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Cuba faces tough economic outlook: Raul Castro

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  10 July 2016 12:00 AM GMT

HAVA, July 9: Cuban President Raul Castro has said that a “reduction in oil imports”, falling prices of traditiol exports, along with other fincial restrictions caused a “tense and stressful” economic situation that will bring limitations in the second half of 2016.

Speaking to the lawmakers of Cuban parliament, Castro on Friday said the island’s GDP only grew by one per cent in the first half of the year, only around half of the government’s projections, Xinhua news agency reported.

“This result was due to exterl fincial constraints caused by falling export prices and the limitations faced by some of our major trading partners, due to falling oil prices,” said Castro in his traditiol speech to end the week-long parliamentary session.

The leader said Venezuela’s crisis was affecting Cuba’s oil imports as Caracas was uble to meet the supply it agreed to as part of an agreement in which Cuba sends thousands of doctors, teachers and other advisors to the South American country. Castro said the falling prices of traditiol exports such as nickel, tobacco and rum have also contributed to the problems.

The Cuban president added that the “harmful effects” of the US economic blockade on the island continue to affect the tion.

“Three months after US President Barack Obama’s announcement that he would lift the prohibition on Cuba using the US dollar for intertiol transactions, we have still not been able to make a single payment or cash deposit in that currency,” he said. However, Castro denied an “imminent collapse” of the economy or a return to the “Special Period”, a severe economic crisis which hit Cuba in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. (IANS)

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