Castro Calls for More Work, Less Welfare

Cuban president cuts worker subsidies to shore up struggling economy
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2008 4:30 PM CST
Cuba's President Raul Castro delivers a speech during the closing ceremony of the National Assembly in Havana, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Prensa Latina, Ismael Francisco)
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(Newser) – Saying Cuba’s finances “don’t square up,” President Raul Castro called for belt-tightening measures in the wake of three hurricanes and a global recession that have hobbled the communist nation. The state plans to dole out fewer worker subsidies, halve the number of overseas trips, and halt costly programs that reward workers with free vacations. Cuba’s GDP experienced a slower-than-expected growth rate of 4.3% this year.