Cuban Economy Minister Mariano Murillo said during a meeting with economists in Havana on Monday that one of the most important problems now being faced is the catastrophic cash shortage, a problem that requires immediate attention from the authorities. According to the Minister, in the current situation the Republic needs to increase exports as soon as possible and reduce purchases outside the country. Only through effective and radical austerity measures will Cuba be able to overcome the difficult situation that currently exists in the financial sector. Mariano Murillo stressed that Cuban authorities prefer to develop those areas of the country’s economy that can generate revenues in convertible currency. They are primarily telecommunications, civil aviation and, of course, tourism. The economy of Liberty Island is currently experiencing perhaps its most difficult times in recent years. The country’s authorities explain the situation by the trade and economic blockade by the U.S. authorities, the global financial crisis, as well as the huge damage caused by natural disasters in Cuba. In this difficult economic situation, which is currently affecting the country, in 2009 the island authorities were forced to announce a significant reduction of food subsidies for the population and, in addition, the introduction of strict measures to save energy. The country’s government is currently negotiating to postpone debt payments to foreign investors. Nevertheless, according to Cuban leader Raúl Castro, Havana will pay off all its debts to creditors down to the last centavo.