April 19 (Cubadebate) IF one principle has prevailed in Cuba, in terms of economic and social development, it has been that of constant updating and transformation. Since the triumph of the Revolution to date, and under a blockade that, while recognizing our own inadequacies, has caused material, financial and humanitarian hardships for the Cuban population, and has further limited its agenda of priorities, the island has seen several stages of development, setbacks, and the redefining of new paths, always with an emphasis on safeguarding basic services.
This April 18-19 marked a new stage in the generational continuity of the leadership of the country, the beginning of a historic period that will see new economic, political and social development challenges. Continuity has been a natural process in Cuban society throughout the Revolution. The challenges faced and their solutions have been widely debated by Cubans, providing evidence of popular participation in the political decisions of the nation.
Those offered below are not the only challenges that Cuba will face in the coming period, in which the role of young people will be fundamental, as the historic leader of the Revolution told us so many times. What follows is a brief look at the challenges facing this land of indomitable men and women, rebels and revolutionaries, which summarize the results of the analysis undertaken by the people themselves: workers, campesinos, students, intellectuals… in different spaces.
Cuba has outlined its path forward. Only the Cuban people can decide on their future. But nothing can be achieved without efficiency, discipline, effective control, and the commitment to the future of the homeland of all.
Development and implementation of the third improvement process in education to continue work to raise the quality of education, teacher training, incentives for educators, work-study links, and the digitalization of education. Train competent professionals, committed to the Revolution – according to the needs of the country and each province – who promote critical and creative thinking, on the basis of social transformation.
Shape values in our society – of social justice, responsibility, integrity, anti-imperialism, and internationalism, love of the Homeland, justice, humanism, solidarity, the defense of the rights of all citizens, and challenge all forms of discrimination and violence – with integrated school-family-community work playing a fundamental role.
Continue to improve the public health system and undertake the necessary actions in the third stage of its perfecting, to achieve service quality and satisfaction objectives, improve the health of the population, as well as the efficiency and sustainability of the system, working conditions, and attention to health care personnel.
Continue to guarantee access to culture and sports, promoting artistic appreciation from an early age, the promotion of reading, the enrichment of historical memory, the defense of our identity, and the mass practice of physical and recreational activities.
Design differentiated policies for the specific care of vulnerable groups of the population, in order to avoid social inequalities incompatible with our social system.
Guarantee protection for the older population, through a comprehensive analysis that promotes their quality of life, and economic and social inclusion. Promote actions and mechanisms that encourage fertility.
Strengthen and promote public policies aimed at the comprehensive development of Cuban youth, their achievements, personal and professional fulfillment.
Confront and respond in a differentiated manner to social phenomena such as human trafficking, drug use, and prostitution – with a focus on prevention, training, and care for victims – as these have no place in our society.
Safeguard our national defense and security, guaranteeing the continuity and development of the doctrine of the War of the Entire People. Guarantee the protection and security of citizens, in a climate of safety and internal order; challenging corruption, different forms of crime and enemy activity, as well as other antisocial behaviors.
Ensure the preservation and care of the environment, based on conservation and rational use of natural resources.
Promote the development of science, technology, and innovation, based on the stimulation of scientific research and the application of its results, with an impact on the economic and social progress of the nation.
Develop information and communications technologies, and digitalization, to contribute to active citizen participation.
Guarantee Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, on the basis of higher levels of productivity and efficiency in all sectors of the economy, to generate an increase in wealth that can be fairly distributed, in correspondence with work done.
Advance in the perfecting of the state enterprise system, to develop companies with greater autonomy, effectiveness, and competitiveness.
Increase exports and substitute imports.
Increase and stabilize the supply of goods and services to the population and their quality.
Guarantee the growth and diversification of tourism, which will boost the economy and increase income and earnings, based on the training of human resources, and the quality/price ratio.
Develop industry, prioritizing those sectors that boost the economy or contribute to its structural transformation, including the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, as one of the activities with the greatest export capacity.
Develop agro-industrial production in all its branches, which has an impact on the economy, and increases supplies and the satisfaction of the population, in terms of prices, quality, and stability.
Achieve the recovery and conservation of current housing, as well as the construction of new housing, under the principle that the entire population requires decent conditions in which to live. Increase construction efficiency and develop the construction materials industry.
Consolidate foreign investment in essential sectors of the economy, as an active and fundamental source of development and access to capital, technologies, markets, and managerial experience.
Expand work in the non-state sector, as another employment alternative.
Advance in the implementation of the policy for unification of the dual currency and exchange rate, and guarantee the coherence of monetary, credit, price, exchange and fiscal policies, with the fundamental objective of preserving the monetary function of the national currency.
Transform the energy matrix with greater use of renewable sources and other national energy resources.
Develop and maintain the country’s water distribution infrastructure and the necessary savings culture.
Perfect and guarantee the quality and development of services associated with transportation, both in the state and non-state sectors.
Recover, preserve, modernize, and expand infrastructure in general, as an essential support for development.
Consolidate an agile, effective, and efficient system of public administration, which must include, among other factors, the perfecting of People’s Power bodies and popular participation in all spheres.
Strengthen the internal and external accounting system, as well as popular control.
Guarantee the correct implementation of the state’s social communication policy.
Promote territorial and community development, based on the strengthening of planning and management capacities, the participation of social actors, and alliances between state entities.
Promote the international integration of Cuba in global and regional economic processes. Continue to demand the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade.
Intensify the struggle for the return of the territory illegally occupied by the U.S. Naval Base in the province of Guantánamo.
SOURCES: Conceptualization of the Cuban Economic and Social Model of Socialist Development. National Social and Economic Development Plan through 2030: Vision of the Nation, Axes, and Strategic Sectors. Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and the Revolution for the period 2016-2021.