Cuba's economic changes must be gradual - Castro

2014-07-06 08:02
Cuban President Raul Castro (Marcelino Velazquez, AFP)

Cuban President Raul Castro (Marcelino Velazquez, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Havana - President Raul Castro reiterated on Saturday that Cuba's programme of reforms will remain cautious and gradual, despite recent disappointing GDP numbers that show the country's already-struggling economy slowing.

Days after Cuba downgraded its 2014 economic growth forecast by nearly a percentage point, Castro told parliament during the first of its twice-annual regular sessions that the reforms "have great complexity but are advancing" at the necessary pace.

"This process, to be successful, must be conducted with the appropriate gradualness and be accompanied by the permanent control of different party and government structures at all levels," Castro said in a 25-minute speech.

"Gradualness is not a whim, much less a desire to delay the changes that we must make," he added. "On the contrary, it is about a need to ensure order and avoid gaps that would lead us directly to mistakes that distort the proposed objectives."

Foreign journalists were not allowed access to the one-day session at a convention centre in western Havana. His comments were broadcast later on state TV.

Vice President Marino Murillo, Castro's reforms czar, said a nascent project to eliminate Cuba's unique dual currency system is continuing and warned islanders that monetary unification itself will not increase their purchasing power.

"For that to happen, we must produce more," Murillo said.

Cuba's economy minister announced at the end of June that officials were lowering their GDP growth expectations to 1.4% for the year, down from a previous forecast of 2.2% for 2014 and from 2.7 growth recorded last year.

Castro and other officials say the reforms do not amount to an embrace of capitalism, but are rather an "update" of Cuba's socialist model to survive in the 21st century global economy.

Cuba has decentralised state-owned enterprises, legalised home and used car sales and let hundreds of thousands of people open or work for small businesses in the private sector.

Parliament also considered a report Saturday from the comptroller's office on its attempts to root out corruption. No specifics were given on the nightly newscast.

Official media reported that Agriculture Minister Gustavo Rodriguez said Cuba's food imports have reached $2bn a year, but the government believes the island could produce 60% of that.

Cuba's parliament typically meets twice a year, once in the summer and again in December. Lawmakers also called an extraordinary session this spring to approve a law that seeks to attract badly needed foreign investment.
- AP
Read more on:    raul castro  |  cuba
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.