Raul Castro says Cuba faces tough economic outlook

A “reduction in oil imports” and falling prices of traditional exports, along with other financial restrictions, have caused a “tense and stressful” economic situation that will bring limitations in the second half of 2016 for Cuba, said President Raul Castro on July 8 in Havana.

(Soundbite) Raul Castro, President of Cuba
“To this is added a certain contraction in fuel supplies agreed with Venezuela, despite the firm will of President Nicolas Maduro and his government to fulfill them. Obviously this has caused additional stress on the functioning of the Cuban economy.”

Speaking to over 500 lawmakers of Cuba’s unicameral parliament, Castro said that the island country’s Gross Domestic Products grew only one percent in the first six months of 2016, half of what it was projected.

(Soundbite) Raul Castro, President of Cuba
“We do not deny that affectations may occur, with even more difficulties than we are experiencing now, but we are prepared and more able to reverse them.”

Despite the limitations, said Castro, the government would continue to implement economic and social reforms in order to update the island’s socialism.

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