HAVANA – Agricultural and production jobs that for decades were performed by students in Cuba during their summer vacations will not be carried out that way this year to reduce costs in line with the “updating” of the island’s socialist economic model.
“It is not viable and it would not be sensible and useful to maintain” those work details in the current conditions, the official newspaper Juventud Rebelde reported on Sunday.
The paper noted that 500,000 college and high school students took part in such programs in the past.
“The most recent campaigns sent unmistakable signs: unfavorable cost-benefit correlation, falling trend in demand for labor,” the daily said.
And as an aggravating circumstance, it cited “the recently sown disincentive that not even half of those committed will be called and, for those who participate, not much will be found for them to do and they will feel that it’s not worth the trouble, that they are wasting time.”
A member of the National Office of the Union of Communist Youth, Yoel Perez, told Juventud Rebelde that the decision “already approved and in effect to forego that entire gigantic national mobilization of forces” is designed “to do what is demanded at any given time.”
“What sense would it make then to keep it up ... that process of restructuring and reordering, including the labor force, begun by Cuba to update its economic model,” he emphasized.
That process includes measures such as the broadening of private labor, a massive cut in bloated public payrolls, more autonomy in the management of state companies and the elimination of unnecessary subsidies and social expenditures, among other things.
“We do not renounce the link between the student and productive and social activity,” said the communist leader.
In addition, he emphasized the idea that when such work is undertaken “everyone can be, and know that they are, useful,” particularly when what they are doing is being “done rationally, with indispensible human and material resources ... (and) has a concrete purpose and tangible results.” EFE