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Cubans optimistic despite economic contraction

Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 01:29

Cuban people are optimistic in the face of economic contraction in 2016. Laura Frykberg reports.

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For a country that's had as many crises as Cuba. It's hardly surprising news of another potential one produces such a calm response. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) HOMEMAKER, LANYIN PELAEZ, SAYING: "We're used to things being thrown at us. We can adapt to situations. I don't think this is going to be the worst situation we've been through." Cuba's economy shrank 0.9 percent this year. The last time that happened on record was a quarter of a century ago. When the Soviet Union fell - taking with it much of the island's aid and trade. This time the reason is closer to home. It's key trading partner Venezuela is in economic turmoil. Driven by the drop in oil prices. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MARIEL PORT WORKER, OSNIEL DIAS, SAYING: "Even with Venezuela having problems, we keep working and consolidating the revolution's achievements. If one door closes, many others open'. We've got the European Union which is giving us other opportunities, as well as China and Russia." The government says foreign investment and tourism will help the economy get back on track. All of which has been made easier since relations thawed with the U.S. But with the new Trump administration threatening to undo that deal. The country could be forced to take a different route entirely.

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Cubans optimistic despite economic contraction

Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 01:29