The harsh and brutal measures that, in addition to a blockade lasting 45 years, were adopted by the United States against Cuba are directly aimed at suffocating our development and reducing to a minimum the hard currency resources which are indispensable to meet our people’s needs of food, healthcare and educational services as well as other essentials.

Based on its longstanding experience, with equanimity and the sound unity and high political culture of its people, the Revolution shall immediately respond with the following measures:

  1. The suspension, until further notice, of all sales at the hard currency shops except for food and personal hygiene goods and toiletries. We shall guarantee, foremost, those goods and services that the entire population of the country should receive without any kind of privileges.
  2. The prices of the subsidized products and those rationed sold to every citizen will not be in the least affected.
  3. The ongoing public healthcare programs will proceed unchanged.
  4. The educational programs presently underway, including school meals and snacks, will not only be maintained but continue to be expanded.
  5. As an essential part of our people’s quality of life, culture will continue its current extraordinary development while the formation of a comprehensive general culture shall proceed steadily.
  6. The programs related to the universalization of higher education will be carried forward and extended to every corner of our country.
  7. Unemployment will be maintained at a level of under 2.5% of the economically active population.
  8. The exchange bureaus (known as CADECAS) run by the Central banking system will continue to operate with the usual seriousness and efficiency.
  9. The present exchange rate for the Cuban peso, the convertible peso and the US dollar will remain unchanged.
  10. All funds deposited by our citizens in the banks, either in Cuban pesos, convertible pesos or US dollars as well as their corresponding interests, will be absolutely guaranteed.
  11. The agricultural markets, where the farmers sell their products at free prices, and the state agricultural markets will continue to operate under the same established rules.
  12. As regards to mining, there shall be an increase in the nickel and cobalt production as well as in the search for oil and gas in the more thoroughly studied and promising areas with the use of new drilling techniques to achieve self-reliance.
  13. As for economic investments, the following principle will apply: absolute priority will be given to those that can be more rapidly amortized and that may yield the highest and more immediate profits.
  14. As for agriculture, the priority shall be given to export items and the orderly production of food. There should be an increase in the use of animals to cultivate the land, a reduction in the cost of imported inputs and lower expenses in fuel.
  15. A rational and optimum use should be made of the lands where sugar cane was grown before the restructuring of the sugar industry.

On the other hand, our people and all the production and services enterprises shall make every effort to produce all possible goods and services with quality and saving resources.

If the adopted measures proved to be insufficient to cope with the obstacles, others would be adopted as required based on the idea that the priority should be to meet the basic needs of our population.

The brutality of the measures adopted by the US government will unfortunately bring about an increase in the prices of the goods available in the hard currency shops and in the gas stations even when this will in no way compensate for the extremely high prices of food in the world market and their transportation or for the almost inaccessible cost of oil.

Under any circumstances the country would mobilize the additional resources required to face this aggression reducing our people’s sacrifices to the minimum.

At this moment the political area is of paramount importance. The main task is to continue improving the tactics, the techniques, the methods and the principles of the people’s war, and to continue raising the revolutionary, patriotic and socialist conscience of our invincible people.

There will be days of work and sacrifices, but also of glory and victory for our heroic homeland.

May 10, 2004

4:00 pm