Saturday, April 25, 2015

Let 201 flowers bloom (but no more!): Cuba's list of permitted self-employment occupations

As an appendix to our recent book, Entrepreneurial Cuba: The Changing Policy Landscape (discount order form here), Arch Ritter and I produced the updated, annotated, and translated list of Cuba's 201 permitted self-employment occupations (trabajos por cuenta propia) provided below.

We have even taken the liberty of highlighting the (few) occupations (goods and services) on the list that might be marketable in the U.S.

Given that there's been so much talk recently of potential U.S. economic engagement with Cuba - and its private "non-state" sector - (& especially in the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's delegation to Cuba last week) I wanted to share this list with readers of El Yuma as a necessary reality check.

In other words, as the Obama administration begins the laudable and necessary task of hollowing out the U.S. embargo (until Congress finally votes to just get rid of the damn thing!), we should remember that:

The Cuban government has an auto-bloqueo (internal embargo) of its own that continues to act as a major obstacle to small- and medium-size business development on the island.

Note: While our sources are at the end of the list, a special H/T goes out to the Associated Press, which published a preliminary translation of the then 178-occupation list on January 30, 2011 (likely done by the then Havana bureau chief Paul Haven, who also published this article at the same time), and to Richard Feinberg, whose own report, "Soft Landing in Cuba? Emerging Entrepreneurs and Middle Classes," includes a very helpful and detailed translation of the by then slightly expanded list of 201 occupations (see pp. 54-57).


1 comment:

  1. The list is a goofy testimonial to the bureaucratic mind/culture.

    From the standpoint of the Internet, two elegible jobs stand out: Computer Programmer and Telecommunications Agent (retail).

    The former are already doing some offshore work iin the US and the latter could be resellers of satellite connectivity if it were allowed.