ordinance Task”, really means one more tightening of the “straitjacket “pre-existing, not its elimination. You cannot expect a better result from something that is more of the same, because it has not worked before and it will not work now, concludes Diario de Cuba.

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