Cuba's Raúl Castro says the island "has no alternative" but to embrace the economic changes he has proposed, and claimed they are based on brother Fidel's ideas, according to the Granma newspaper.
The Granma report Monday added that some of the changes had been subjected to ``repeated questions'' or ``a broad debate'' during Castro's appearance before 532 top Communist Party officials.
Castro and most of his cabinet met with the party officials over the weekend for a seminar to explain the details of the changes, designed to slash public spending and overcome a bleak economic crisis
The changes, listed in a 32-page document made public last week, are to be debated at the grass-roots level throughout Cuba before they are taken up in April at the party's first national congress since 1997.
Castro told the seminar that Cuba ``has no alternative left'' but to approve the changes, Granma reported before adding a curious sentence: ``He was precise in pointing out later that Fidel's ideas are embodied in each of the proposals.''
Fidel Castro long opposed many of the policies now proposed, such as allowing private-sector economic activity to flourish, before he surrendered power because of ill health in 2006.
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