Cuban Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez said the nation had fully recovered from the early 1990s, when austerity measures were adopted to survive a crushing economic crisis caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its withdrawal of aid from the country.
“The result of this great effort is the growth of the GDP to 11.8 percent, which includes the value of the social services provided in our country.”
The economy minister said the growth could be the highest it has been since Castro took control of Cuba, and projects an economic growth rate of 10 percent for 2006.
Rodriguez said the biggest income earners for Cuba this year have been tourism, the nickel mineral, and the exportation of services, especially doctors and other medical workers hired by other countries such as Venezuela to provide free care to poor people.
Cuba’s new methodology for calculating economic growth, adopted in recent years, takes into account the country’s vast social safety net and subsidized services.