From an economy traditionally based on the production and export of sugar and few other commodity, Cuba has changed to a more modern and less vulnerable service economy where, without scorning traditional commodity, tourism has become the center of development. Within the service sector, the advanced results in the scientific and technology field, in biotechnology, and in the production of medicines and medical .equipment are widely implemented.
Nickel has become the top export commodity. Traditionally it had been sugar, citrus fish, seafood , rum, tobacco and marble, but 21st century Cuba is moving through different paths as a result of the scientific and cultural development of its population.
The banking system was also transformed during these years, in terms of modernization and adjustment to the incentive and regulation functions of the national economy. Other important measures were implemented, such as the establishment of the convertible peso, concentration of international reserves in the Central Bank, for better control over the use of these resources, centralization of foreign exchange income, with the resulting benefit for the country’s financial and commercial management, and the calling in of the dollar.
In 2008, an increasing speculative spiral in the prices of the country’s main imports during the best part of the year, coincided with the catastrophic impact of three heavy hurricanes that in a short period of time practically hit the whole island, bringing about losses and damages calculated in 10 billion dollars, as well as with the outbreak of the worst world economic crisis since de 1930’s, added to the US criminal economic war against Cuba, now almost 50 years old. The unjust blockade imposed on our country has already cost 96 billion dollars, a figure that would increase to 236 billion dollars if calculated under the present price of the American dollar, not to mention the invaluable suffering and sacrifices it has meant for the Cuban people.
The year 2009 meant a difficult challenge as a result of the impact of the world economic crisis and, particularly, a drastic reduction in export income and additional restrictions to foreign financing sources. Thus, necessary adjustment was made on the annual plan’s expenditures.
The main purpose of the Cuban economy is to materialize the revolutionary project of guaranteeing basic food, high quality free medical services, excellent education, decent job and access to all cultural and sport activities to all human beings, so that they may fully develop their physical and spiritual capacities.
More than 50 years after the victory on January 1, 1959, the Revolution can show a highly humane project and soundly march towards |economic and social development.