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CUBA PARLIAMENT » 20 December, 2017

Economy Grows in Cuba Despite US Blockade

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In 2017, it was also possible to guarantee the sustainability of basic services to the population. (Photo: ACN).

The growth was the result of good performance in the electricity, gas and water supply activities, construction, commerce and tourism sectors, basically

Ricardo Cabrisas, Cuban minister of Economy and Planning (MEP), reported that the Cuban economy grew slightly in 2017, despite the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Irma and the over 50 year-long US blockade on Cuba.

The growth was the result of good performance in the electricity, gas and water supply activities, construction, commerce and tourism sectors, basically, Cabrisas told deputies of the Economic Affairs Standing commission, meeting at the Havana Conventions Center.

He said that the country faced during 2017 hardships because of the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma and the acute drought, united – as expected – to the difficult situation with the shortages of foreign currency and oil.

The minister stressed the persistence of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and the coming to power of a new administration that has intensified the application of that siege and its extraterritorial nature.

However, in 2017 it was possible to guarantee the sustainability of basic services to the population and the main levels of activities contemplated in the plan, he said.

According to Cabrisas, the planned investments are estimated to be 90.8 percent and the main agricultural productions report favorable outputs, among them, tobacco, vegetables, beans, beef and pork.

The Cuban lawmakers turned their attention to the existing problems in the management of inventories and the prompt downloading of cargo ships, which caused losses for almost 10 and a half million dollars by the end of November.

According to the minister, the largest losses are reported by the Ministries of Agriculture, Food Industry and Domestic Trade, and of the total amount, close to 4 million dollars were paid extra due to problems at the reception of imported goods by several institutionsIn addition, there are losses due to lack of transportation (around 385,000 dollars), rains (1.4 million) and cargo handling (335,000).

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