Cuban government note warns of 'days of work and sacrifice ahead'
Campaign News | Tuesday, 11 May 2004
Official note in full
THE brutal and cruel measures that the government of the United States has just adopted against Cuba, in addition to a harsh blockade in place for 45 years, are directly aimed at strangling our development and reducing to a minimum hard-currency resources essentially necessary for providing food, educational and medical services and other crucial items that our population requires.
The Revolution, supported by its long experience, its equanimity, and the solid unity and elevated level of its people’s political culture, is to respond immediately with the following measures.
Until further notice, sales are suspended in stores offering products in hard currency, with the exception of foodstuffs, cleaning and personal hygiene items. Top priority will be guaranteed for all those goods and services received by the population in its entirety, without privileges of any kind.
Prices will not change in the least for the regulated and subsidized goods allocated to the population.
Public health programs underway will not be affected in any way.
Education projects that are underway will not be changed nor hindered in the least, including the snacks and meals for students, which will continue being extended.
As an essential part of the quality of life of our people, culture will continue its current exceptional development, and the formation of a general integral culture for all citizens will not be stopped for one second.
The programs for universalizing higher education will continue moving forward to reach every corner of the country.
Unemployment will remain at under 2.5% of the active working population.
The exchange bureaus within the Cuban banking system (CADECAS) will continue to function with their habitual responsibility and efficiency.
The current exchange rates for the Cuban peso, the convertible peso and the dollar will remain unchanged.
All funds in Cuban pesos, convertible pesos and dollars deposited in banks by citizens and their corresponding interests, will be absolutely guaranteed.
The farmers’ markets where campesinos offer their products on a demand and supply basis, and the state-run agricultural markets will continue to function under the established regulations.
In the mining sector, production of nickel and cobalt is to be increased, as are oil and gas exploration in locations most researched and secure, with the application of new extraction techniques, until self-sufficiency is attained.
In terms of economic investment, the guiding principle is to be one of total priority for the most rapid returns and largest immediate benefits.
In agriculture, priorities are to be export lines and the orderly production of food, with an increased utilization of working animals, lower costs for imported supplies and less spending on fuel.
The rational and optimal use of land liberated from cane cultivation with the restructuring of the sugar industry.
For its part, the population and all production and service enterprises should make a maximum effort in producing all possible goods and services with quality and savings in resources.
If the adopted measures are not sufficient to confront the obstacles, further ones that may prove necessary will be adopted, always on the principle that the population’s essential requirements are prioritized.
The brutality of the measures adopted by the U.S. government will unfortunately raise prices in the chains of stores operating in convertible currency and in fuel supply centers, while in no way will they be able to compensate for the current extremely high prices of foodstuffs and their transport on the world market, or the almost inaccessible cost of oil.
Under any circumstance, the country will mobilize the additional resources needed to confront this aggression with minimal sacrifice on the part of the population.
At times like this, the political sphere attains its maximum importance. The fundamental task is to continue perfecting the tactics, techniques, methods and principles of the war of all the people, and to continue raising the revolutionary, patriotic and socialist consciousness of our invincible people.
Days of work and sacrifice await us, but also days of glory and victory for our heroic homeland.
May 10, 2004