America Should Learn from Cuba on policies for Equality,
said Secretary of ECLAC
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 7 (acn) Latin
American countries have to “learn a lot from Cuba” on
policies to reduce inequality, said in Havana the executive
secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC),
The head of the
UN agency made the statement on Monday noting that
inequality increased in the region in the two decades
outbreak of the international economic crisis, in 2008,
“The crisis broke the continuity of the model that thought
could do it all” and has highlighted the need for
against poverty, Barcena said in a lecture she delivered in
of Havana to academics and diplomats.
“We have the horror of being the most unequal region in the
most egalitarian countries of Latin America, which are Cuba
have a long way from everyone else,” she said, insisting
that “the market
will never make people equal; the market creates
inequalities by itself.”
Barcena said that in the region “the two factories of
inequality are the
productive structure and education” and warned that many
bound to short-term problems, and have not been provided
with a “road map”
to overcome the barriers that slow structural development.
“There are resources (natural and financial) but there are
no policies to
boost growth,” she said.
ECLAC forecasts that in 2012 the average economic growth in
will reach 3.7%, after reaching 4.3% in 2011.
Among the barriers to development, the official said the low
investment, productivity and taxation, among others.
“Latin America has a very low taxation, 18.6% of GDP. In the
the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and
33-35%,” she said.
She also criticized that the region has a “regressive tax
taxes consumption rather than income or wealth.”
She also noted that since 2002, “Venezuela is the country
that has had
more success” in reducing poverty in the region, but
progress was made in
Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and El Salvador.
The secretary of ECLAC regretted that 177 million Latin
Americans live in
poverty, 73 million of them in abject poverty.