El Dólar Orwelliano

Hay un pasaje de Rebelión en la granja de George Orwell en que, una vez llegado a cierto estadio en la utopía de una granja administrada por animales, los cerdos que la han dirigido deciden ir a vivir en la casa de los ex-dueños de la granja, violando el mandamiento escrito: Ningún animal dormirá en una cama. La astucia de los cerdos, sin embargo, cambia la ley convenientemente por la de ningún animal dormirá en una cama con sábanas. No hay forma figurada mejor para explicar el destino de las revoluciones que se propusieron el comunismo como meta. La cubana no ha sido una excepción. El retorno a la dolarización parcial de la pasada semana así lo ha evidenciado.

En 1993 yo vivía en Cuba, cuando ocurrió la primera dolarización, sin embargo, aquella no fue tan drástica. En aquel entonces -recuerdo- Fidel Castro, declaró que se trataba de algo provisional y que desaparecería con el aumento de la productividad- Carlos Lage y toda la prensa oficial no se saciaron de repetirlo después – que el valor del peso remontaría el descenso que había experimentado en su tasa de cambio con el dólar. No se trató tampoco de una dolarización como la de Ecuador, desde 1997, donde únicamente se permitió circular esa moneda. En Cuba más bien esta consistió en crear dos economías paralelas o, más bien, ensanchar el espacio de la economía que funcionaba en moneda convertible.

¿Era esta la única alternativa? Con el ajuste presupuestal del siguiente año y la entrada de nuevas empresas mixtas, limitadas fundamentalmente al turismo, la inflación se redujo de manera que en el cambio informal realizado por la empresa CADECA SA se pudo lograr la tasa de 25 por 1, donde más lejos llegó la reforma económica. Cuando en el 2004 se elimina la circulación del dólar, la tasa se mantiene idéntica. La diferencia es que, desde los últimos años iba el CUC logrando comprar menos productos debido al desabastecimiento. La explicación oficial ha culpado a las medidas del actual gobierno norteamericano por reforzar el embargo. Sin embargo, la causa parece ser similar a la que motivó aquella primera dolarización parcial: el exceso de circulante-cito de memoria la cifra 9000 millones de pesos dada por la prensa en 1994- en una época en que el estado era responsable del 95 % de la economía cubana.

La tardía aplicación de la medida trajo a Cuba los peores años de la crisis (oficialmente “Periodo Especial” ) . Uno pudiera preguntarse por qué se hizo tan irracional manejo de las finanzas en la década de los ochenta y comienzos de los 90, la misma época de inversiones como los pedraplenes en Villa Clara, la Central Electronuclear de Juraguá y los Juegos Panamericanos.
¿Por qué se permitió la constitución de empresas mixtas en el sector turístico–donde por cierto los cubanos no podían entrar– y no se hizo otro tanto con la industria azucarera cuya producción se desplomó de 7 millones de toneladas en 1992 (la misma que se hizo en 1952 bajo Batista) a 4.3 millones en 1995 con la consiguiente pérdida de ingresos por exportaciones?

Los acuerdos con Venezuela cinco años después, no revirtieron la situación financiera, más bien la agravaron: la convertibilidad con el dólar se abandonó, la tasa de cambio del peso con el CUC (arbitrariamente equiparado con el dólar 1 por 1) sólo descendió en una unidad (25 pesos por CUC) y el resultado fue que se perdió la noción del valor de mercancías y salarios. Varias subidas de estos últimos se produjeron, se crearon subsidios como recibir pagos por estudiar en universidades extendidas a todos los municipios, y aunque estos últimos excesos se corrigieron a partir de 2010 continuaron las subidas salariales. Lo peor es que no se recuperó la capacidad exportadora del país, única capaz de generar las divisas para reducir la inflación. Se vendieron automóviles usados, al doble o al triple quizás más del valor en el mercado internacional, mientras se dejaban de comprar piezas para autos que circulaban en el país o se establecen restricciones al servicio de taxis privados, quitando un incentivo más al ahorro. Se continuaron haciendo inversiones cuantiosas en el sector hotelero, incluyendo campos de golf con el auxilio del capital extranjero, pero se descuidó el mercado que podía absorber el exceso inflacionario en una situación como las recientes sanciones norteamericanas.

Sería materia de un análisis más extenso toda la política económica llevada a cabo, pero puede sintetizarse en algo ya visto: establecer una economía paralela orientada al turismo mientras se continuaba con la política inflacionaria, esta vez también en CUC. El mercado negro ya había alertado del espejismo del cambio oficial pues comenzó a comprar dólares a un mejor precio en CUC que el que ofrecía CADECA SA al turista o al emigrado que visitaba su país. Dólares que luego eran usados para comprar productos en destinos como México, Haití, Rusia, Ecuador y los propios Estados Unidos, pues el monopolio comercial estatal los vendía a un precio y falta de variedad que hacían más rentable esta operación comercial independiente. Mientras, en Miami, era posible antes de viajar a Cuba, comprar CUC a una tasa más beneficiosa al dólar que la propia de CADECA SA.


Ahora, con las medidas de Diaz Canel, el dólar regresa, esta vez como dinero electrónico mientras se amenaza con perseguir el mercado negro de divisas que ya ha empezado a cambiar el CUC a 1.50 por dólar. ¿No era más fácil haber establecido un cambio oficial de CUC por dólar? Si no se ha hecho es quizás porque la tasa de cambio sería demasiado elevada, 15 o quizás 20 CUC por dólar, pues este es posible de adquirir pagando 25 pesos cubanos por cada uno.

Como en la fábula de Orwell; los animales descubren que luego de haber sido convencidos por los cerdos que dormir en camas es incompatible con su dignidad, lo antes prohibido es ahora permitido; lo que esta vez habría de hacerse sin sábanas. Los cubanos pueden ahora usar nuevamente el dólar para comprar productos importados, aunque para mantener viva la ilusión de la existencia de salarios reales en CUC y peso cubano, en Cuba se añade una red de tiendas solo en dólares electrónicos.

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