Cuban president says new economic measures benefit the majority

Havana, July 17, 2020-- Cuba's new economic strategy to face today's global crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the tig htening of the U.S. blockade, benefits the majority, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said.

The island's government announced on Thursday a series of decisions including the sale in freely convertible currency of a group of basic products and the elimination of the 10 percent tax on the U.S. dollar, with which it seeks to increase the country's foreign currency income.

At an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers on Thursday, the head of state said that although some measures seem to benefit few, in reality they benefit many, due to the impact on the national economy.

"Everything we are proposing is being done for the common good: to improve in times of crisis," the president said.

Diaz-Canel also referred to the speculations of the last few days regarding some complex measures that, he acknowledged, do not favor all sectors equally; however, they are necessary to overcome the nation's economic problems.

In that sense, he criticized how the enemy with its media system and its mercenaries on duty works to sow despair and discouragement.

"We, in the midst of the current challenges, continue to seek the solution for all.  There is no state in the world that cares that all its inhabitants eat every day," he said.

Likewise, the president criticized the tightening of the U.S. blockade against Cuba, even in the midst of the pandemic.  He pointed out that in order to economically asphyxiate the Caribbean nation, Washington increased financial persecution, cut down on the sending of remittances, and encouraged the application of sanctions against those who have businesses in the country, among other destabilizing actions.

To address this situation, the new economic measures, which will gradually come into effect, also include making imports and exports more flexible, including to non-state-run companies, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning Alejandro Gil on the Mesa Redonda television program.