The Commodity-Form in Cuba’s Telecom and Wireless Services: A Marxist Political Economy Overview

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Munoz Nieves, Carol. 2018. "The commodity-form in Cuba’s telecom and wireless services: a Marxist Political Economy overview." EPTIC, January-April, 20(1): 205-219.

Date created: 
2018-03-01
Keywords: 
Political Economy of Communication (PEC)
State socialism
Telecommunications
Wireless communications
Marxism
Abstract: 

In contemporary Cuba, there is a blatant contradiction between the high prices of telecom and wireless services, controlled by a state monopoly, and the weak purchasing power of the working class. This contradiction evidences a process of commodification that cannot be simply traced back to the partial privatizations that the Cuban telecom system experienced after the collapse of the Soviet bloc in the 1990s. Commodification is derived from a broader restructuring of the state socialist economy that started in the 1990s: the state-led appropriation of value in circulation when value is in the money form. In the context of a crisis in accumulation, obstacles against changing the conditions in production fostered transformations in the domain of circulation to appropriate value in the hands of the state. Within these transformations, partial privatizations and the commodification of the telecom and wireless services have played a key role for the national economy. 

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
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