Che Guevara and the Great Debate, Past and Present
New reforms and debates are underway in contemporary Cuba. The core issues, however, were raised but not resolved by the Great Debate of 1963–1965 instigated by Che Guevara. The challenge was then and remains today to increase productive capacity and labor productivity in conditions of underdevelopment and in transition to socialism, without over-reliance on capitalist mechanisms which undermine the formation of a new consciousness and social relations integral to socialism. The Great Debate focused on the operation of the law of value, money, finance and banking, and consciousness and incentives in the transition to socialism, issues which remain central today. The concern for efficiency within socialism frames the connection between Guevara’s critique of the USSR’s Manual of Political Economy, his Budgetary Finance System of economic management, and contemporary developments within Cuba.