Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-95-040 Daily Report 1 Mar 1995 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Economists' Association Meeting Continues

Castro Sends `Special Message'

FL0103031295 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 0000 GMT 1 Mar 95 FL0103031295 Havana Radio Rebelde Network Spanish BFN ["Special Message" from President Fidel Castro to Cuban economists, read by Finance and Prices Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez at the closing of the Fourth National Association of Cuban Economists Congress at Havana Convention Center on 28 February; from the "Exclusive" program -- recorded]

[FBIS Translated Text] To the members of the National Association of Cuban Economists [ANEC]: Dear Comrades, with the triumph of the Revolution on 1 January 1959, our people embarked on the road to its true development, which the best sons of the fatherland have aspired to since the previous century and to which contemporary Cubans have committed themselves with dedication and sacrifice. In all these years, undeniably significant accomplishments have been attained in terms of national development, and a highly concrete foundation has been set for the continued struggle toward that goal.

More recently, the abrupt disappearance of the socialist bloc and the subsequent loss of the greater part of the international economic relations we had been cementing for over three decades on fair and worthwhile grounds have forced us to face an extremely difficult, complex economic crisis. To this, add the effect of the restrengthening of the blockade, as cruel for the damage it causes our country as it is useless in its ultimate goal of overpowering the fatherland.

We have been able to resist, thanks to the resolute fighting spirit of our people and their unyielding faith in overcoming the current difficulties on the basis of deeply rooted patriotism and intense support for the revolutionary project of preserving the fatherland, the Revolution, and the accomplishments of our socialism. In the economic sector, we have been able to introduce the necessary changes in our methods and operational mechanisms, always acting with flexibility and realism within the framework of the revolutionary principles we will never relinquish.

It is true that the adversities of these recent years, which are still not behind us, have forced us to postpone the fulfillment of objectives and goals we had set for ourselves. Yet, everything we have done and will do will is aimed at preserving and defending the true interests of our people, interests which were not met in the past and will not be met in the future in a society where the prevailing values are those of the capitalist system.

The Cuban economists, accountants, and other specialists linked to the economy are charged with playing an important role in search for the most accurate, realistic, and principled answers to the current challenges confronted by the economy. You are charged with better utilizing and controlling the resources, with achieving production with efficiency and quality, meeting the valid needs of our population, and allowing us to reach a favorable position in international markets. You are charged with accomplishing a proficient financial discipline contributing to the effectiveness of the economy and sustained development, with the required diversity.

We must keep in mind that the best economic decisions will always be those strengthening national independence and the role of our nation in the concert of nations, the guiding principles of our society, and most importantly, the heroic and decisive struggle against the criminal imperialist blockade.

I am convinced that the ANEC should give special attention to efforts promoting the highest ethical and professional values among our cadres specializing in the economy. The Cuban economists have an important role in the fight for efficiency, which is today the fight for survival and national development. I am convinced that you will be the outstanding protagonists in this struggle, together with the people.

I wish you the greatest of successes in the Fourth ANEC Congress, and I reiterate our conviction that Cuban economists will fulfill the trust we have placed in them. Signed: Revolutionarily, the president of the Councils of State and Ministers, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. [applause]