Cuban People Will Debate Measures To Boost the Economy

Alejandra Garcia, Orinoco Tribune, February 3, 2024 —

Cuba needs development, even if it seems impossible amid increasingly adverse international conditions. And it needs to develop without trampling on the most vulnerable but also in being consistent with the world around us which is unstable, marked by inflation, and the exponential increase in essential goods. All of this in world of escalating tensions.

To achieve this, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has announced that the entire Cuban people will discuss and analyze the measures recently announced by the government, which include the increase in the price of gasoline, taxes, and products of the basic family basket, among other areas. This process of discussion, which will involve party cadre and society as a whole, will accompany to monitor the implementation of the government’s projections to correct distortions and boost the economy.

“These will be large-scale processes,” the president commented, “which will begin with a discussion among Communist Party militants and will include all administrative structures, as well as workers’ and students’ collectives, and the population in the communities. Therefore, the whole of Cuban society will be involved in these debates. Our purpose is to advance with coherence in implementing the economic measures and address the social, ideological, and economic problems.”

During the first meeting of the year with cabinet members, Díaz-Canel stated that “our idea is to reflect, evaluate, and propose solutions to the problems in each place with rigor and creativity.”

At the end of December, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz announced a package of economic measures aimed at stabilizing the growing inflation in the country, reversing the energy crisis, revitalizing public transportation, and aligning Cuba’s economic decisions within the international context. In other words, these were necessary and urgent measures because they correct distortions and structural deviations that hinder the performance of the Cuban economy.

The anti-Cuban media campaigns claim that we are facing neoliberal measures, something that the government insists on rejecting. “These measures are oriented towards the benefit of the people.” The president insisted, “If we grow economically, depend less on imports, export more, and increase the foreign currency that the country needs, this will benefit the population. These are measures aimed at stabilizing the country’s macro-economy and defending social conquests. Therefore, in addition to economic growth, we are seeking social development.”

Along with these adjustments, the salary of workers in the Education and Health sectors were increased. “What neoliberal package in the world begins by increasing the income of these two sectors?” Díaz-Canel pointed out, “Neoliberal packages begin precisely by taking away the budget and privatizing all that.”

Cuba is seen with pride because, despite its few resources, the hostilities of the U.S. government that applies a suffocating siege against the country, and world health crises, it always knows how to achieve the impossible without leaving anyone behind. This time will not be different. Thus the president concluded, “There is a social work defended in all these years that is growing in size and quality, even in the most complex conditions.”

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