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We will not renounce our conquests or our dreams

Diaz CanelThe President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, during the most recent meeting of the Council of Ministers, at the Palace of the Revolution, stated “We will not renounce our conquests or making our dreams come true, only possible in our socialism, in constant improvement, which we are ready to defend at any cost.”According to the Presidency’s website, Díaz-Canel called on participants to stay “united, organized, and mobilized.”

“We cannot allow any room for division, manipulation, interference, or provocations,” he added.In assessing the country’s situation, he referred to the tightening of the U.S. blockade, with the current administration repeatedly imposing new sanctions that have caused, to give just one example, a shortage of fuel.He also commented on the reality that Latin America is experiencing, at a time when many people are taking to the streets; left processes are having success; and the most aggressive right returns, as is the case in Bolivia. In this context, he noted, interference and aggression against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua is increasing.

“It has become fashionable to offer formulas, ignoring the complexity of life for the Cuban people, in conditions of brutal blockade, and that we long ago chose our path, guided by well-defined principles of independence,” said Diaz-Canel.

The President, with members of the Council of Ministers, recalled concepts related to political and ideological work, which is not only the responsibility of the Communist Party, but of all cadres in the country’s entities and organizations.

Political-ideological preparation makes a difference in the daily actions of those who lead, he insisted.Díaz-Canel reviewed the Cuban government’s prioritized tasks, including the extensive legislative work implied by the new Constitution; local food self-sufficiency; assuring a successful cold season planting campaign and sugar harvest; support to improve the quality of tourism; relations with universities; housing policy; confronting fuel theft; and the country’s investment plan.

The list of priorities also included exports, productive chains, foreign investment, computerization, the epidemiological situation, improvement of the urban environment, the battle for decency, and against social indiscipline.


Minister of Economy and Planning Alejandro Gil Fernández presented a proposed Economic Plan for 2020, which he described as objective and adjusted to our current reality, one that does not renounce growth or taking advantage of untapped potential, to be approved by the Council of Ministers and presented to the National Assembly of People’s Power. Prior to this discussion, the Plan was also analyzed by the Communist Party of Cuba Political Bureau.As he explained, the Plan was developed without specific directives, with the intention of not limiting discussion with workers to figures established “above.

” The drafting process was carried out jointly with the Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC), which allowed for more active, less formal participation in the discussion of this guiding document.Gil Fernández stated that the 2020 Plan supports prioritized programs such as tourism development; housing construction; all foreign investment operations; and the continuity of investment projects that contribute to expanding exports or increasing added value, to the use of renewable energy, and food production, among other decisive economic activities.

As part of this point on the agenda, Minister of Finance and Prices Meisi Bolaños Weiss reported on the estimated performance of this year’s State Budget, which included, as its main challenge, support for increases in salary within the budgeted sector and Social Security pensions, an expense of approximately four billion pesos, which was assumed without affecting the budget deficit.

Regarding the preliminary draft of the 2020 State Budget, she noted that revenues are up, along with sales taxes on goods and services; while a slight recovery in retail circulation is projected. Also expected is an increase in contributions from non-state economic actors.

Expenses will also increase next year, due primarily to higher wages and pensions. Basic services for the population are fully financed, prioritizing education and public health at levels similar to 2019.

At the same time, the policy of granting subsidies for the purchase of construction materials is maintained.Díaz-Canel called for efficiency in all processes; maintenance of conservation measures taken to mitigate the fuel shortage; reducing imports of fertilizers and biological pesticides, producing them in Cuba; increasing all exports, not only traditional lines; and not citing the lack of resources to justify not meeting projections, but to rather seek alternative solutions.


Also announced at the Council of Ministers meeting was a national program against racism and discrimination, conceived “to combat and permanently eliminate the vestiges of racism, racial prejudice, and racial discrimination that remain in Cuba.

”The effort was explained by Deputy Minister of Culture Fernando Rojas Gutiérrez, who pointed out, “As of January 1, 1959, the dismantling of the conditions that generated racial discrimination in the colonial and neo-colonial eras began, and although progress has been huge, solid, and unquestionable, it has been difficult to reverse four centuries of inequality in just 60 years.

Silencing the problem, magnifying it, or addressing it on the basis of exogenous concepts, is no solution,” he added.He highlighted the anti-racist thinking of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, as well as the active role in addressing racial issues of the Cuban Writers and Artists Union and its José Antonio Aponte commission.

The newly-created program will additionally address regionalism and discrimination based on ethnic or national origin, also associated with racism.It is designed, Rojas Gutiérrez explained, as a government program with follow-up included within President Díaz-Canel’s work agenda.

“To coordinate tasks, a government commission will be created, headed by the President of the Republic,” he said.On this issue, the President said, “Everyone recognizes that our Revolution is possibly the social and political process that has contributed most to eliminating racial discrimination, but there are still vestiges, which are not part of our society, as a policy, but within the culture of a group of people.”We are within our rights and have the opportunity to do something coherent, of impact, that helps us solve these problems in our society, and demonstrate, once again, the justice and humanism of the Revolution, he stated.


As customary in these meetings, a broad, varied work agenda was presented, covering other important issues related to the economic and social life of the nation.Among these were 2020 directives and control objectives for the national comptroller’s audit system, addressed by Comptroller General Gladys Bejerano Portela, who explained that priorities are established in accordance with development plans, statistical indicators, national objectives and commitments, basically related to the Economic Plan and the State Budget.

“The central goal of this work is to make every audit an opportunity to teach, train, and prevent.” We must create a climate of order, discipline, and rigor, Bejerano said.

Regarding the inscription in property registers of real estate belonging to state and local entities and People’s Power bodies, Minister of Justice Oscar Silvera Martínez reported that this effort has been well organized, and that respect for the role of the property registry is being consolidated.In 2010, this task, promoted by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, began to gain momentum, and 315,223 state properties were registered through 2018.

Next, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz addressed progress on business with foreign capital and projects that have the potential to be concretized in the remainder of the year and the first half of 2020.

Among the most advanced, he said, 52 have been identified, representing an estimated total investment of six billion dollars, in tourism, the sugar industry, construction, agriculture, food production, industry, energy, and transportation.He reiterated the need to work with a “sense of urgency” in the realization of these projects, making every effort to have an impact on next year’s Economic Plan.For his part, Minister of Higher Education José Ramón Saborido Loidi presented an analysis of projected demand for highly qualified, university trained professionals, noting, “By 2020 the number of graduates in all scientific areas will be higher than in 2019… But this does not mean that needs will be met, since the demand from entities has also increased significantly.

” He recalled that the country’s demographic trends are causing a gradual decrease in pre-university high school enrollment, and therefore, in the number of students taking high education admission exams.In this regard, the President of the Republic advocated for better management of human resources and the skilled workforce.

He advocated using other instructional modalities available, including workshops and short courses.Finally, the Comptroller General reported findings from the comprehensive state audit of the Mayabeque provincial administration, which revealed inadequacies in execution of the state budget; overdue accounts receivable; two alleged criminal acts, one associated with poor supervision of management and accounting in the maintenance and repair of equipment, and another linked to improper payments to a self-employed worker; as well as limited progress on local development projects, among other sensitive deficiencies.

Given these problems, the chief administrator in the province was replaced.Concluding the meeting, President Díaz-Canel informed Council of Ministers members of accomplishments achieved during his recent tour, October 20-30, of Ireland, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Russia.

Additionally, the President reiterated his call to “Think as a nation;” recognized central state administrative bodies for their contribution to Havana’s 500th birthday celebrations; and called for closing the year with dignity, to honor the 61st anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, saying “We have every reason to celebrate, given the difficulties we have faced victoriously.”

(With information from

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