Although Cuba has reported a 1.1% increase of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first six months of 2017, the prospects for the rest of the year are bleak. Here are the problems:
- Possible deepening of Venezuelan crisis and further reduction of its oil exports to Cuba.
- Possible increased cost of oil from Russia, Angola, Algeria and other suppliers in the Caribbean.
- Possible reduction of American travel to the island.
- During the first half of this year Cuba paid $ 2.306 billion on its external debt and still has to catch up on current payments to foreign suppliers.
- Decreased Cuban nickel production and drops in international prices for this commodity.
- Reduced sugar production.
- Elusive foreign investment on the island, and complicated, lengthy Cuban process for approval of same.
- Recent Cuban government measures to control and stifle the country’s private sector.
 Economists: The picture could complicate Cuba even further this second semester, Diario de Cuba (Aug. 19, 2017).