Communist Leader Says Cuba Will Not Accept “External Pressures”

El General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Primer Secretario del Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba (CC PCC) y Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, y José Ramón Machado Ventura, Segundo Secretario del CC PCC y Vicepresidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, hacen entrada en la Plaza de la Revolución Mayor General Serafín Sánchez, en Sancti Spíritus, el 26 de julio de 2016, para asistir al acto central nacional por el aniversario 63 del asalto a los cuarteles Moncada y Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. ACN FOTO/Oscar ALFONSO SOSA/sdl
General/president Raul Castro (r) and VP Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, the number one and two men heading the Communist Party. Sancti Spiritus, July 26, 2016. Foto: Oscar Alfonso Sosa/ACN

HAVANA TIMES – Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, the number two man in the Communist Party behind Raul Castro, said today that Cuba “will not accept external pressure”, at a time when the country is experiencing an economic downturn. He noted that any changes in Cuba are only “to strengthen socialism,” reported dpa news.

“No one will impose external pressures on us, directed mostly to dismantle the achievements of the revolution,” said Machado Ventura, 85, during the main event for the tribute to the assault on the Moncada Barracks led by Fidel Castro in 1953.

Machado Ventura said the plan of economic reforms promoted by the Cuban government is in public consultation until next September and conclusions must be endorsed by the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) in December.

“The necessary changes and the pace we choose will be introduced,” said Machado Ventura, who acknowledged that the implementation of reforms is also having problems because of the current negative economic situation on the island.

“I want to note that despite these modest results there is not resignation. We are aware of the problems that affect our people, their dissatisfactions, of the many things still to be done and the productive potential that we must achieve,” he said.

Machado Ventura spoke in the presence of President Raul Castro and other Cuban leaders gathered at the July 26th ceremony held at dawn in the city of Sancti Spiritus, 350 kilometers east of Havana.

The event commemorates the attack on the Moncada barracks in 1953, led by Fidel Castro against Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship. The armed action failed but is considered the spark that led to the victory six and a half years later on January 1, 1959.

The celebration is the most important political event on the island but this year in an unfavorable economic environment.

The Cuban government recently announced that the gross domestic product in the first half of 2016 grew by only one percent, half of what was predicted.

During the second half of 2016 energy savings measures are taking effect, with the supply being cut by 25 percent.

The restrictions will focus on state run businesses and public administration. The Castro government says the residential sector will be spared blackouts.

18 thoughts on “Communist Leader Says Cuba Will Not Accept “External Pressures”

  • Bet Dan cannot provide the title of the article to which he claims I responded “Ingles p.f.

  • Cuba has already accepted external pressures. The collapse of the Venezuelan economy has resulted in a 40% drop in oil shipments from that country to Cuba. That’s the external pressure. Castro understood he had to find another source of revenue to keep the regime afloat.

    Meanwhile, the internal pressure demanding freedom, democracy and respect for human rights continues to grow. Raul can resist and repress it for a while, but at some point, the pressure will explode.

  • This isn’t the first instance Moses. It’s not a typo. I remember one post by him where someone posted something in Spanish and he responded Ingles p.f. C’mon, you’ve seen these kind of guys in Cuba I bet. My point is, how can you lecture others about Cuba, if you don’t even speak the language ?

  • If one reads between the lines, it’s clear that the Cuban government is now posturing to ‘save-face’. When the necessary changes are endorsed later this year, the government will be publically taking sole credit for making those necessary changes independently, without admitting that privately, their hands were indeed tied by two key external pressures. Just how much change will actually occur is subject to speculation as none of us are privy to the private negotiations that remain ongoing with those external pressures. But it’s clear to me that there are “perfect storm” conditions now to help provoke meaningful changes for the Cuban people. The only consolation prize for the Cuban government will be to publically save-face by taking credit for listening to their own people when authorizing and implementing those necessary changes.

  • Dan, is that your comeback? Criticize his ortografía? Yo could speak perfect spanish and still miss the boat obviously.

  • I mostly emphasize tourism-based services when talking about services-based economies.

  • I think you mean comprendo, Carlyle. It is amazing how you claim to have such a deep grasp of Cuban society when you apparently have such poor command of the country’s language. Are all you conversations with the oppressed in English, or does your wife translate ?

  • In describing Cuba’s economy as being serviced based, which services are you referring to? I accept that the overseas contracts to provide medical and educational personnel may be included in services but am curious if you perceive others?

  • Remember, Cuba’s economy is overwhelmingly services-based, and Raul Castro knows that his brother learned the lesson of overdependence on a single country for energy needs. Raul is saying that the “residential sector is to be spared blackouts” because he doesn’t want to alienate Cubans who have dark memories of the Special Period. (Fidel Castro attempted to break his country’s energy dependence on the USSR by signing a deal with Moscow to build 2 nuclear plants in Cuba, but construction of the Juragua plant was axed after the USSR fell apart, and after learning the lessons of Chernobyl and Fukuishima, the Cubans have come to see solar energy as more appropriate for Cuba than nuclear power.)

  • Depends whether one is an enthusiast for communist dictatorship or for freedom of the individual. Lust for power and control over others is in my view not something to instill in ones children, but one can understand if not agree with Gordon’s pursuit of such privileges being bestowed upon his children Michel and Angelica Robinson.
    In Cuba privilege accrues to those of influence within the circles of power whilst others probably possessing more inherent talents and abilities are handed a machete to cut grass on the autopista. Gordon does well by the exploitation of the relationship to Ventura Machado.

  • Ah! comprende.

  • These old farts just won’t go away. If what they have done hasn’t worked after almost 58 years, what are the odds of it working now.

  • Hahaha!

  • Michel and Angelica Robinson are related to Machado by their mothers adoption by his relative. It is Machado who is giving advice to Michel regarding his future.

  • This guy is a real “forward thinker”! The Castro oligarchy wants the Cuban people in the dark and in the Dark Ages!

  • Machado-Ventura is the second secretary of the Communist Party after Raul Castro.

  • I thought that the ranking in Cuba was:

    Raul Castro Ruz President
    Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez First Vice-President
    Jose Ramon Ventura Machado Second Vice-President

    If the “residential sector is to be spared blackouts” it will be a major change in policy. But maybe that is one of the supposedly but not defined “improvements” described by the Dictatorship sycophants?

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