2006 will be brighter, says Cuban parliament
Campaign News | Monday, 26 December 2005
11.8 per cent growth in 2005
Havana, Dec 24 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Parliament closed its last session of the year reaffirming the social, economic and political programmes of the Revolution, slamming the new threats by the US government and painting a brighter future for 2006.
The legislative discussions, led by the President of the Councils of State and Ministers Fidel Castro, assessed the Island?s economic indicators that showed an 11.8 percent growth, and passed the budget for the next fiscal year.
Before closing the session on Friday night, the Parliament agreed to name 2006 Year of the Energy Revolution.
The report on 2006 economic prospects envisaged a 10 percent growth of the Gross National Product, far over the projected one for the rest of Latin America.
The approved budget amounts to 33.30 billion pesos (same amount in US dollars at the official exchange), with 70 percent alloted to social programmes guaranteeing the people?s wellbeing and protection for the neediest.
The fields of education, health, culture, art, science and technology, sports, and social security and work, will be granted over 14 billion dollars, thus assuring the consolidation social reforms put into place, as well as financial support for the 2005-approved wage increases.
Fidel Castro took the chance to slam the US administration of President George W. Bush for threatening to take new measures aimed at overthrowing the Cuban revolutionary process.
"We are stronger today, more invincible; we laugh at the US threats and are conscious of our power and the situation in Latin America," he stressed.
The Cuban leader similarly referred to the decadence of Washington?s world policy as corroborated by its defeats and failure in Bay of Pigs (Cuba), Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Vietnam, and Angola.
For his part, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque stressed the US failed attempts to isolate Cuba, highlighting the almost universal rejection of the US blockade against Cuba. More 180 nations voted at the UN General Assembly to condemn that hostile policy and demanded it should be lifted
Crisis is over, says Cuban economy minister
Havana 22 Dec: Cuba announced on Thursday that it has turned a corner in its recovery from severe financial crisis, reporting an 11.8 percent economic growth rate in 2005, using its own unique method for calculating gross domestic product.
Cuban Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez said the nation had fully recovered from the early 1990s, when austerity measures were adopted to survive a crushing economic crisis caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its withdrawal of aid from the country.
"The result of this great effort is the growth of the GDP to 11.8 percent, which includes the value of the social services provided in our country."
The economy minister said the growth could be the highest it has been since the revolution, and projects an economic growth rate of 10 percent for 2006.
Rodriguez said the biggest income earners for Cuba this year have been tourism, nickel, and the exportation of services, especially doctors and other medical workers hired by other countries such as Venezuela to provide free care to poor people.
Cuba's new methodology for calculating economic growth, adopted in recent years, takes into account the country's vast social safety net and subsidized services.