Fri. Apr 26th, 2019

Raúl Castro asks Cubans to prepare for the worst in the economy

Raúl Castro asks Cubans to prepare for the worst in the economy

Former President of Cuba Raul Castro urged Cubans to "be prepared for the worst variant" of the economy, at a time when the US embargo tightened. and the aggravated problems in the balance of payments put the country in check.

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"The situation could worsen in the coming months," said the leader of the ruling Communist Party (PCC, only legal), in his speech on Wednesday during the act of promulgation of the new Constitution of the country in the National Assembly.

He confided, however, that Cuba will not experience a new Special Period, in reference to the serious financial, energy and food crisis that the country suffered in the early 90s after the fall of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of the subsidies that the island received from the communist bloc.

"Today is another scenario in terms of the diversification of the economy, but we have to be prepared for the worst variant," said the 87-year-old former president, who took power from his brother Fidel Castro in 2006 and bequeathed it in April. last year to the current president, Miguel Díaz-Canel.

To combat the supposed economic crisis that is approaching, Castro proposed "fight and achieve victory, there is no other alternative", and specifically asked the population to redouble efforts to increase production, especially food, adopt savings habits, optimize the use of energy and avoid fuel thefts.

He also called to "resist and overcome the new obstacles that the resurgence of the economic and financial siege puts us", in reference to the US embargo, hardened again by the Government of Donald Trump, who has reversed the policy of rapprochement of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

In any case, Castro reiterated that "the old desire to overthrow the Cuban Revolution through economic suffocation and hardship failed in the past and will fail again."

His speech comes at a time of uncertainty about the economy of Cuba, a country that for years tries to attract foreign investment and replace imports to solve their increasingly serious problems in the balance of payments.

However, in 2018 export revenues were breached and a high level of indebtedness persists, while the difficulties in the materialization of the investment processes continue.

This is compounded by the crisis in Venezuela, the main partner and supporter of the island, which provides approximately half of the oil it needs to cover the national demand for electricity and transport.

The recognition of foreign investment, private property and work outside the state sector are some of the most outstanding developments of the Constitution promulgated today, which was previously submitted to a three-month popular consultation process and ratified last February in a referendum with 86.85% of votes in favor.

After the proclamation of the Magna Carta will begin a legislative process that will be developed around half a hundred new laws to develop it.


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