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Castro calls for tight finances in Cuba

Castro calls for tight finances in Cuba
From Shasta Darlington
CNN

HOLGUIN, Cuba (CNN) — Sunday was a day of commemoration in Cuba — the
56th anniversary of the start of the Cuban Revolution — but the message
from was not all celebratory.
President Raul Castro tells the Revolution Day crowd, "The land is
there, waiting for our sweat."

President Raul Castro tells the Revolution Day crowd, "The land is
there, waiting for our sweat."

The island nation will face a second round of belt-tightening as a
result of the global financial crunch, Castro said in a speech marking
Revolution Day.

He said that on Tuesday he would hold a meeting of the Council of
Ministries "dedicated to the analysis of the second cost adjustment in
this year's plan, due to the effects of the global economic crisis,
especially on the reduction of revenues from exports and the additional
restrictions on accessing external financing."

The global economic downturn has hit Cuba hard. Revenues from key
exports like nickel are down. The price of imports, like , is up.

Castro said he would also meet with the central committee of the
Communist Party this week to discuss the situation.

Any proposed cuts will affect a Cuban population already feeling the
squeeze.

Public has been reduced as part of austerity measures. The
government has ordered factories and businesses to cut energy
consumption or face sanctions.
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Castro took a few swipes at the U.S. trade that has been in
place since 1962, but made it clear Cubans have only themselves to blame
for shortages.

"The land is there. We Cubans are here. We'll see if we get to work or
not, if we produce or not, if we keep our words or not," he said,
pounding his fist on the podium.
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"It's not just a question of shouting 'fatherland or death, down with
imperialism, the blockade knocks us out' when the land is there, waiting
for our sweat."

Cuba has seen hard times before and has always worked to pull through,
Castro said in front of the 200,000 people packed into the parade
grounds of Holguin, about 500 miles southeast of .

Castro calls for tight finances in Cuba – CNN.com (26 July 2009)
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/07/26/cubal.tough.times/

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