President Raul Castro has warned Cubans of tougher times ahead with an economic slowdown in 2016. Falling oil and commodity prices are offsetting increased tourist revenues following the U.S. and Cuba restoring diplomatic relations.
CCTV’s Michael Voss reports from Havana.
Cuban President addresses financial challenges in 2016President Raul Castro has warned Cubans of tougher times ahead with an economic slowdown in 2016. Falling oil and commodity prices are offsetting increased tourist revenues following the U.S. and Cuba restoring diplomatic relations.
For many Cubans 2015 started on an upbeat note, after the U.S and Cuba agreed to restore diplomatic relations. Many in the country hoped this would bring rapid economic benefits.
The most immediate impact was in the record number of tourists visiting the island this year, both Americans and Europeans eager to visit before it changes.
Money sent from Cuban Americans also helped the island’s gross domestic product to grow by four percent this year.
But at a closed door session of the island’s national Assembly, later shown on state television, President Raul Castro warned that growth in 2016 was likely to be cut in half.
Falling oil prices should make many imports cheaper but this is more than offset by the political and economic instability in Cuba’s major ally and trading partner Venezuela.
Venezuela provides billions of dollars of subsidized oil in return for Cuban doctors and other professionals but payments are based on the price of oil
All eyes are now on next year’s communist party congress to see what, if any, further changes will be approved.