Target: Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba
Goal: Commend the Cuban Communist Party for legalizing independent employment in various professions
Cuba’s state-run economy has long been at odds with its private workers conducting business without official permission. However, that has begun to change as the Communist party begins to officially recognize many of the existing professions whose practitioners have so far operated outside of the legal framework. There are now 18 new legalized fields of independent employment — including real estate.
The decision seems rather insignificant since it does nothing but condone existing practices rather than proactively contributing to business growth by encouraging the development of a new business sector. Still, the government giving its approval to the self-employed is a vital legal change that does much to promote a safe, trustworthy business environment. A state-run economy that doesn’t grant such workers legal status pushes their activity into the black market — a development that is undeniably dangerous. A shadow economy where business exists outside the realm of law and regulation could lead to chaos or crime. Private contractors or personal or small businesses that have gained permission to practice – repairmen, iron workers, and welders — could now be hired with less of a risk by clients who have legal recourse in cases of breach of contract or fraud.
By bringing transactions in the private sector under the jurisdiction of law and thus making them safer, Cuba will lend a veneer of respectability to what was previously a “shadow” economy. The decision will also encourage more individuals to own businesses, easing the governmental burden of maintaining a large number of jobs within the state sector. After all, independently-practiced professions that are legally recognized have fewer barriers to entry since there is no need to fudge paperwork or hide profits from officials.
Sign this petition to praise the leader of the Cuban communist party for hindering the development of a dangerous shadow economy and encouraging the growth of the non-state sector by legalizing independent employment in a number of professions.
Dear Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba
We would like to applaud your decision to legalize several professions in the private sector. The alternative — not granting the independently employed legal recognition — would be a way of keeping their activity in the black market. And that would have been a risky choice, granted that transactions and work arrangements that are outside the jurisdiction of law are liable to run into all kinds of problems. Clients unhappy with sloppy work and contractors furious over missing payment would have no legal recourse to redress their grievances, and might therefore lose out or turn to violence.
Granting legal status to private non-state workers in various professions was not an easy step to take since Cuba has historically relied on a government-run economy with the state being the primary employer. However, by recognizing the independently-employed workers, Cuba is shaking off its reputation of being a rigid and a dogmatically ideological country and proving itself to be a flexible state willing to adapt to the changing lifestyle of its citizens.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ornitholoco/Andy Jones, Cleveland Museum of Natural History via Flickr