A barman chats with a colleague at a state-owned restaurant in Havana, Cuba, November 16, 2020. Photo taken on November 16, 2020. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini/Files

By Marc Frank

HAVANA (Reuters) – Communist-run Cuba plans to convert most state-run eateries into cooperatives and private-run businesses in the coming months and stop subsidizing them as soon as next year, according to local reports and a government source.A barman chats with a colleague at a state-owned restaurant in Havana, Cuba, November 16, 2020. Photo taken on November 16, 2020. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini/Files

The move is seen as a sign the country is moving toward a market-style socialism with increased private business, such as Vietnam or China, and away from the old Soviet-style system it has clung to since its former benefactor’s demise.

The country has been all but bankrupted by fierce U.S. sanctions, the COVID-19 pandemic and its own inefficiencies, and faces mounting foreign debt and budget deficits.

Authorities have declared an emergency and are pushing through various market-oriented reforms first approved a decade ago under then President Raul Castro, but stalled ever since by bureaucratic self-interest and conservatives.

In recent speeches Castro’s successor, President Miguel Diaz-Canel, has said subsidies will be eliminated for the state-run eateries as part of a monetary reform expected by the end of the year, forcing the issue.

That will shake up what is known as the gastronomy sector, which has been unable to shake a reputation for poor service and theft ever since all eateries down to lowly hot dog venders were nationalized in 1968.

“The plan now being put into effect calls for a small minority of the more than 7,000 government-run eateries in the country to form new, unsubsidized, state companies separated from local politicians and the remainder to be moved into private hands,” said a senior manager of the capital’s food service department, who asked not to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

The Cuban government did not respond to a request for comment.

There were around 1,900 state-owned eateries in Havana before the government launched initial reforms under Castro, turning 258 into cooperatives and private businesses under a leasing system, according to the senior manager.

Of those, 60% had improved their service, increased wages by 600% to 800% and controlled pilfering, he said.

Now, more than 70% of the remainder will follow suit, the senior manager said, adding that city authorities had already picked around a dozen restaurants that will remain state-run and 450 establishments that will be leased to employees and other interested parties.

“The process should never have stopped and I think this time it will happen as the system can’t resist more scrutiny,” he said.

Reuters could not ascertain details yet for all Cuba’s other provinces. But the Cuban National News Agency reported last week that a new local state-run company will keep 15% percent of the 486 eateries run by the government in central Camaguey province.

“The other facilities will pass to non-state forms of management, either in the form of self-employment or non-agricultural cooperatives,” the agency said, citing local authorities.

Ever since Castro announced the state would be pulling out of non-strategic activities at a Communist Party congress in 2011, thousands of private eateries have opened and successfully competed with the state sector.

Meanwhile the state bureaucracy has worked to spruce up, not move out of, most of its restaurants and cafeterias.

Yet Economy Minister Alejandro Gil, speaking to the National Assembly last month, said the sector had to be transformed, and those eateries remaining under state control must pay their own way.

“They have to be efficient, covering expenses with income, paying suppliers in a timely manner, linking salaries with economic results and banishing illegalities and the diversion of resources,” he said.

The move comes amid a depressed market and supply shortage impacting state and private eateries in the wake of the pandemic and Cuba’s cash crunch.

Reporting by Marc Frank; Editing by Tom Brown

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


By US-Cuba Normalization Committee

Organizing Committee, International and Nationwide Conference for the Normalization of US-Cuba Relations.

72 thoughts on “Cuban state to shed thousands of eateries, eliminate subsidies”
  1. Thanks for expressing your ideas. I’d personally also like to state that video games have been actually evolving. Technology advances and innovative developments have made it easier to create reasonable and enjoyable games. These types of entertainment video games were not that sensible when the actual concept was being experimented with. Just like other forms of technological know-how, video games also have had to grow by way of many decades. This itself is testimony towards the fast progression of video games.

  2. Bioklimatik pergola fiyatları başta biraz yüksek gibi görünse de, aldığınız konfor ve kalite düşünüldüğünde kesinlikle değer. Uzun vadede hem enerji tasarrufu sağlıyor hem de dış mekanı çok daha kullanışlı hale getiriyor. Fiyatının hakkını veren bir yatırım.

  3. I found your blog through google and I must say, this is probably one of the best well prepared articles I have come across in a long time. I have bookmarked your site for more posts.

  4. I just couldn’t leave your web site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info an individual supply to your guests? Is going to be again continuously in order to inspect new posts

  5. Thanks for sharing your ideas here. The other issue is that each time a problem comes up with a personal computer motherboard, people today should not consider the risk of repairing it themselves for if it is not done correctly it can lead to irreparable damage to all the laptop. It will always be safe just to approach the dealer of any laptop for that repair of its motherboard. They’ve already technicians who may have an expertise in dealing with laptop motherboard troubles and can have the right prognosis and conduct repairs.

  6. Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  7. I?m impressed, I must say. Actually rarely do I encounter a blog that?s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the problem is one thing that not enough persons are speaking intelligently about. I’m very pleased that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for something relating to this.

  8. Wonderful site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Many thanks!

  9. acquisto farmaci con ricetta [url=https://kamagrait.club/#]kamagra oral jelly consegna 24 ore[/url] farmacie online affidabili

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *