Díaz-Canel Urges Cubans to Grow More Food for Self-Sufficiency

Saturday, May 25, 2024 by Isabella Sanchez

Díaz-Canel Urges Cubans to Grow More Food for Self-Sufficiency
Miguel Díaz-Canel visiting San Luis to 'correct distortions' - Image by © X / Cuban Presidency

Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel visited the San Luis municipality in Santiago de Cuba, delivering one of his strategic reflections to the local residents on the importance of "planting more" to address the current food shortages. This visit is another instance of the "continuity" leader and his extensive entourage traveling to a municipality in the country to offer platitudes, another "public engagement" orchestrated by the Cuban Communist Party's propaganda machinery for its first secretary, and another set of empty slogans to sustain the shattered hopes of a people dominated by the same totalitarian power for over 60 years.

"We are convinced that there is land here to produce the food we need right here in the municipality. And we have the hands, the strength, and the courage," said Díaz-Canel to a group of San Luis residents who applauded his conviction that Cubans will survive the crisis and food shortages caused by his policies.

Government Shifts Responsibility to Local Authorities

Once again, the Palace of the so-called "revolution" repeats its favorite argument in these times: the responsibility for ensuring that Cubans' basic needs are met falls on local governments, not on the leaders who control the centralized and planned communist economy from their air-conditioned offices in the capital. They call this "correcting distortions and reinvigorating the economy."

To this end, the regime's leadership calls for "planting more" because there is plenty of land, but what is lacking are people willing to work it for subsistence. Whose land does Díaz-Canel propose Cubans should plant and cultivate? How should Cubans work the land: as wage laborers or through voluntary work? Should Cubans buy the necessary machinery and fuel, or are they expected to work with their hands, bent over in the furrow? And what about seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides—will the residents have to pay for these? Who will monitor the harvests, where will they be stored, and how will they be distributed? Díaz-Canel leaves these fundamental questions unanswered.

His mission, assigned by the real power-holding elite of the totalitarian regime, is to go wherever he is sent and say whatever he is told, even if only to appear that the government is aware of Cubans' problems, offering solutions and staying true to the "ideals of the revolution," while the new Cuban oligarchy buys time to continue with its plans to sell off national wealth and further consolidate its dominance.

"We also need to ensure that those who sell food do not raise prices indiscriminately. As we have more food, prices must come down. But even in this situation, there are people who set prices much higher than they should be. Yes, and that abuses the people. But we all have to confront this to move forward," added the leader.

Not only must Cubans take to the fields to work to eat, regardless of their willingness, experience, and resources to engage in agriculture, but they must also monitor those who do work in the fields and farmers' markets to ensure their prices are not "abusive."

An imported kilo of powdered milk by a Mipyme can cost more than 2,000 pesos, but the tuber or vegetable that comes from the work and sweat of those who produce it cannot have "abusive prices."

Food Production in Cuba Continues to Plummet

Data shows the stark reality: Food production in Cuba is sinking deeper. Despite 60 years of a failed socialist economic experiment, the leader appointed by General Raúl Castro maintains communism as the cornerstone of a regime that has destroyed the country, caused the greatest socio-economic, energy, and migration crisis in its history, and dismantled Cuban civil society through imposition, repression, and violence.

The result of this state-run and socialist economy today is that "three high-consumption foods processed by the state industry—vegetable oils, elaborated and semi-elaborate rice, and pork—had in 2023 figures less than one-fifth of the levels reached in 2018," as noted by economist Pedro Monreal on social media.

"The industrial volume of high-popular-consumption foods such as nationally processed flour, bread, and salt crackers has plummeted since 2018, and there are no signs of a prompt recovery," the expert pointed out.

Additionally, "four important dairy foods processed by the state industry did not surpass half of the 2018 production volume in 2023, indicating a rapid collapse of the Cuban dairy industry in just five years."

However, the regime's constitution proclaims socialism as the guiding and sole ideology that citizens can practice, taking this discriminatory principle to all extremes: from the state-controlled economy to the call to exercise violence against those who oppose such dictates of a totalitarian and despotic power.

A power that has ruined the country and now seeks to blame "local governments" and expects "the solution" to come from them. A power that parades Díaz-Canel through towns and municipalities, surrounded by a swarm of bodyguards and mobilized supporters who cheer him on while he orders them to "fight" and "plant" if they want to eat and live.

Understanding Díaz-Canel's Call for Increased Food Production

Here are some key questions and answers to help understand the implications of Díaz-Canel's recent statements and their impact on the Cuban populace.

What did Díaz-Canel emphasize during his visit to San Luis?

Díaz-Canel stressed the importance of "planting more" to address the food shortages currently facing the municipality, asserting that there is sufficient land and manpower available.

Who does Díaz-Canel hold responsible for meeting Cubans' basic needs?

Díaz-Canel places the responsibility on local governments rather than the centralized leadership that controls the communist economy.

What challenges do Cubans face in increasing food production?

Cubans face numerous challenges including lack of machinery, fuel, seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. There is also a need for clear answers on how to manage and distribute the harvests.

How has food production in Cuba changed in recent years?

Food production has significantly declined, with major staples like vegetable oils, rice, pork, flour, bread, and dairy products showing drastic drops in production levels compared to 2018.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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