HAVANA – Cuban President Raul Castro admitted Saturday that micro, small and medium-sized private companies have proliferated on the island following the economic reforms set in motion over the past five years, but warned that this does not in any way imply the “restoration of capitalism.”
In his inaugural address to the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, the only one that is legal, Castro recalled that the state will continue being the principal authority for economic management in the Cuban socialist model, and urged people to forget about the “euphemisms” and “to call things by their real name.”
“We’re not ingenuous, nor are we unaware of the influence of powerful external forces that seek to empower non-government business forces as agents of change in hopes of ending the revolution and socialism in Cuba,” Castro said, a veiled reference to U.S. support for Cuban entrepreneurs.
In creating opportunities in the private sector, the economic reforms approved five years ago only allow individuals or non-agricultural cooperatives to own independent businesses.
The 85-year-old Castro said the reforms categorically “specify that non-government businesses will never be allowed to concentrate property or riches.”
“Consequently, private businesses must operate within well defined limits, and will constitute a complementary element to the country’s economic framework, all of which must be regulated by law,” Castro said.
“The principles on which this concept is based come from the legacy of Jose Marti, Marxism-Leninism, the thinking of the historic leader of the revolution, Fidel Castro, as well as from the work of the revolution itself,” Castro said during his long inaugural speech to the Communist Party congress.