By BO Staff Writer
“[W]hat adversaries ignore is that 60 years of sanctions, threats, and aggression of all kinds have stiffened our resistance. The historical experience of the revolution is an indispensable book of lessons. The first one is about personal, direct interchange with the people. They are the permanent source of creativity and encouragement.” – Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel
Its 60 years since the Cuban Revolution and the country has from the onset defended its gains against the systematic aggression of the United States (US).
Cuba’s rich revolutionary experience includes forging ties early in the 1960’s with the Soviet Union; adapting politically and economically consequent to the demise of the Soviet block; and refining ‘intelligence capabilities’ to deal with the continuing imperialist onslaught.
The US, under the Trump administration, has consolidated its position against Cuba. It has intensified its aggression, including disabling Cuban embassies; imposing limitations on traveling from the US to Cuba and spending money there; placing restrictions on funds that Cuban Americans send to their families in Cuba; recruiting and bankrolling political opposition; and promulgating legislation to dissuade foreign investors from investing in Cuba.
This backdrop compounds Cuba’s economic challenges which include not sufficient exports, declining agricultural production, excessive imports, declining worker productivity, and huge foreign debt.
Cuba’s Council of Ministers response on 27 June 2019 to the continued US onslaught amounts to an appeal to ‘Cubans’ sense of culture, nationhood, and solidarity.
The Ministry of Economy and Planning, indicated the government’s intention to ‘increase production generally, diversify and increase exports, substitute endogenous products for imports, promote “productive chains,” strengthen state enterprises, bolster food sovereignty and food production, promote local development, fully implement housing policies, and put “science at the service of solving economic problems.’
The Ministry of Finances and Prices announced increasing pensions and salaries commencing in July 2019. These increments are expected to facilitate consumer buying which in turn will ‘stimulate domestic production’.
Furthermore the Council of Ministers decided that measures will be put in place to regulate prices and inflation; salary increments will be linked to worker productivity; and there will be budgetary provision for the said increases.
During a discussion of the reforms on national television on 2 July with the Cuban President, the president of the Council of Ministers and the other ministers – the Cuban President assured the country that despite being under siege for the past six decades it will be sustainable and prosperous because this experience has strengthened it to overcome great challenges.
He intimated that people benefit as a result of defending the gains of the revolution thereby increasing and improving public services. He asked workplaces to realize the changes. He also called on Cubans to bring their personal interests in kilter with the societal interests.
During the closure of the session of Cuba’s National Assembly, on 13 July 2019, President Díaz-Canel said this about being president:
“I know about the sincere concern of those who think that we demand too much, that any credit derives exclusively from our personal action, and that we even take on tasks that ‘are not those of a president’ … I ask myself what task doesn’t belong to a president in a nation like Cuba, in a Revolution like ours, when we follow the examples of Fidel and Raúl”.
He pointed out that, “[i]n this new stage the key is in the regions and municipalities and in development of localities where they are aware of all they create. Advances there benefit people more directly.”
Moreover, “[w]e have to keep on searching out our material and human reserves, looking to monetary savings as a source of income and to our spirituality as a source of creative energy”, he directed.
Evidently, Cuba’s highly competent political leadership provides indeed Cuba with great revolutionary potential to ultimate defeat the US stranglehold on its economy.
See related article ‘Cuba and a New Generation of Leaders Respond to U.S. Assault against the Cuban People’