CUBAN President Miguel Diaz-Canel says those who aspire to hang the Cuban people will not be able to achieve anything.
But he has warned Cubans that the island’s tourism will face more difficulties in the second half of the year.
President Diaz-Canel said the greatest decrease would be in maritime arrivals due to the cancellation of cruise operations, which mainly impacts the US market.
He informed the National Assembly of People’s Power that the unemployment rate was 1.6 per cent, with the expected two per cent growth in the number of workers in the non-state sector, fundamentally self-employed.
President Diaz-Canel said during the first half of 2019, 10 new businesses with foreign capital were approved for total committed investment of US$1.395 billion.
He said the completion of 15,748 homes was projected by the end of the first half of the year.
“What does this data basically tell us? That the country is advancing and that no imperialist policy can defeat our will to go for more,” President Diaz-Canel said when closing the July session of the National Assembly last Saturday. “Those who aspire to hang the Cuban people will not be able to achieve anything in the face of our determination to work to overcome and defeat genocidal, anti-Cuban policies, with the efforts of all.”
He said during analyses in the Assembly’s committees, more than once errors and deficiencies that caused the rash of shortages that affected Cuba in recent months were discussed.
“First of all, because of the lack of liquidity, but also, and this is only our responsibility, because of an import mentality. Importing is accommodating and becomes a vice that kills initiative,” President Diaz-Canel said.
“In Cuba we produce eggs, but we import almost all the chicken. And there were no foreign investment projects in this area. Today there are eight projects identified for state production of pork and chicken that include the manufacture of feed, not only with imported raw material, but also using nationally produced grains. This issue leads to others: poor export management and limited foreign investment; little linking of national production with foreign investment, or with activities such as tourism, called upon to become a locomotive of the national economy; lack of vision about the contributions that the computerisation of society can make in absolutely all areas; or underestimation of the economy’s non-state sector in such productive chains.”
He reported that during the first six months of the year, the expected revenue from exports was not achieved, with the main impact seen in tourism, nickel sales – in which prices fell – and sugar.
“Nonetheless, production levels that are essential to the country have been reached,” President Diaz-Canel said.
He said to reach the planned growth in 2019, the economy must grow more than initially planned.
“In the present year, even in the eye of the hurricane of adversity that the enemy has conceived to strangle us, the Cuban economy can grow modestly, thanks to the fact that we have the potential to resist and continue advancing in our development,” said President Diaz-Canel.
“But in terms of challenges, we are not yet over the top…There has been a deficit in fuel imports, which has forced us to establish internal restrictions on consumption, avoiding as far as possible effects on the population, and the economy’s main producers and service providers. In this context, savings and control become more important, to send every litre where it is most needed.”