Speaking on 10 April as First Secretary of the Communist Party, on the occasion of the promulgation of the country’s new constitution, he warned that that the country could face additional economic hardships and that the situation could worsen in coming months.
that faced with the “increasingly threatening tone” of the US and “the turbulent scenario that has taken shape” Cuba’s Government is placing equal importance on “preparing for the country’s defence, and the national economy’s development”.
In order to combat this, he stressed that it would be important for Cubans to redouble efforts to increase national production, especially food, reduce inessential expenditure, and ensure the more efficient use of energy resources, especially gasoline.
“It is not a question of returning to the most difficult times of the Special Period in the 1990s. The current panorama is different, with the diversification of the economy, but we must always prepare for the worst variant”.
Noting that in response, decisions have been taken “to resist and overcome new obstacles imposed by the tightening of the economic and financial blockade, without renouncing development programmes that are underway”, he said.
Cuba’s former President said that a series of measures have been underway for months in order to reinforce the combat capacity and readiness of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the country’s entire defence system, under the strategic conception of the war of all the people.
Reaffirming Cuba’s full support for Venezuela, he said that Cuba would never abandon its solidarity with the country.
“We will not renounce any of our principles and will strongly reject any form of coercion”, he told the Cuban National Assembly, while observing that “the current government of the United States, with its hegemonic ambitions for the region, poses the most urgent threat of the last five decades to the peace, security, and well-being of Latin America and the Caribbean”.
“We have let the US administration know, with the greatest clarity, firmness and serenity, through direct diplomatic channels and in a public manner, that Cuba is not afraid of threats and that our vocation for peace and understanding is accompanied by the unshakeable determination to defend the sovereign right of Cubans to decide the future of our nation, without foreign interference”, he said.
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