US

Raul Castro presents grim portrait of Cuban reform

  • Delegates attend the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, April 16, 2016. The Communist Party opened their four-day Congress on Saturday, and are expected to decide the course of the island in the midst of an economic crisis and diplomatic thaw with the United States. The party holds its Congress every five years. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)

    Delegates attend the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, April 16, 2016. The Communist Party opened their four-day Congress on Saturday, and are expected to decide the course of the island in the midst of an economic crisis and diplomatic thaw with the United States. The party holds its Congress every five years. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cuba's President Raul Castro carries away a copy of his speech after addressing the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Castro delivered a grim report on the state of the country, saying that the communist bureaucracy had failed to implement most of the hundreds of changes the ruling party launched five years ago to stimulate the stagnant centrally controlled economy. The party holds its four-day long Congress every five years. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)

    Cuba's President Raul Castro carries away a copy of his speech after addressing the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Castro delivered a grim report on the state of the country, saying that the communist bureaucracy had failed to implement most of the hundreds of changes the ruling party launched five years ago to stimulate the stagnant centrally controlled economy. The party holds its four-day long Congress every five years. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cuba's President Raul Castro, sitting center, attends the opening of the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Behind are images of men considered to be the party's founders, from left, Carlos Balino, Julio Antonio Mella and Fidel Castro. Raul Castro delivered a grim report on the state of the country, saying they failed to implement most of the hundreds of changes the ruling party launched five years ago to stimulate the economy. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)

    Cuba's President Raul Castro, sitting center, attends the opening of the 7th Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Behind are images of men considered to be the party's founders, from left, Carlos Balino, Julio Antonio Mella and Fidel Castro. Raul Castro delivered a grim report on the state of the country, saying they failed to implement most of the hundreds of changes the ruling party launched five years ago to stimulate the economy. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Cuban President Raul Castro delivered a grim report on the state of the country on Saturday, saying that the communist bureaucracy had failed to implement most of the hundreds of changes the ruling party launched five years ago to stimulate the stagnant centrally controlled economy.

In a two-hour address to the twice-a-decade meeting of the Cuban Communist Party, Castro praised a new era of detente with the United States and an ensuing boom in tourism. He lamented that his government remained unable to address a series of deeper structural problems that have left millions of Cubans struggling to feed their families.

He said Cuba remained saddled by an overdependence on imports, slow growth, a byzantine double currency system and insufficient agricultural production, among other problems.