President Raul Castro is warning Cubans to prepare for tough economic conditions in 2016 despite the warming of relations with the United States.
The news comes despite the island receiving around three and a half million tourists last year, with economic growth recorded as experiencing a four percent growth during 2015, Radio Habana reports.
Castro says low oil prices have damaged the outlook of an economy that depends on billions of dollars of subsidized oil and cash from Venezuela, currently undergoing political and financial turmoil.
According to state media, Castro told the country’s National Assembly on Tuesday to expect two percent growth in gross domestic product next year, half the rate his government reported in 2015.
The president added that falling oil prices lowered the cost of imported goods and hurt the island’s relationship of mutual aid with Venezuela. Cuba has sent thousands of doctors to Venezuela in recent years in exchange for oil and cash payments at highly beneficial rates.