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Features

All state-owned companies, small and medium-sized businesses, and self-employed workers have a responsibility to contribute to the province's economic growth.

The meeting took place days ago. On one side, the government and party authorities; on the other, a group of small private entrepreneurs and self-employed people. It is not the first time that they have held these direct exchanges; however, these are hard times, difficult times, with almost no economic growth and a shortage of key resources such as fuel. What can we make of these types of meetings that take place in all municipalities? Will they be profitable?

Las Tunas, Cuba - Both sides want to negotiate because the task of feeding the more than half a million Cubans who live in this province is not easy. At present, families in Las Tunas spend more than 80 percent of their income on food.

Meanwhile, other official estimates indicate that having a monthly income of less than five thousand pesos dynamites the purchasing power of any inhabitant here, especially if other people depend on him or her. There is an urgent need to find a common path to the siege of realities that put the shared purpose of progress on the ropes.

The ingredients of this kind of perfect storm can be summed up quickly: a chronic lack of supply of goods and services, three-digit inflation and, it should be noted, facing it from a territory that carries the burden of being located at the end of the distribution chain and geographically distant from the most dynamic center of the country: the Mariel Special Development Zone.

The effort to close the recession cannot be undertaken solely by public entities or by private initiative. Both have strengths that, combined, would make the win-win formula a reality.

Micro, small, and medium-sized private companies are comparatively more successful in placing necessities in our archipelago because the Office of Foreign Assets Control in Washington unapologetically pursues Cuban state entities that try to do the same. There is no need for statistics to corroborate this; it is enough to walk anywhere in the provinces to see it.

At the same time, state entrepreneurship has a much greater distributive capacity and capillarity in its favor and is, don't forget, the main source of income for the public budget, the one that finances universal systems such as education and health, without which entrepreneurs would not exist.

However, other issues sting the dialogue. The first is the US blockade which, although it can be circumvented to a certain extent as we have already seen, torpedoes transactions in freely convertible currency for MSMEs, which are also barred from access as legal entities to the US banking system or any other nation linked to it, because Cuba is included on the spurious list of countries sponsoring terrorism. We have daily news of the ordeal of the public entities.

Conjectural factors have similar effects. The push in August towards the bank restructuring process of economic operations, although based on undeniable urgencies, is being expressed in a harmful way just where buying and selling operations should be expeditious. Especially because most of the relevant transactions, with an emphasis on the real foreign exchange market, are still on the cash side of the market.