Güines, Mayabeque – “Capitalism must be uprooted, parasitism must be uprooted, the exploitation of man must be uprooted,” cried Fidel Castro in 1968 to rapturous applause, explaining his decision to ban virtually all private business in Cuba.
For Castro, the fundamental problem was that capitalists live off the work of others – creating “man as the enemy of man” rather than an “instinct for solidarity” among people.
Now, more than half a century later – and after decades of anguished debate – the Communist Party of Cuba is allowing private businesses to spring up on the island. Since 2021, Cubans have been able to incorporate small and medium-sized businesses which can employ up to 100 people. More than 8,000 have already been registered.