Economy and Planning Minister Alejandro Gil described as ‘commendable’ the fact that Cuban economic growth did not decrease over the past few months, despite the restrictions caused by the United States blockade.
Speaking on the Mesa Redonda TV program on Thursday, Gil, who is also a deputy prime minister, noted that the US Government has tightened the blockade against Cuba ‘to prevent the arrival of fuel in the first place.’
‘We have faced a complex situation since April, which worsened in September,’ the official recalled.
Gil lauded the country’s achievements in countering the fuel shortages, as well as those of other raw materials and indispensable resources to keep factories and other productive processes operating.
The minister noted how the efforts to adapt to the circumstances ensured that Cuba did not report an economic decrease, nor impacts on the population such as blackouts or serious disruption to services such as health and education.
‘We could have grown more, but the cost of the blockade was present,’ he stressed, and described the claim that the US policy of pressure affects the Cuban government and not the people as ‘a huge lie’ because ‘all sectors have to face that scenario.’
The minister explained how the country also had to overcome unexpected events ‘that occurred after plans were conceived,’ and other situations that could not be predicted, such as the tornado in January 2019, which damaged some 8,000 homes.
Gil noted that the recent situation ‘is not comparable to that in previous periods,’ despite which the State built more than 40,000 homes and received four million tourists in 2019.
The minister of Economy mentioned the growth in the communications sector, including reaching six million cell phone lines.
He added that Cuba confronted the shortage of food, especially during the end of the year, and expressed confidence ‘in the people’s resistance. We will never surrender or be defeated,’ he noted.