14ymedio, Havana, 22 February 2016 — Several generations of Cubans have lived surrounded by calls for efficiency, sacrifice and productivity. There are so many billboards, posters and slogans demanding that people to do more and better, that we don’t even read them or listen to these demands. They are on the walls, in workplaces, in schools and even in hospitals, but they do not achieve their objective nor make the country into a more productive and prosperous place.
With Raul Castro the slogans have lost some of their ideological baggage they carried during the reign of his brother, and are now filled with demands for quality. Also proliferating are calls for “tightening our belts.” However, the forecasts for economic growth for 2016 stand at 2%, half of what was expected in 2015.
Weak growth is also due, in part, to the falling prices of nickel and sugar, two of the country’s most important exports. But it is mainly due to the low productivity of a country that imports 80% of the food that it consumes.