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Cuban farmers can’t sell coffee to the US, but the Government can

Cuban farmers can’t sell coffee to the US, but the Government can
PEDRO CAMPOS | La Habana | 4 de Julio de 2016 – 15:32 CEST.

There’s nothing new under the Cuban sky. It was recently announced that
Cuba’s National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) had rejected, “on
behalf of Cuban coffee farmers” the possibility of selling their coffee
directly to the US, in response to the Americans’ announcement of their
willingness to include coffee in purchases to be made from Cuba,
provided that they came directly from producers, without State intervention.

Now we have learned that Nestle will export coffee produced in Cuba,
which will be available for Nespresso machines, in coffee capsules
dubbed “Cuban Nespresso” or “Cafecito de Cuba” starting next

So, who will sell the Cuban coffee to Nestlé? The news story does not
mention it, but could there be any doubt? The only party that can
authorize itself to: the Cuban government.

The Government-Party State never fails to remind us, every day, of its
totalitarian, monopolistic and semi-feudal character. It turns out that
it grants itself the right to sell to the US, through Nestle, the coffee
that it buys from farmers, via its monopoly, but farmers are not
permitted to do so, as this would be supporting “imperialist policy.”

If the consequences were not so tragic for the coffee farmers, and the
Cuban people, the lack of scruples, hypocrisy and double standards the
Government demonstrates in its trade relations with the US would be
laughable, as would be how it exploits Cubans’ work as an intermediary –
whether they are doctors, tourism workers, sugar producers, tobacco
farmers, or coffee farmers – and sells it to the highest bidder,
ignoring Che’s maxim, which they like to cite, but not to apply to
themselves: “don´t give imperialism a thing.”

If US money is to buy coffee directly from producers … it’s ‘dirty
money;’ but if it’s to line government coffers … it’s clean. If it’s
to help the opposition … it’s laden with foul intentions; if it’s for
the Government … it’s appreciated. How long will this double-talk and
these double standards, criticized in others, prevail?

But it must be noted that this monopoly also applies to the domestic
economy, where the State controls virtually all industrial production
(what remains of it), the vast majority of services, and also seeks to
control all agricultural production, functioning as the sole
intermediary between producers and consumers, with imposed procurement
costs, and without taking into account the interests of direct producers
and sale prices, decided in CUC for the State’s benefit.

This is nothing new in Cuban history, either. The Spanish Crown, the
feudal and colonial government that conquered Cuba, wiped out almost all
its natives and brought over thousands of Africans to exploit them as
slaves, did the same thing, and not only with official tobacco shops, or
estancos de tabaco – a system barring Cubans from selling their tobacco
to anyone but the Spanish government – but with all foreign trade.

These were and are feudal policies. Hence, many have not hesitated to
identify so-called “State socialism” as a new form of feudalism,
precisely because of the absolute role assigned to the State, and its
rulers’ unlimited authority and lifetime terms in power.

Thus, in that dark era, the Government went after Cubans who sold their
spirits and cattle to “buccaneers” – merchants in the Caribbean region
who smuggled Cuban products, in high demand, to the US and other countries.

It was precisely this monopolistic policy that sparked a revolt by
vegueros (farmers) in the early 18th century, Cuba’s first independent
mass military action against the Spanish Crown.

Today Cuba’s Government-Party-State (Cuban because it´s in Cuba, not
because it defends the interests of the Cuban people), not only boasts a
monopoly on tobacco, coffee, sugar and sugar cane byproducts, but over
the whole economy. This is precisely one of the root causes of the
disaster wrought in Cuba: an eternally authoritarian and populist
Government that functions like a set of feudal lords, invoking a kind of
socialism that has ever even existed.

The model of the centralized state once again reveals that it has
nothing to do with socialism, freedom, or democracy, and that its sole
objective is to preserve the power of its elites.

Source: Cuban farmers can’t sell coffee to the US, but the Government
can | Diario de Cuba –

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