Raul Castro Says Cuba is Growing and Paying its Foreign Debt

General/President Raul Castro addresses the Cuban parliament on July 15, 2015.  Photo: Ismael Francisco/cubadebate.cu
General/President Raul Castro addresses the Cuban parliament on July 15, 2015. Photo: Ismael Francisco/cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — Cuban President Raul Castro addressed the Cuban legislature on Thursday emphasizing the improved macro economy annual growth figure of 4.7 for the first semester of the year and noting that Cuba is paying its debts on time.

“During the first semester of the year we have faced severe external financial restrictions, however, the country continues to strictly meet its debt obligations with foreign creditors and suppliers, a practice that favors renewed credibility in the nation’s economy, despite the US blockade which is still in full force,” said Raul Castro.

Castro, 84, pointed out that even with the reopening of respective embassies on July 20 in Washington and Havana, to achieve fully normalized US-Cuban relations, the half-century economic and financial embargo on Cuba must first be lifted.

The two countries formally resume diplomatic relations next Monday as part of a historical rapprochement started last December, after more than five decades of hostility and ideological rivalry.

Castro insisted in his speech that Cuban society will continue its process of transformations in order “to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism, which will guarantee our independence.”

The general/president also reiterated the demand that Washington return the Guantanamo naval base to Cuba, and discontinue the US programs for the “democratization” of Cuba, which funds some of the exile groups and media based in Florida.

On the international front, Castro praised the landmark nuclear agreement reached Tuesday between Iran and the five veto-wielding powers on the Security Council of the United Nations plus Germany. The agreement, reached after years of difficult talks, provides for several control mechanisms for the Iranian nuclear program.

“This result shows that dialogue and negotiation are the only effective tool to resolve differences between countries,” said the Cuban leader, who also defended the right of all countries to peaceful use of nuclear energy.


37 thoughts on “Raul Castro Says Cuba is Growing and Paying its Foreign Debt

  • July 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    If you want to see whether SOCIALISM works, leave Havana and visit a typical rural town. There you will find crumbling infrastructure, hospitals, schools, streets breaking up, electrical systems failing, and leaking water pipes permitting water to run down the streets. For transport there is Shanks pony (your own legs), if you are fortunate a bicycle or if going all the way to Havana (to arrive at La Lisa) taxis particular (these can be old trucks with crude seats packed in, but with some passengers standing) The Cuban people are not bamboozled they just have to try to exist on their average earnings of $20.68 per month.
    It has taken 56 years of Socialism to achieve these standards.
    And you utranda goldstein think that Socialism works? Go and live in Cuba!

  • July 19, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Gabby Johnson lives!!!

  • July 18, 2015 at 6:48 am

    John, whether I agree with you or not the US will remain a top player in world events and policies. You’re not going to alter that and if you did there would probably be a civil war in this country that would make 1860 look like Disneyland. Second of all we all know the US has tried and continues to try to change the paradigm in Cuba and yes, in some instances violently. Agree with that or not it seems to be settling and even Chomsky has commented, for the better. Too short here to go into details but things are looking better for Cuba, in my opinion, and a new order or system should be looked at so as to maintain Cuba’s independence and make life better for its peoples.

  • July 17, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Your economic perspective is shared by a scant few around the world. Ever wonder why that is?

  • July 17, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    When you can’t defend your position with facts, you make ad hominem attacks. Poor strategy.

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