Cuba 'off the cliff' without reforms
Cuban President Raul Castro is warning the communist nation will fall
off the cliff if it doesn't implement economic reforms, including
layoffs of half a million state workers over six months.
The government unveiled guidelines last month for free enterprise
activities in 178 fields, as part of a plan to absorb workers to be laid
off by March 2011 into a larger if still marginal private sector.
Reforms announced earlier will allow Cubans to operate a wide range of
micro businesses – accounting firms, massage parlors, park authorities,
or even open small fruit and vegetable stores.
"To defend and explain the measures, the working class must be
knowledgeable and convinced of its importance for the survival of the
[communist] revolution, otherwise we will go over the cliff," Castro
told a workers' union over the weekend.
Addressing some 200 delegates from the Confederation of Cuban Workers
(CTC) and government officials, the 79-year-old president stressed "the
need to be demanding" with leaders, to "banish the pernicious tendency
of some to hide flaws" and the "urgency to learn from mistakes.""