Cuban Parliament Meets Amid Expectation

HAVANA TIMES, December 22.- The Cuban parliament holds its second session of the year starting Saturday December 27, with preliminary committee meetings starting on Tuesday. Among the most important issues on the agenda are a new Social Security Law that would raise the retirement age; the strategy undertaken to greatly increase food production after the three hurricanes, and consideration of the 2009 budget.

Also causing considerable expectation is the probable address by President Raul Castro. Upon taking office in February 2008, Mr. Castro asked for time until the end of the year not only to name his full cabinet but to consider structural changes “that might be required in the system of institutions pertaining to the central administration.” At that time, President Castro also said that in today’s world “a more compact and operational structure is required, with a lower number of institutions and a better distribution of their functions.”