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a Chávez quote you won’t hear in the mainstream US press

August 28, 2010

Hugo Chávez, just returned from a visit to Cuba, had this to say regarding the island’s policy changes:

I was speaking with Raúl Castro on the subject of economics and property. In Cuba they’re now giving the workers small productive units, even small family units, and that seems absolutely correct to me. [The State as the sole owner of property] is statism and that led to the failure of the Soviet Union. State capitalism, that’s not our path.

Con Raúl Castro estuve hablando del tema económico y del tema de la propiedad. En Cuba están entregando ahora a los trabajadores pequeñas unidades productivas, incluso pequeñas unidades familiares, y eso me parece a mí de lo más correcto.  [Que el estado sea dueño de todo] es el estatismo y eso llevó al fracaso al proyecto de la Unión Soviética. El capitalismo de Estado, ese no es nuestro camino.

It’s not clear to me if by “state capitalism” Chávez was referring to the Soviet system of which he was just speaking, or to China, the country to which the term is usually applied.

In any case, I’m pretty certain that US media outlets will not be reporting Chávez’s enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, which is, after all, not equivalent to capitalism (ie. the exploitation of wage labor), especially in its neoliberal form.

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