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Posted January 31, 2010 by publisher in Business In Cuba

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Agence France-Presse

The Roman Catholic Church warned Sunday that Cuba is on the verge of an economic collapse that can only be prevented if President Raul Castro institutes sweeping economic and social reforms.

“The economic situation in Cuba has turned rather complicated with signs that it is close to free fall,” the Havana Archdiocese said in the latest edition of its “Palabra Nueva” (New Word) magazine.

Castro has responded to the crisis with “Utopian statements and readjustments along the lines of severe expenditure cuts that can lead to socio-economic collapse,” wrote economist-priest Boris Moreno.

Moreno said that there was “no sign at all” of the changes Raul Castro, 78, promised his people after he took over from his ailing, older brother Fidel in 2006.

The economic crisis, made worse by the global economic downturn, fuels “hopelessness” that can “break the fragile social compact,” Moreno wrote.

The Cuban government admitted recently it was having cash flow problems after a disappointing 1.4 percent economic growth last year—well shy of an expected 6.0 percent.

The Castro administration has launched a savings program entailing sharp cuts in social spending and priority investment in currency-generating sectors of the economy.

Palabra Nueva, instead, said the government should promote exports and small- and mid-size businesses, provide a safe environment for foreign investment, institute business reforms, and a single currency, and allow Cubans “to give their opinions without fear of reprisal.”


You can read the full Palabra Nueva issue but it’s in Spanish. Maybe someone would like to translate the key parts and post in the comments? Thanks.

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  1. Follow up post #1 added on February 02, 2010 by John

    Having read through this small article several times, it seems the Church is sticking it’s neck out and directly pointing the finger at Raul. Of course Raul is without authority unless Fidel gives his approval.
    I wonder if there has been any official ‘response’ from Fuedel in his daily mutterings published in Granma?
    The situation must be grave if the Castro’s are under direct criticism from The R.C. Church.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on February 04, 2010 by pipefitter

    Like the RC church are experts in economics? Maybee they shouuld look at what is happening in Greece, Spain and Portugal recently.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on February 05, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    If they had say something pro-Castro them you would be saying that even they approve Castro.
    They simply gave their opinion that by the way is pretty much in line with the reality.
    Everybody knows that the economy in Cuba is close to a collapse. Raul and the minister of economy have openly confirm that the country have no cash.
    Nothing new, as long as I remember the economy in Cuba had been always a chaos since Castro took the reign, only that now they are openly accepting it.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on February 05, 2010 by John

    Wonder where all the wealth vanished to?
    Remember some years ago Fidel systematically confiscated from the Cubam people all valuable antiques, art, jewelry, heirlooms, etc for Centavos on the Peso? Sometime at the beginning of the ‘Special period’ I believe. What became of these items? Perhaps stashed away in the thirty or more private Castro mansions across cuba or sold with the funds sent to Swiss or London Castro bank accounts.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on February 15, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    They like Swiss banks, in the old times Vilma use to take care of that, I do not know who is taking care now.

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