Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Television and Radio Services in Spanish 0200 GMT 10 Feb 70

[Press conference with Cuban Prime Minister Maj Fidel Castro and panel of
Cuban newsmen on the progress of the 10-million tons sugar harvest as the
scheduled date of 9 February for the third million is reached--live]

[Test] We have reported on the progress of the sugar harvest on earlier
occasions through some occasional press conferences, and at times by means
of a statement. Extensive information has also been provided daily about
the grinding and yield, and it has been appearing in the press. However,
this time, in order to give you a very precise report on the general
harvest situation, we want to bring it to you over television and use some
maps and graphs to help you understand or to help explain the problem.

First I want to begin by explaining the difficulties we have. This does not
mean that anybody should be discouraged because of these difficulties. In
the first place, the harvest difficulties are principally centered in
Oriente, Las Villas, and Camaguey provinces.

In the first of the provinces, that is, Matanzas, Havana, and Pinar del Rio
provinces, the harvest is going perfectly well. In some of the provinces
like Camaguey, the problem is not in the daily grinding. Camaguey has been
achieving satisfactory grinding. In Camaguey the basic problem is centered
in some sugar mills, which we have classified as critical, and in the
comparatively lower yields. I say comparatively because Camaguey yields are
more or less close to the historical yields of the province. But compared
to the Matanzas, Havana, and Pinar del Rio yields, they are not.

In other words, yields are exceeding the historical yield curves of these
provinces and Camaguey Province is not behaving in the same way. In Las
Villas Province yields are pretty good but there are grinding problems and
above all, problems with some critical sugar mills. Most of the
difficulties are centered in Oriente Province. These difficulties are in
connection with the amount of grinding, in the first place, and in a
certain sense, also in connection with the yield.

The harvest is an activity which is unfolding in 152 places in the country.
Abstract figures have a relative value, overall figures have a relative
value, right? In order to evaluate an overall figure we must figure these
figures at each one of the points in which the harvest is taking place.
What do I mean? One day the grinding may be a little lower, but if on that
day the sugar mills that have a surplus of sugarcane and that have problems
grind to the maximum, even though the overall grinding is somewhat lower,
it is not such an important difficulty. There may even be a large grinding,
and we may find that the so-called critical sugar mills have a relatively
low grinding, then, even though the progress of the harvest appears to be
good overall in this province, the difficulties are greater nevertheless.

I want to explain what we call critical mills. Critical mills are those
that may either have a great surplus of cane because of a good climate,
because of a good reaction to fertilizers, because of the cane varieties or
the cultivation. A surplus of cane is thus available at a certain mill. And
this mill does not have an industrial problem.

The problem of the mill then is that it simply has a large quantity of cane
to grind within a long period of time. From this viewpoint, all sugar mills
in Havana Province could be called critical because the 16 mills have a
great cane surplus. Of course, this was due to a measure that was adopted
in Matanzas and Havana provinces and which consisted of planting increments
that would be a kind of reserve for the 10-million ton harvest to foresee
any problem that might show up in any other province. These problems may
run from some deficiency due to the nonfulfillment of a plan, or a
hurricane, or the like.

The policy was to create reserves, above all in these two provinces where,
when the plan was made, it appeared that there was no water, that there was
no soil, and water appeared and soil appeared, and above all, the machinery
appeared. And thanks to the notably high yield, we were able to count on a
sufficient quantity in these two provinces to produce half a million tons
over the plan.

However, similar to the other provinces, in spite of the planting effort
made, as in Camaguey Province, some climate problems--excessive rain last
year--affected the spring planting and that was some loss in cane and
consequently the province had less cane than it should have had.

And Oriente Province also fell below the amount of cane it should have had.
However, these deficits are offset perfectly by cane surpluses in Havana,
Matanzas, and Las Villas Provinces. Therefore some mills have been grinding
since October in Havana Province. They will continue until June. In other
words, sugar mills are having an 8-month harvest to mill all that cane.
From this viewpoint, they are critical mills even though they do not have
industrial problems. But they must not fail in their daily grinding in
order to grind all their cane.

Now, there are mills that have a surplus of cane and they also have
industrial problems. They are really critical mills because the mills that
are operating well can be worked to the maximum and time can be gained and
the problems resolved. However, the mills with a surplus of cane and
industrial problems are certainly a more complicated problem.

We are therefore reserving the name of critical mills for those mills which
have a lot of cane and also have industrial problems, or those mills which
have a lot of cane and have no industrial problems but are located in areas
where the harvest is difficult under springtime conditions.

We must bear in mind that the climate is not exactly the same throughout
the island, that there are mills where the yield curve begins to drop in
May and there are mills where the sugar yield curves reaches its maximum
precisely in May. There are mills where yields are above 13 [percent] in
June. On the other hand, there are mills where the yields drop to 8
[percent] depending on the area where they are located. Generally mills in
the southern area of the nation--the Manzanillo mill, the Panama mill,
mills south of Camaguey, mills in southern Las Villas Province--are mills
where the rain generally begins one month earlier than in north coast

Now then, on the north coast there are mills with well-drained lands and
there are mills which lack such a good drainage. Therefore, even in the
north coast with the rains coming later, there are some problems with the
sugar harvest.

Let us specify the problem of Oriente Province, in the first place because
it is the most complicated problem. We could see that Oriente Province was
achieving grindings of 9 million and occasionally 10 million [arrobas], and
this being the case, it was essential that it achieve a greater grinding in
order to accomplish its harvest properly.

Many persons asked what the problem was--whether the problem lay in the
work force, or industrial problems, or organization, and if Oriente's
yields did not go along according to plans, why was this so? If there was a
good cutting program, if fresh cane was being cut, if the harvest was well
organized or not [were the questions].

In order to pinpoint Oriente Province's problems at the site, we went to
Oriente Province and spent nearly 2 weeks in that province. In December we
had already been there looking into the problems, the sethacks in the
[sugar] industry, and we took a number of steps to expedite the completion
of industrial investment projects [repair, overhaul, and expansion].

On that occasion we were able to specify with complete objectivity the
fundamental problem of Oriente Province. The problem has not lain thus far
in the work force, nor in the harvest organization, nor in the problem of
fresh cane or stale cane taken to the mills, in short the problem has not
yet been with any of these factors.

As to the workers' morale, it has been splendid in Oriente Province. This
has been the result of the work of the cadres and the leaders in that
province. It has been very good. The cane is being ground according to a
schedule and fresh cane is being ground, but the No one problem in Oriente
Province is the problem of industrial investments. This is something which
can be specified very clearly. To understand it, we must say that large
investments were made in Oriente Province, which as 39 mills. These
investments are listed here. At one of them, the Jesus Menendez sugar mill,
is the installation of an additional mill in tandem B, modifications of the
conveyor, lifts, and a tilting platform for tandem B; installation of a
26,000-foot (quadruple); installation of 10 cane sirup heaters;
installation of two cane juice pump-heaters. In short, a complete series of

In the Peru mill, the installation of a new tandem with a maximum capacity
of 700,000 arrobas; installation of (quadruple) of 32,000 caloric surface;
installation of two (vapor gol), installation of two (Bernai) filters for
muds. Several of these investments doubled and sometimes tripled the sugar
mill's capacity, of the tandem, of the grinders, of such equipment as the
boilers. Several large investments were made in 20 mills.

These investments were to be ready for the 1970 harvest, but the truth is
that when the harvest started the investments were not completed. At the
beginning of December, we were able to determine that there were delays in
these investments, and steps were taken to increase the pace of the
investments. It was agreed to move the communist brigade that is building
the Cienfuegos nitrogen factory to Oriente Province in order to increase
the pace of industrial investments. In that instance we felt that some of
the mills were slowing up. Some measures were taken, such as laying a
railroad track about 30 or 40 kilometers long in order to move cane to
mills that had already completed the harvest. Nevertheless, the situation
continued to worsen during the next 2 months--December and January--and the
investments continued to fall behind schedule.

The situation is as follows. In those 20 mills the capacity would be
11,675,000 arrobas daily after the investments were complete; 11,675,000
daily arrobas in 20 mills when the investments were completed and in full
operation. Theoretically, they were not completed during the month of
January. These mills had a capacity of 9,222,000 arrobas daily. I repeat,
theoretically, because when most of the new equipment is put into
operation, such as grinders and tandems, unavoidable adjustments have to be
made in all investments which cause stops, breakage, and many other
problems. This happened last year at the Panama sugar mill, where the
investments caused many inconveniences, but this year that mill, perfectly
adjusted, is grinding 900,000 arrobas without problems.

All investments in Oriente were to be completed during this period, and
nearly every mill has had problems when starting to operate the new
investments. Of the 20 mills, two have had no problems, the Lopez Pena with
a capacity of 340,000 arrobas and the Emilio Diaz with a capacity of
200,000 arrobas. Two others had not started grinding, like the Ranulfo
Leiva, which was to start during these past days and in fact has now
started, and the Arquimides Colina, which for all intents has not started
the harvest. The remaining 16 that have been milling since the beginning of
the harvest are the Loynaz Echevarria, Crispino Naranjo, Jesus Menendez,
Antonio Guiteras, Juan Manuel Marquez, Peru, Antonio Maceo, Argelia Libre,
Julio Antonio Mella, Dos Rios, Urbano Noris, La Demajagua, Bartolome Maso,
Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Fernando de Dios. Theoretically, these 16 mills
have a capacity of 8,218,000 arrobas at the present time. They have really
ground at 61.56 percent of their capacity. Now, next to these 16 mills with
industrial investments and problems we can point out 14 mills without
investments that also have been grinding during that time; they are the
Costa Rica, Los Reinaldos, Rafael Freyre, Nemesio Figueredo, Caccacedo,
Castro Ceruto, Robert Ramirez, America Libre, Paquito Rosales, Chile,
Rafael Reyes, Salvador Rosales, Argeo Martinez and El Salvador. These mills
have a capacity of 3,313,000 arrobas. These mills have ground at 74.07
percent of their capacity.

So while the mills with investments have ground at 61.56 percent until 1
February, the mills without investments have ground at 74.07 percent. Now,
then, if these mills with a present capacity of 8,218,000 arrobas would
have ground at 74.7 percent rate, they would have ground one more million
arrobas per day. But, if these 20 mills in Oriente, these 20 mills with
investments would have started the 1970 harvest with a 11,675,000 arrobas
rate, which was the capacity at which they should have been grinding during
the harvest, milling at 74.7 percent rate just like the mills that have no
investments, they would have ground 2,846,000 more arrobas per day, that
is, about three more million arrobas. So primarily the problem in Oriente
is that mills that should have had a capacity of 11,675,000 arrobas,
presently have a capacity of only 9,222,000.

Of the 20 mills, 16, the most important ones, which should have a capacity
of 10,673,000 arrobas, really have a capacity of 8,218,000. The true
difference between the province's required capacity at the beginning of the
harvest--11,675,000--and the true capacity that has existed, plus the
difficulties in starting to operate the investments, the milling difference
is 2,846,000 daily arrobas.

What is causing these delays? We must remember that some elements are alien
to the wishes of the nation, some equipment arrived with some delay. There
has been a great effort. Besides, these investments are complex, and in
reality these difficulties and complexities have been proven.

To these [problems] we have to add that some of these mills were greatly
expanded and the technical force to operate these mills did not grow along
with the increased investments. This is the situation at the present time.
This is the picture, it might look disappointing but it is not so. Some of
these mills at least started to grind a bit better, among them the Antonio
Guiteras, which is the number one critical point in Oriente and nationally.
During the last few weeks it has ground more efficiently. The Urbano Noris
has ground more efficiently. So we expect, we have basic reasons to expect
that these 20 mills will attain the 11,675 daily arrobas rate. Some of them
will attain that capacity in March, others in April, and some in May, among
them the Peru, the Juan Manuel Marquez, which should attain 640,000 and
should attain 950,000, which will be sometime in May. We suppose this would
be for the 1970 harvest, not for the 1971 harvest. In conclusion, we can
say that the 1970 investments, instead of representing an aid to the 1970
harvest, have turned out to be a hindrance to the 1970 harvest. They are
going to play a very important role in the 1971 harvest, but the nation's
commitment starts in 1970.

In such provinces as Matanzas and Havana, where there were no investments
made, the harvest is developing perfectly and is going to surpass the
initial goal by half a million tons of sugar. This is a good example, but
of course in 1971 they will have the same capacity as this year. Yet in
those places where there were investments, next year the capacities will be
considerably increased. We are struggling hard to finish all of these
investments and we are going forward. Of course this has affected the
grinding of some of the mills and some of them have been set back notably.

We said that we are going to explain the problems first and then how to
solve them. We have the basic problems. If you will allow me I will use
some of these maps.

We have problem No one here, at the Antonio Guiteras sugar mill. We might
say that Oriente's problems are centered in two areas, in this regional
division of Puerto Padre, which has three sugar mills--the Jesus Menendez,
Antonio Guiteras, and Cristino Naranjo, and Antonio Maceo. There are other
mills which have surplus can such as the...[leaves thought incomplete] That
mill is not here, this is in the Santa Lucia area, it is the Rafael Freyre
mill. Here is the Frank Pais mill. Here are the 20 mills with investments.

Problem No one is centered in the Antonio Guiteras mill. This Mill [Castro
shuffles through papers] at the beginning of the harvest had 231,755,000
arrobas of cane to grind. On 1 February it had 190 million arrobas to mill.
The Argelia Libre sugar mill had 152 million arrobas to grind. On 1
February it had 120 million to mill. The Jesus Menendez mill had 119
million arrobas to grind. On 1 February it had 90 million to grind. Total
still to be ground on 1 February in this region: 400 million arrobas, which
is approximately half the Matanzas harvest and very nearly half the Havana

This is critical area No one. The three mills have had substantial
expansion work. The Argelia Libre should have attained a daily [grinding]
capacity of 935,000 arrobas. Lately it has been attaining 600,000,
sometimes 700,000. It has a number of problems. Later we will explain what
action we have taken in each one of these mills.

The Antonio Guiteras has been working with a tandem and the new tandem is
now beginning to be tried out; it is in operation and it is producing, and
apparently the mill will grind a substantial part of its cane although
always with some foreseeable difficulties. I say a substantial part because
the rest of the cane will also be ground even though not there.

The Jesus Menendez had boiler problems and of the three mills it seems that
it will be one which will most easily achieve maximum capacity. In this
area we have the Urbano Noris. The Urbano Noris is also acquiring its
capacity and cannot end its harvest season relatively early. I forgot to
point out that the harvest completion date for the Antonio Guiteras sugar
mill is 1 September if it grinds the cane it had on 1 February.

The Argelia Libre mill would conclude grinding on 9 July and the Jesus
Menendez would complete its season on 1 July. The Urbano Noris would
complete grinding on 8 June. The Cristino Naranjo, which is another one of
the mills with problems, would conclude grinding on 29 May, and the Antonio
Maceo would finish on 1 July.

In addition to these two mills, we have, as we were saying, the Rafael
Freyre, which had 74 million arrobas to mill and on 1 February had 46
million arrobas to grind. This mill is working perfectly well and will
finish on 23 July.

The Frank Pais mill with some 60 million arrobas to grind and with some 45
million to grind on 1 February 2ill finish approximately on 23 July. I
point out the date of completion because this is an important factor. We
have to know which mills can finish in June or July and which mills cannot
finish by that date. In other words, they cannot be permitted to finish by
that date.

This is the essential problem in Oriente in terms of industrial
investments. There is another problem in Oriente Province: Yields are far
from approximating the goals set forth for the province. We can say two
things about this problem. You will all understand this a little better
then. In our judgment the yield goals Oriente Province set for itself were
too ambitious. For example, they thought they would achieve yields of 13.56
[percent] by the first 10 days in February. Actual yield attained was 11.56
(percent) after taking a number of steps. In other words, we have the
actuality that the goal they established, the goal which appears in the
newspapers, is high; it is too ambitious.

Of course, they had placed too much hope in the results from new cane
varieties. This is correct. There are varieties which mature much more
rapidly. They were more or less basing their goal on the historical yield
curve for the province and on the new varieties. But the new varieties are
not exactly the same in all the sugar mill fields because a lot of cane was
planted during the caneplanting projects. This was precisely in the fields
of the mill where expansion work was done. This explains why the mills with
the investments have the most cane. The caneplanting project was
implemented in terms of hypothetical capacities the mills were to acquire.

There was no expansion work in some mills and some of them have more or
less quantities of cane. These in the Guantananmo area, owing to the
climate, have less. There is under-utilized capacity in the Guantanamo area
and this under- utilized capacity cannot be used until the Guantanamo
region irrigation projects have been completely developed. Meanwhile, land
surface is limited and possibilities for increases are also limited.

There are mills with a little more cane. They need a long harvest such as
the Breyre and Frank Pais mills. Others have a little less cane and
under-utilized capacity because of the climate, and in some cases, as in
the Manzanillo area, have a cane shortage due to failures in the
fulfillment of the plan. In part, the failures are due to the fact that the
Manzanillo area is low-lying with early rains and they suffered substantial
losses to the cane that they planted in springtime. Hence,the Manzanillo
area has a cane shortage and the mills do not have long harvests here.

I was saying that Oriente Province's plan was too ambitious in terms of
sugar yield from the cane. There are some mills, for example, the Rafael
Freyre, and I am going to point out the historical curve and the yields
which it has been obtaining. Let us see, [Castro hunts through wall charts]
the Rafael Freyre, [Castro continues to hunt through charts]-635 that is
code 635, [hunt for right chart continues] 639, if someone could help me
here I would appreciate it very much. [hunt for chart continues] We need a
helper. This is to make the thing easier. [hunt for chart is still on]

Here is this mill. What does this chart tell us? This graph shows what we
call the historical yield curve. It shows the behavior of this mill's
yields between 1962 and 1967. It also coincides with any graph made during
any previous period. This data is contained in a little book which, in our
judgment, is of very great importance. It contains the yield curves for
every sugar mill. Here we have an example. The Rafael Freyre sugar mill's
historical yield in the last 10 days of January is something over 9.5, and
in the beginning of February this mill achieved a yield lower than 9, lower
than 10, that is, nearly 9.7. In other words, at this moment, according to
the historical curve, the Rafael Freyre, [leaves thought incomplete]. Above
all, if we take into account that it has rained abundantly, it should have
a yield that is less than 10. However, the Rafael Freyre sugar mill has, on
8 February, for example, a yield of 11.7 [percent].

This is the case of a mill that is approximately two arrobas above the
historical yield curve. This is due to the fact that this ill has a great
quantity of early ripening cane, and in spite of the weather, which has not
been favorable at the beginning of the year for ripening cane, this mill is
two arrobas above [the curve]. It is possible that the comrades [word
indistinct] thought that something as odd as this would occur in all mills.
This phenomenon did not occur in this manner at the Rafael Freyre mill,
because not all of them have the same stub structure, not all have the same
topography. This mill is in a hilly area. For example if it rains heavy in
the Manzanillo area, the sugar mills... the cane does not react in the same
manner in this area. Here it delays the ripening because it is a flat area
which holds humidity longer. Heavy rains at the beginning of the year would
affect the Manzillo area mills differently than it would the mills located
in hilly areas on the north coast.

So in my opinion, at the present time there are not [enough] different
varieties of cane and stub structures in the province to expect such a high
yield in the first 10 days of February.

There are varieties of cane in Cuba today with a yield of 13 in the month
of December. These are new varieties that are being developed. We have no
doubt that in time we will attain that yield [even] with adverse weather
conditions. There are some varieties that are extremely premature in
ripening, but at the present time these types of cane are not widespread.
Some of the new varieties are incapable of attaining such a yield at such
an early date when the weather could be bad.

If the year would have started dry--during January--and not as it has been,
constant rains in the past 10 days, the yield at this time would be higher.
But we cannot say that the Oriente yields are under the historic curve at
this time, they are more or less at the same level. Some mills are very
much above the historic curve, some a little below, others a little lower,
and the greater number at the historic curve level. Nevertheless, in my
opinion, the Oriente yields will rise quickly in the coming days.

There has been another problem. Some of these mills that had great
quantities of cane, which were supposed to have been operating since
November had the industrial problem, that we have pointed out. Some of them
had remaining sprouts, which are problems from the previous harvest, and
some of these sprouts under certain weather conditions have new sprouts,
which could affect the yield, so a better time for cutting has to be
awaited. They had great quantities of remaining sprouts in this area.

Something else, the country had to produce certain quantities of sugar
before 31 December in order to complete certain commitments. Each province
had to produce certain quantities to ship through the respective ports.
When Oriente Province encountered serious problems with the mills where the
investments had been made and where the greatest quantities of cane
existed, they had the need to, and in fact were instructed to start some
mills that did not have the same problem as those having excess cane, but
that did have conditions for industrial production. Consequently, some
sugar mills in Manzanillo began to grind earlier than what may be
considered the optimum period for the harvest.

To this is added the circumstance of the rains early in the year. How did
this factor influence things? This year, the average rainfall was 60.4
millimeters, that is 60 percent more rain this month. And the problem is
not this, but the fact that in some areas much more rain than that fell.

Let us say that it rained more, much more, than it usually does in that
period, 20 to 25 millimeters in January. And in the Gran Piedra zone, the
river flow meters registered 206 millimeters of water. This means, well,
something occurred which had not occurred in anyone's memory. The Cauto
River swelled in the month of January. It was a new phenomenon. Even the
temporary bridge between Tunas and Bayamo was swept away, though it had not
been swept away in the spring.

A tremendous rain fell; there were tremendous floods--a very strong rise.
But some other centrals lying in the Gran Piedra zone--for instance we have
here the Paquito Rosales, Salvador Rosales, and some of these centrals that
begin to have high yields in January, will simply have the ripening of cane
delayed. This happened in this zone, in the Guantanamo zone, and also in
the Manzanillo zone, and, to some degree, in the Argelia Libre zone.

Thus, these unseasonable rains had some effect--retarding the ripening of
the cane in some centrals. Here, studying these charts, we can ascertain a
very precise relation between rain and yield--even in many centrals in
which this phenomenon appears.

There is a greater yield in the second half of January than on 1
February--when the yield is greater, for example, on 20 January than on 1
February. According to the traditional rainfall levels in each of these
places, there are some that drop in February and rise again.

We also have here the chart for rainfall. As the heaviest rains fall, it
[sugar yield] begins to drop off. And yet some begin to rise again in June
after the May and June rains pass. In Oriente the January rains influenced
the problem of the ripening of cane in some regions. To this must be added
the circumstance of those centrals which stop work frequently, creating the
problem of an accumulation of cane.

While Guiteras is milling 800,000 arrobas, there are 1.6 million arrobas on
the ground. When the central halts for any reason for 15 or 24 hours, the
1.8 million arrobas on the ground are held up 24 to 48 hours--it is
virtually impossible to get it out to some other point.

In this province, the problem arose. I had told the comrades it was
preferable for the central to crease milling because it lacked cane rather
than for cane to be accumulated. Transportation would have to be arranged.
That could affect the milling of other mills that were also working.

In other words, I told them that they should maintain a minimum of cane in
the cases of Urbano Noris and other centrals facing industrial problems,
and that it was preferable that it milled well for 4 days; then the
canecutting had to be stepped up rather than face the inconvenience of
having two norms, or two and a half norms of cane, and the central's being
forced to halt with big accumulations of cane on the ground.

This likewise has been affecting the yields. Thus, in Oriente we have
centrals with a surplus of cane and industrial problems--centrals with an
excess of cane without industrial problems, centrals normal quantities of
cane, and centrals with a shortage of cane. There are centrals that are
behind, some that are on schedule, and, a curious thing, there are centrals
that are ahead.

Some centrals are ahead because it was decided to mill a little ahead of
time, or even before what was necessary--for when some centrals failed to
produce their quota of sugar it had to be done elsewhere instead of in the
big centrals where investments were made.

Thus, some centrals were ahead. This explains the reason for some centrals'
being idled in almost all provinces--for different reasons, but the fact is
we are learning more about the factors that can cause the halting of a
central. In a word, those are the problems of Oriente. Before talking about
the solutions for Oriente it is better for us to go over the problems of
the other provinces.

Camaguey. It also has large industrial investments. Last year these were
made in the Panama central, which gave a lot of headaches. This one is
operating perfectly and conducting a good harvest. It is now a stronghold,
a real colossus, this Panama. Very large investments were made in the
Venezuela, which is now beginning to go into operation little by little.

Fortunately, it appears that the Venezuela, which will reach a capacity of
more than 1 million arrobas, will operate well. But it is now, in this
month, when new investments are being made. And at least until March it
will not reach full capacity.

Investments, very large ones, were made in the Uruguay, which will take
longer to go into production. There is a completely new conveyor belt that
will begin to be tested in February. It will have a bigger capacity in
March, and then by April it will be up to full capacity. In all of these
areas there were also planting plans carried out and a lot of cane was
planted according to the investments plans.

This is why there have been investment problems--in areas where there is
the biggest surplus of cane. We have figures on the cane existing there.

In Camaguey, the Venezuela central had, on 1 February, 136.9 million
arrobas. Date for ending the harvest: 23 June. A theoretic date based on
the supposition that the investments were working perfectly well.

The Uruguay, 128.5 million. In April this will reach a capacity of 928,000
arrobas daily. Ending date, 23 June.

Another central that has a lot of cane, Ciro Redondo--128.5 million were on
hand on 1 February. Ending date, 29 June. The characteristics of this
central are different from those of the Urbano Norris, the Guiteras, and
the rest because this central, if it functioned well, could mill some
900,000 arrobas a day. But this central has been limited since the harvest
began, it has had limited capacity, deliberately, because of a problem of
yield. This is a problem of another kind. The central began with a low
yield--in November, 5 to 6 percent yield. It was reduced to half of its
capacity and it is milling part of its cane and part of the cane of the
Uruguay. It will be reduced up to 1 March, although it has enough cane and
would end in 29 June--We shall see whether it ends on 29 June or before.
This central has no industrial problems, but it has problems of yield of
sugar. This is due also to the historic curve.

In Camaguey, too, the rains were--to explain how the rains behaved in these
three provinces--was that in January the rainfall was above the historic
average: in Oriente by about 60 percent; in Camaguey by 140 percent. From
the average of 23 there fell 5.8 millimeters. Camaguey is a region which
has many low areas, where the humidity stays [high] for some time. In Las
Villas some 90 percent more than the historic average fell. Yet in Matanzas
there is only 10 percent above the average; in Havana, 20 percent; in Pinar
Del Rio some 70 percent. But Pinar Del Rio has its north and central areas
in rolling land, with good drainage.

Therefore in Camaguey the rains had an unquestionable influence on the
ripening of the cane. Camaguey is not below, it is not far, let us say,
from its historic yield, but it is not notably above as the provinces of
the west are, but its yield is comparatively low. In our opinion, the rains
had a great influence on this circumstance. But this central has been
limited since the harvest began and until 1 March Ciro Redondo sugar mill
will not be allowed to operate to its full capacity. We have the central
Brazil, which is a central which had a total cane to be milled of 116.6
million by 1 February, a central which mills from 900,000 to 1 million,
which was million relatively well, but also had problems of yield. It had
enough cane and also yield problems. And it ended in June. Ecuador ended on
19 May. It was no special problem, but it also had a low yield. Sierra
Cubita also had a low yield, it terminated on 6 June.

The problems of Camaguey so far do not derive from industry, except for the
conduct of the colossus, Uruguay, with cane lacking. The problem of
Camaguey arise from the comparatively low yields it has maintained so far
and which, evidently, are basically due to the problem of heavy rains which
fell in the month of January, which delayed ripening. They have been having
good millings. They have been milling fresh cane--well-cut cane--according
to program. There may always have been a case [words indistinct] which is
delayed, but generally they are milling fresh cane. These are the problems
of the Province of Camaguey. Critical points; Uruguay, Venezuela, Ciro
Redondo. On a lesser scale, Brazil and Sierra Cubita.

Then comes the province of Las Villas. This is a province which has a large
number of centrals. It is not so easy to understand the Province of Las
Villas as the Province of Oriente, because it has 47 centrals. This makes
study of this province a little more complicated. We can divide it into
regions: the region of Calibarien, the Cienfuegos region, the Sagua region,
and the Santa Clara region. How are these centrals acting? They are acting
in accordance with the yield curve influenced by the climate. It rained
more. So with these centrals--whose yields curve begins behind other
centrals, that is to say, those centrals which reach their maximum yield in
April and sometimes in May--they begin to ripen cane labor. If the year is
dry, they begin a little earlier. If the rains are heavy, they begin a
little later. Here we do not have any excess of cane. There is enough cane,
but normal, you might say. The yield is not high.

Region of Santa Clara to the east. This region there. [referring to map]
The same thing happens. The yield curves goes up in April and May. Some of
them also have less cane and the processing of the cane is delayed.

Cienfuegos region: This has a great deal of cane. It has a good climate, a
good rainfall, good land, new varieties. Here there is a great deal of
cane. Yield: Despite the rains, above the yield curve, the historic curve.
This is the situation. Some of these centrals, like the Caracas, the
Balboa, the Efrain Alfonso, Maltiempo, Caraballo--all of these centrals
went beyond 12 a long time ago, with a gross yield since the beginning of
January well above the historic curve. Nevertheless, they are slightly
below, which is well explained by the peculiar characteristics of this

Many of the centrals of Las Villas with a very good yield, some others with
excess cane, as we have here in the Quintin Banderas with excess cane, with
only 10 million. Excess cane--Panchito Gomez Toro with a surplus of 5
million. In any case, the No one problem of Las Villas is the central named
Antonio Sanchez. Located near the Zapata swamp, the former Covadongo. In
this central the harvest ends on the 23rd--the harvest ends at this central
on 26 July. [as heard] This is one of the centrals whose yield curve in may
falls sharply so that of the million milled in this period, 50 percent of
the sugar is lost. This is problem No one. And there are about 10 No 2
problems. Here we have 10 October which ends, if I am not mistaken, on 19
July. Guillermo Montas also ends in mid-July--the 14 July ends a little
later than 14 July.

Finally, if you want more detail on this, I can give you this data after I
finish discussing each of these [reports] on what we call critical sugar
mills: Mal Tiempo, 3 July; Guillermo Moncada, 19 July; Antonio Sanchez, 26
July; Espartaco, 23 July; 14 July, 19 July; Elpidio Gomez, 7 July; Ramon
Balboa, 14 July; Quintin Bandera, 1 July; Guillermo Moncada, 19 July.

Each of those has its characteristics in soil. The situation of Las Villas,
a critical situation in all of the area of Cienfuegos, where the yield
curve furthermore falls rapidly--in all of these centrals, except the
Guillermo Moncada--here we have an excess of cane and a problem.

I offered to present the problems and then the solutions. It is my
impression that all of these problems will be solved very well. There are

In Matanzas we have no problems of any kind. The 6 August central is a
little behind; the [words indistinct] which ends 19 June; the Cuba Libre
which ends on 15 Juen, and (Sabana) Grande which ends on 15 June, are the
three which are ahead. Some few, like the Victoria de Yaguajay and Jaime
Lopez, which end in April, and the Granma, which ends early in May.
[sentence not completed] In Mantanzas the yields are notably above the
historic curve in many centrals, some two arrobas above the historic curve.
Of the many sugar mills, some are at the historic curve, and only one
below. In Havana it is the same. The centrals are generally above the
historic curve. (?We shall see) how they react to the rains which have
fallen in the province. Here we have an idea of how it has rained in Havana
since 2 February. [referring to chart] Throughout the country on 3
February, it looks like the month of June. On 4 February in the west--west
includes the (?eastern) Havana region. On 5 February, 6 February, 7
February and 8 February, seven consecutive days in the month of February,
that is by far above average, it rained a lot in this region. However, we
do not believe there will be any more obstacles for the harvest. The amount
of sugarcane ground has been kept at close to 80, close to 90 percent of
the standards of the harvest without any problems, which proves that the
sugar mills are doing well. The rain may reduce production by 20 or 25
percent, but it will not stop the harvest. It has rained very hard here in
these days; it is possible that in the coming weeks it may stop the
increase of yields, but these will go up quickly. That is going to happen

In Pinar del Rio yields are notably above (?average), so therefore, that is
no problem here. Yield is good in a number of mills in Las Villas, and the
situation however, is not the same in Camaguey and it does not apply to
Oriente Province. To solve that problem they should hurry up a little in
the Cuba Libre mill, a little in the Esteban Hernandez mill, and a little
at the 6 de Agosto, but they have no problems to finish their harvests.
They will be able to finish in good shape with a very good yield.

The same thing will happen in Las Villas Province. In Las Villas Province
they have at at this time the Jose Marti, historic curve of Jose Marti, and
they take me here. But these technicians--Pinar del Rio and to the end--let
us leave them [word indistinct]. We will not be needing a lot of action
here. But in Pinar del Rio, according to the historic curve, Jose Mari
should have by now approximately 10 percent yield and at this time it has
12.23 percent. The new cane--in addition to the climate, the rains have
fallen to the north instead of to the south and [word indistinct].

How are the yields nationally doing in this moment in regard to the
historic curve? There are some 80 mills more or less within the historic
curve; from 30 to 40 mills notably above the historic curve; and the four
or five mills notably below the historic curve and for reasons perfectly
understandable. This means that the cane, in spite of the rains, has a
great sugar yield potential; it is good cane, strong, much of it is new
varieties. And we can state that the best cane in Oriente and Camaguey has
not been cut yet and is beginning to be cut now.

Therefore, we have a dual problem: take care of the sugar grinding problem
and the yield problem. In our opinion the yield problem now occupies first
place, because if we minimize the importance of yields nad do all we can to
grind this cane, we are running the risk of fighting a battle lost
beforehand. That is, we must get involved in a battle keeping in mind all
security from the beginning to end to insure success. If we forget yields,
then we are willing to cut all the cane we have, which could yield more
than 10 million and, however, by 30,000 or 40,000 tons below the 10
million. And we have said: Not a pound less than 10 million. That is the
problem, and we must repeat it and rectify it and it would be an incredible
shame for us to finish below the 10 million.

We have pinpointed the problems; I wanted to explain them in general terms,
and some of the complex ones require adequate solutions. So we must defend
yields at all costs, including the sugarcane grind at this time. That
explains why some mills have come to a half. The first ones to stop
operations were all from here in Havana Province. We discussed it with the
comrades; we analyzed the convenience of stopping these two mills; the
Manual Fajardo and the Noreiga, which as of that date were below nine. This
is not a strange phenomena. Their yield is slightly above their historical
curve, which right now is less than 10.

Those mills do not have cane of the early ripening variety being planted
now, because those mills do not have much of a chance in the plans. They
have spring cane which simply stopped the operation of those mills to renew
the grind on 16 February. The province was requested to maintain 3.8, and
they maintained 3.8 along with other mills. Because we must know what mills
cannot come down from 90 or even 100 and which central can stop operations.

Now, mills stopped and why? In spite of the problems of the grind in
Oriente Province, we analyzed with the comrades in the province the
convenience of stopping operations in a number of mills, and that
undoubtedly is good business. We began by stopping Emilio Diaz of
Manzanillo, then the Demajagua, Bartolome Maso, Castro Ceruto, and
Arquimedes Colina. In the Guantanamo region the Hector Infante did not
start, the Honduras mill stopped, we decided to stop Argeo Martinez and
Costa Rica. And in the vicinity of Santiago we decided to stop the Salvador
Rosales and Paquito Rosales mills. It was decided to stop the Cristino
Naranjo mill because it was having a hard time completing its investments.
A total of 11 mills were stopped in Oriente for production reasons, and one
for industrial reasons, the Cristino Naranjo, to accelerate [word
indistinct]--all the mills mentioned before--so we have 12 mills paralyzed
in Oriente. But in Camaguey we also have two mills stopped. And one of them
nothing less than a colossus; the Brazil is stopped until 26 February.
Nearing the third million and the fourth one, the Brazil was stopped--and
it is one of the mills that has a good deal of cane--because of yield
problems. The same thing with (Tierra Cubi). It was decided to stop six
mills in Las Villas. Here they are: Francisco Perez, Benito Juarez, Carbo
Servia, Simon Bolivar, Obdulio Morales, Marcelo Salado. I am missing one.
[Castro mumbles] Francisco, Benito, Hum, and Marcelo Salado. Seven in Las
Villas with the Heriberto Dequesne. And in Havana, the two mills mentioned.

(?Now I am going to) start explaining why some of these mills were stopped.
Let us look at the Salvador Rosales. It has reached 6.6, more or less. It's
here, the area close to the big rock, where 200 millimeters fell.

That mill ended its harvest on 27 April. Its historic yield average, let us
say, 1 February, should be approximately at 10.8. And it had reached since
26 January a yield of 10.77, a yield in keeping with the average despite
the rain. However, this is a mill that reaches nearly 14 in yield in the
month of April and has a much higher yield in March, April, and May than in
February. This mill was stopped until 23 February in order to finish early
in May, taking advantage of its maximum yield average and squeeze out three
or four more arrobas of sugar for each 100 arrobas of cane. Anyone can
understand perfectly well why it is advisable to stop that mill. We had in
Manzanillo--let's look at the Emilio Diaz Machado mill, Number 31. It has
reached 6.36. This mill closed 15 April, approximately. In February, this
mill reaches rather high yields, even higher than 12. This mill that was to
end operations 15 April, had reached on 26 January a yield of 10.56, which
is below its historic average. And it is a mill that on occasions reaches
16 in yield in the first half of April, it reaches up to 16 in yield. It
was grinding its cane ahead of time with a yield lower than 11 to finish by
15 April. This mill was stopped to resume the harvest on 23 February and
cut its cane with a maximum yield.

We must point out the importance of this yield average because it behaves
in an almost mathematical way. In general, they go above the average. This
is one that was noticeably lower--to early a harvest arising from the need
to produce sugar in the face of the problems of the great mills with
industrial investments. Therefore, we decided to stop this mill to resume
grinding on 23 February and we will get at least three more arrobas of
sugar for each 100 arrobas of cane. This phenomenon, together with the
rains, the low areas of Manzanillo, the mill was ahead and we stopped it.
That is to say that the problems of the rest of the mills, the 11 mills
that have been stopped for reasons of yield of Oriente, are of a similar
nature. They are mills that ended too early. Of course, not all on 15
April. There are others that were supposed to finish 20, 25 May in the area
of Guantanamo, mills that historically reached their highest yields in
April and May. Some of them were going to finish in mid-April, late April,
or early May. All those mills were stopped in order to be able to maximize
the harvest in that region.

The Brazil mill, No. 511: What does the historic curve of this mill say? It
says that in the month of February, approximately 10 February, its yields
should be 9.5 This is one of the cases where the yield curve drops in
February. And if we observe how it behaved since 26 January, we can see it
here, day by day. On 26 January it had reached 9.85, on the 27th it had
reached 9.74, the 28th it had reached 9.88, the 29th it had reached 9.64.
We arrived at the 31st, it had reached 9.03. The first of February it had
reached 9.32. The 5th it had reached 10.59, but on the 6th, 10.54, on the
7th it had reached 9.18. Therefore, it behaved as indicated by its historic
curve. And more so with the rains, and more so with the rains of these past
few days. Then, the advisability of stopping it was studied in spite of it
being a mill that has to grind more than 100 million arrobas and that
finished on 6 June, and whose yield begins to drop in June, that is,
beginning 20 May. This is a mill that has to be stopped now, but that has
to finish more or less by 20 May, because its yield begins to drop on 20
May. It was higher in January, and it began to drop here and reach only 9.
It is to be supposed that beginning 10 February it will begin to go up.
Now, it has been stopped for a week to check the machinery, to do
maintenance, to analyze all the canes, and draw up a perfect as possible
plan to begin cutting on 16 February when it is on its way up. And that is

If there are more mature varieties, it could reach 9.5, 10, 10.5, but not
13. If the historic curve on this date is 12.0 and it has very good
varieties, it can reach 13.5 or 14.0, but not 10.0. Therefore, there is a
rigorously exact relationship between the historic curve and the
performance of the mills, so much so that even with new varieties there can
be an increase of but only one arroba, arroba and a half, but not above
four. On the other hand, if we examine the historic curve of the Caracas
and we find 14.0. That is, there is a correlation whatever the variety of

In wet years, the tendency is for maturity to be delayed, that is, in a
year when it rains a lot in January. In years when it rains less, it
matures earlier. The same in the end. If the rains are delayed a bit, the
crop is delayed, if they are ahead, it is ahead. Therefore we have colossus
Brazil, of 900,000 odd arrobas a day, stopped in Camaguey Province. And the
Sierrade Cubitas also stopped. So we have 14 here for identical reasons.
And here we have another case, the Simon Bolivar in the region of
Caibarien. Simon Bolivar had, for example, on 30 January reached 9.98. It
was scheduled to finish its harvest on 12 April.

Figure out for yourselves if a mill that finishes on 12 April is a problem
for us or not. And if it is grinding below 10 let us look at the yield
curve. It is at 4.48. Imagine! I made a mistake. [talks with assistant]
Here we have the yield curve of the Simon Bolivar. What does that curve
tell me? That on 1 February it can reach 10.13, it does not say that it
reaches 14 or 13. And it is below the yield curve because of logical
reasons; rains in a low area--in this area. Now, how much is lacking in
yield? On 1 April, approximately 13. And we should have ended on 12 April.
We were going to mill all the cane when it was less than 12, less than 11.
This central was halted, to resume milling again on 23 February--that is
about that date, and to cut all its cane at a time of peak yield.

The same was done with other centrals--Carbo Serviao, Obdulio Morales,
Francisco Perez, and Benito Juarez, and also the Heriberto Duquesne, and
Marcelo Salado. Let us see the Heriberto Duquesne--over there--[pause] What
yield? What yield did this central have, say on 6 February? For the
analysis was begun from Oriente this way. This is why the centrals were
halted in Oriente, and later in Las Villas.

It states here that during the first days of February it should be at about
10. On 6 February it had 9.69 on 5 February it had 10.01 [pause] and on 9
February it had 10.36, more or less what the curve yield shows. But it had
also rained there, and it was behind. But let us look at this central, how
long it is extended--up to 20 May it has a relatively high yield--up to 20
May. It was milling with 9-plus. It was halted for a few days, a week.
Apparently a week seems unimportant, but at this time of the year the
increase in yield is rapid. Furthermore, this is tied in what some cane
that will be moved to areas where there is a shortage, from where there is
an excess. Thus we have all these centrals here that are ahead that will
end in April. And their peak curve yield is in April and May, and we also
have many centrals that will end in June, whose peak curve is now,
February, March, and up to mid-May.

This is related to the way the problem is going to be solved--the
connection between the centrals that end in April and those that end in
July--those which end in April have a peak curve yield in April and May,
and these have theirs before that. For this is one of the lines on which
the solution of the problem for ensuring the milling and raising yields
will be tackled.

So, in broad sweeps we have present here the problems of the centrals
which, due to being ahead, were halted. There are 22 centrals. Many will
resume again on 16 February--the ones in the Manzanillo zone. The ones in
the Guantanamo zone begin on 23 February, the ones in the Caibarrien begin
on, [no figure given] Those in the east of Santa Clara begin on the 16th,
Simon Bolivar, being very much ahead, begins on the 25th. The Obdulio
Morales begins on the 16th, and those in Havana begin on the 16th also.

To give you an idea of how important three arrobas area, it is enough to
say that 15 million arrobas of cane with 12.5 instead of 9.5 percent milled
yield, produce 5,000 tons more of sugar. Thus, we will being in at least
three arrobas more of sugar to all these centrals we have halted. If not,
we create a vicious circle. For if the cane is not ripe and is milled too
soon, it will not even--when the curve-yield is at a maximum-=reach what it
should: If it should reach 14 and it is milled prematurely, then it does
not reach 14, and possibly not even 13.

So, all those centrals have been stopped. They are centrals that function
well, that have no problem and that can be operated at full capacity at a
given period, and carry out their harvests in good order. This is one of
the measures to ensure the rise in the sugar yields.

There are some centrals, as the Freire, that are good centrals, that had a
potential norm of 3.40, and a daily harvest norm of 2.60 to 2.70. The first
step taken with some of these centrals that were to end 23 July--whose
curve-yield drops off in June--was to study all the possibilities of
putting them in 100 percent good shape. Thus there are some centrals in
Oriente, like this Rafael Freire, Hector, and Frank Pais, that can be made
100 percent, and we must make them 100 percent, so they can mill according
to their potential norm. A number of measures were taken to provide
transportation. We visited some of those centrals. We talked with the
workers, the leaders, with everyone.

For instance, that central, Rafael Freire of Santa Lucia, is milling
340,000 arrobas daily. It is 120 percent of its daily harvest norm,
according to them, at least. Furthermore, they are heading toward 350,000.
They are bent on this, and we do not doubt it in the least.

This considerably cuts down the milling time of this central. It is cutting
it down to more or less the middle or the end of June. Already on 15
February we will begin to send from 5 to 6 arrobas to the Nicaragua
central. So, this problem central that was to end on 23 June will finish at
the end of May--by making it 100 percent, plus removing some of the cane to
point that has more than a surplus of capacity.

There is no excess capacity in the Nicaragua, but there is in Guatemala, so
the latter will take some cane from it.

Fortunately, we have the Apiquique central that is milling very well--and
it has a capacity that could reach 900,000 arrobas per harvest day.
Simultaneously, from 5 to 7 million arrobas are being transferred from the
Frank Pais to the Guatemala, which likewise is up to its 100 percent
potential norm.

And we will complete that at the end of May or early June. We thus have two
centrals that will be free from problems. So, the measures taken in
Oriente--11 centrals were closed down, so as to mill within their milling
period the measures were adopted in several mills, such as Frank Pais,
Rafael Freire, Fernando de Lios, Roberto Raimirez, so that grinding quotas
finish within a satisfactory date which coincides with the optimum yield.
It is not difficult to operate a mill at its highest level when the mill is
functioning properly and workers' moral is high. Those were the measures
taken with those mills that were ahead and with those which even though
they were functioning well, had an excess of cane and overcame that. There
were no problems of mills with cane excess and industrial problems.

Now let us take a look at the Guiteras mill. Let us take a look at its
curve behavior. It approaches 2 in February; if you take a look at the
Guiteras yield as of today you will find that Antonio Guiteras yield for
today was 11.74, very close to the historic yield. But this mill will give
its highest during the month of May; it is curious, when some are going
down, it goes up in the month of May and maintains yields of over 12 until
20 June. Now then, after 20 June it goes down from 12 and keeps going down,
and if this mill would continue to grind until September, everything it
would grind from 10 July until 2 September will have a 7 or 8 yield.

If we lose six arrobas in 15 million, it means 10,000 tons. If the country
grinds 150 million in the month of July, it will lose 100,000 tons of
sugar. That is a fact. That is the threat posed by the mills which are
behind. This is the simplest of the most difficult solutions proposed.

In the second place, among these Urbano Noris, Cristina Naranjo and Antonio
Maceo sugar mills. How is that? We were already building a rail spur but
the rail spur was enough for 20, 30 million. Since we made that decision on
9 December, plenty of sugarcane had been accumulated in that mill. That
plan was made to be finished on 15 July, but we could not finish on 15
July--not even by taking a million, not even 30 million by railroad. With
the accumulation of cane, problems in production came up. We must realize
that from 15 to 24 February, the tandem which was working had to be stopped
for repairs and maintenance. We proposed that that be done not in April,
not in March, but now, when the yield curve has not gone up too much, so
therefore, we could have the mills with the maximum capacity from the
beginning of March and so on.

So therefore, we expect that it grinds an important part of its cane, but
in addition, its leftovers will be ground before 30 June or at the latest
on 30 June when its production cycle is still adequate. If we solve this
sugarcane problem, we will have solved the problem of Oriente. This is
basic, and we could solve the problem of the Urbano Noris.

The Urbano Noris is supposed to finish during the first days of June; it
will fall on a magnificent yield curve. Let us see the Urbano Noris; we
cannot let is stop in June. Urbano Noris: 6.31. Take a look at that yield,
more than 14 from March until 20 May, and it is going down on 10 June. We
must grind cane in this mill in this period, no later than 30 May when it
goes down to 12, that is, not later than 30 May the yield is [words
indistinct]. We must try and finish approximately on that date. If it would
function properly, it would finish on 8 June, the Cristino Naranjo would
finish on 25 May, and the Maceo would finish on 11 July.

Let us see the Maceo: 6.21; the inconvenience is that the Maceo finishes on
11 July. Take a look what happens to the Maceo in June. Now, this the
Arquimides Colina, yes. That one goes down quickly, it will reach 12 on 30

The same thing happens to this one; they are pretty close these two mills.
Already in the month of June, the Maceo mill comes down from 10 quickly. We
cannot let this mill continue until the month of June. But there is
interest in accelerating the work of the Antonio Maceo mill because there
are almost 500,000 arrobas to provide timely help to the Antonio Guiteras.
So therefore, in 15 February we begin a movement in the zones of the Maceo
and the Christino Naranjo, toward the America Libre mill, which is doing a
fine job--well above its quote--and is gaining time every 4 or 5 days.

That is, this mill allow us--let us take a look at its historic curve. What
does the America mill allow us to do? A mill functioning admirably well,
among other reasons because it has no investments. America is 6.13. Do we
have it there? How pitiful! [word indistinct] if the America reaches a
yield of 15 or 20 March until close to 30 May. On 20 June America will
historically have a yield of 13 and at the rate it is going, it look like
it will terminate on 15 May.

What are we going to do? And what has been the yield of the America in
these days? According to the historic curve. it should have more or less
12.2 now. America Libre had yesterday 12.85. It is far above its historic
curve and it reaches almost 15 from March on. It finishes early, it takes
100,000 arrobas more every day, to finish on 10 June with 13. From now on
they are going to take off, but with cane from the Antonio Maceo which is
adequately mature. Therefore, it is a transfer that begins 15 February, but
beginning 1 March we will transfer some 250,000 arrobas each day to the
America Libre, Arquimides Colina, Ranulfo Leiva, and Bartolome Maso mills.
And we are going to take out 18 million arrobas before 10 May.
Consequently, whatever the problems of this mill, because if need be we can
take out even more, we will have it free by 10 May and we will have ground
all of its cane at the maximum yield. About 50,000 will be taken out for
each one of the others and 100,000 for the America Libre. And we will then
have another problem mill free by 10 May. Therefore, we are liberating a
million arrobas in capacity in the proximity of the Guiteras. Another
transfer at the same time as this one in relation with the Guiteras is the
Lopez Pena, No. 604.

Lopez Pena: Look at the yield curve of this mill. In 1 July, it reaches
almost 3.0. This mill allows us to take cane to it, extend its harvest well
into July, a mill that grinds well, where grinding can be guaranteed by
extending the harvest, extending it to a certain limit because we have here
the Lopez Pena.

Here we have the Loinaz Echevarria that ends 15 March. So we cannot take
cane to it from the Guiteras now because it is not advisable to extend its
harvest, but we can to this other one because it reaches 13 in yield up to
July, early July. About 200,000 arrobas a day will be transferred from the
Antonio Guiteras beginning 1 March to the Lopez Pena, and 100,000 arrobas a
day to the Fernando de Dios, and 18 million arrobas will be taken out from
1 March to 1 May. Afterwards, in the months of May and June, the Lopez Pena
will be helped by taking cane to the Loinaz Echavarria and also to the
Guatemala so that mill can finish no later than 15 June with more than 13
in yield. Therefore, those mills are also going to support the Guiteras by
extending their harvest and with the Loinaz Echevarria and Guatemala
supporting the Nicaragua, Lopez Pena at the end, and the Fernando de Dios
beginning 10 May.

So that by 1 May we will have taken 20 million out of the Antonio Guiteras
with a high yield curve. We will be taking 2 to 3 million to the Jose
Nemesio Figueredo, which ends 1 May. Its harvest can be extended a little
and it would have ground by then about 3 to 4 million because its capacity
if 400,000 arrobas. Therefore, on 1 May, we will ground about 22 million
arrobas for the Antonio Guiteras. Then, 1 May, it will begin its maximum
curve. By that time we will have other additional mills. The Peru will be
working full capacity in May. Then we will be able to send it about 400,000
or 500,000 arrobas a day, too. Between 10 May and 20 May it will become 1
million arrobas to the Maceo and the Cristino Naranjo, 400,000 arrobas to
the Jose Nemesio Figueredo, 500,000 arrobas to the Peru, and 500,000 more
arrobas to the Amancio Rodriguez. Therefore, by 20 May, they will reach 1.4
million, 1.9 million, 2.4 million.

At the same time, in the month of May, we will be taking out of the Argelia
Libre, at the moment of its maximum yield, 500,000 arrobas for the Columbia
in Camaguey which will have ended, and 180,000 arrobas to the Siboney. From
15 to 20 million arrobas will be taken out of the Argelia Libre. We have
the Julio Antonio Mella in reserve. It should 5-10 May. Therefore, it can
help the Urbano Noris if it has problems, with 8 or 10 million arrobas,
500,000 arrobas a day. It is to be supposed that by 1 June we will have
free the Urbano Noris, Christino Naranjo, Antonio Maceo, Jose N. Figueredo,
Amancio Rodriguez, Columbia, (Alvarez Mola), Siboney, Cristino Naranjo,
Antonio Maceo, Urbano Noris. Thus, in the worst circumstances. if that mill
not only stops but explodes, if that mill decides to explode in the middle
of it all, which would be the worst--which is not expected--if it explodes
in the month of April, we are creating all the conditions from 1 to 30 June
in order to be able to take out 120 million arrobas in 30 days. This
central, then, on 1 July will not have one canestalk left, even though it
explodes in mid harvest, if it does not burst. In any case once all the
apparatus is organized here, the problem would have been solved on 10 June.
We are not going to dismantle the mill, as it will continue mill--working
until it finishes up.

No central in Oriente will finish up relaxing. By July, August, or
September this will not spoil the year for the people here. It will not
spoil the July fiestas. And in any event the measures that must be taken to
ensure--the measures can be extended 10, 15 days more--and it will not be
just one central that is milling. It and all its neighbors will be
milling--ending up at a pace of 8,000 to 10,000 arrobas daily, not just
1,800 in Oriente. The 10 millionth sack will be sewn here.

In Camaguey a similar movement, though a more simple one will be carried
out. Beginning on 1 March, 320,000 arrobas will be milled at the Ignacio
Agramonte and Republica Dominicana. These will be hauled there. From 15
February to 1 April, 80,000 arrobas of the Uruguay will be transported to
the Orlando Gonzalez, and 80,000 more to the Ciro Redondo.

On 1 March the entire strength of the Uruguay, the Ciro Redondo, will be
completed. It will be milling 80,000 arrobas of the Uruguay on 1 March, and
it will be milling some 180,000 that will reach there by train from the
Uruguay up to 1 April. Why 1 April? Let us look at the Ciro Redondo
central--that colossus that we have cut back despite the cane it possesses.

Ciro Redondo, 5.15. Look at the yield-curve from 1 March to 30 May. Then,
on this day, 1 April, it begins to mill its own cane at full capacity. Plus
this, 130,000 arrobas will begin to be sent to the Enrique Jose Varona, and
70,000 to the Patria O Muerte, which is ahead of schedule. In other words,
this will finish on 30 May--this one and also the three--for it likewise
has its yield-curve up to 30 May at the 3 level.

Yet the Ciro Redondo maintains its yield of almost 12 beginning in early
June. So, we will mill 72 million arrobas, approximately, some 70 million
arrobas between 1 April and 30 May, at the top of its yield-curve.

By the same token, the Orlando Gonzalez will stop milling cane from the
Uruguay and begin million its own cane within its optimum curve. We will
still have cane here at the Uruguay and the Ciro Redondo--two centrals that
can mill during the first 2 weeks in June at almost 12 percent.

Some cane could be left at the Brazil, but there will be none. At the
Brazil, which is idled now, milling begins on the 16th. It will send to the
Bolivia, by train, possibly some 200,000 arrobas daily. It was first
thought to send 100,000 to the Bolivia and the same amount to the Primero
de Enero, but the latter has more cane under present estimates, more cane
has been produced there, and the amount that can be sent to the Bolivia by
train is 200,000 arrobas.

In other words, some 15 million arrobas of the Brazil will be sent to the
Bolivia--a little less, 14 million arrobas of the 30 May. There will be a
surplus capacity at the Maximo Gomez, if it is needed--not for it, but for
the Ciro Redondo. And the Panama central on 15 May will have available
800,000-plus arrobas daily to help out the Brazil if need be--or to help
out the Sierra Cubitas if it needs to. For in addition, 6 million arrobas
of the Sierra Cubitas will be made available to the Alfredo Alvarez.

Here in Las Villas a similar movement will be carried out. It is shown
clearer on the maps. Here we have the Benito Juarez, La Meijeiras, the
Carbo Servaio, the Francisco Perez, the Duquesne,--all these which were to
duly finish up in April. These mills will receive cane from all these which
were to terminate unduly in July. Thus, these will terminate in June--the
first 10 days in June--with their optimum-yield date, and these will
terminate on 30 May. [as heard]

We can see then, that those which had been scheduled for June, we have
scheduled now for the end of May, and those scheduled for April we will put
for the first days of June--everyone milling at their peak period. The
Caracas reaches a yield beginning in March. Up to the 15th we will be
extracting what it mills, and the rest of its cane will be milled here.

In other words, we will mill at all these centrals at their top
yield-curve, and the same will be done in this central. From the Antonio
Sanchez Central we will send cane to Matanzas. The 20 million are going to
be milled between the Jesus Rabi, Seis de Agosto, Reinol Garcia, and
Australia. That is, if Matanzas needs the 85 percent or the 80 percent of
its norm to complete its cane perfectly well, the rest of the capacity
potential of the centrals will be used to mill that cane.

There will be two movements: one of 300,000 to 350,000 arrobas daily from
these centrals to this point, and 350,000 arrobas daily from the Antonio
Sanchez to Matanzas.

The Antonio Sanchez finishes during early May--it is a central that will
not be permitted to reach May--and support will continue to be given to the
Catorce de Julio, with the surplus capacity of the Antonio Sanchez. For, as
capacities are released new transfers will be made.

Lastly, in Havana, beginning 1 May 170,000 arrobas daily will be sent to El
Puerto and El Quijano, and some 300,000 arrobas daily in May to the Marti

So, in Havana centrals that have a [yield] of more than 2 will continue
milling in June. Let us cite an example: The Habana Libre, 204, you will
see the yield for this central. The historical curve. It seems that this
central never reached July. No, that is not true. For here is the 14th,
here is the 16th. Its central has ended its harvest with 16 on 20 May.

This is one of the centrals which can mill extremely well in the first 2
weeks of June. The Camilo Cienfuegos, the Villena, the Nordarse, the
Sandino, and the Santo Coloma, too. The Lincoln and La Bandera are
maintaining a fairly good yield. Nevertheless, to prevent any of these
centrals going to July, some 6 to 7 million will be transferred from
Villena to Matanzas, and some 9 to 10 million will be transferred to Marti,
which is to complete its own harvest on 10 May. So in this movement, some
350 million arrobas will be transferred from the centrals which have a
surplus to the centrals which have a cane deficit. These are millions of
arrobas which will be milled at the best, most significant moment. Yielding
approximately an average of from 5 to 6 arrobas of sugar for each 100 of
cane, because if you take from the Antonio Sanchez 20 million, which in
June and July were to have a yield of 7 and they are milled from March, up
to 20 [corrects himself] up to the first day of March. This movement begins
now on 15 February, from 15 February to 1 May there is a net increase of
sugar of at least 6 arrobas. The same movement will be everywhere.

To achieve this movement a reserve of available trucks will be used. This
reserve will be used, and other means of transportation are being
collected. There will be some 1,000 trucks engaged in this movement,
beginning 1 February--[corrects himself] 1 March. There will be some 300
from 15 February. All measures are being taken beginning now: housing,
roads, regulating roads, (detours), and finally, all necessary measures to
guarantee this movement. The advantage of this is that, at the end of the
harvest, there will be concentrated in some region, around the Guiteras,
around the Uruguay, and the Ciro Redondo, around this areas of Cienfuegos,
a little to the north--that is to say, under these conditions, all the
measures having been taken in advance, the effort of ending the harvest
will be very concentrated. In the Guiteras area not less than 40,000 men
will be gathered beginning 10 May with all the support, the communications,
the housing, so there will be concentrated there the best forces. It is
possible that at the end of the harvest there may be transferred to the
Guiteras area a group of "millionaire brigades" from each province, not
because it is essential, but as a symbolic part of the effort of all and of
all the provinces which will culminate at this central.

Let us suppose that the harvest does not go to 15 June. We are not going to
change the calendar, but we can say that we believe that the harvest will
not go to 15 June. It is interesting to point out the following: these 350
million arrobas which are going to be moved, besides assuring the harvest,
mean a net increase of 200,000 tons of sugar.

It is enough to say that as the need arose and with the need, the solution,
and the solution through motorized transportation by road, it can be
calculated exactly that the sugar which is going to be produced with this
movement is worth three times more than all of the trucks which will be
used in this operation. In other words, these trucks will be amortized
practically every 30 days, the trucks which are going to be used in this
operation. What each truck transports has been conservatively estimated,
studying all hours and itineraries, and this movement means the guarantee
of the milling in optimum time of 350 million arrobas of cane, which will
mean in yield that some 520,000 tons of sugar will be milled.

We have not the slightest doubt of the yield which will be achieved. We
aspire in Oriente from 1 February to a yield of 13.3 accumulated. It is
less than they had aimed at, but perfectly in accordance with the historic
curve and the quality of the cane. We aspire to achieve 12.5 in Las Villas,
12.5 in Camaguey, and the same in the rest of the provinces. To calculate
better, we must say what follows: What remained for us in mill on 1
February, the cane estimated, in all, is 7,655 million arrobas--2,150 in
Oriente, 1,900 in Camaguey, 1,800 in Las Villas, 260 in Matanzas, 820 in
Havana, and 125 in Pinar del Rio [figures as heard]. Of these on 1 February
2,428.7 million had been milled, that is to say, on 31 January 2,428.7
million arrobas had been milled. There remained to be milled 5,226.3
million and we intend to mill all of the cane.

Many centrals have no problems, as we have explained, and the solutions for
the problems are here in this plan for guaranteeing, optimizing the
milling, and raising the yield of the cane remaining to be milled after 1
February 1970. All of these calculations are based on sufficiently solid
data on the behavior of the cane this year, on an analysis of the yield
curve, central by central. It is clear that if we had milled all the cane
in June, July, and even in August, all of this cane could be brought to 10
million very quickly, but it is possible that we might remain between 40
and 50 million arrobas below, particularly if we mill with 10.5 or 11 cane
centrals which in April reach 15 and were to stop at the beginning or the
middle of April. So that by expanding the harvest in a number of centrals,
guaranteeing the milling of centrals which have industrial problems,
milling in an optimum period, we must have the 150 to 200,000 tons of sugar
more than the 10 million.

What is going to happen is that it is possible that we may attain the 10
million before Oriente reaches the 3 million, which is the minimum it must
produce. By milling the cane it lacks by 13.3 it should exceed 3 million by
a little. This implies a deficit greater than the province had the right to
in the 1970 harvest. This deficit is compensated for by the in crease in
the western region. But, in any case, in the Province of Oriente cane is
already being sown with irrigation in all of the areas where there is a
deficit. Manzanillo, the Holguin area, the Peru area, and the places where
there is a deficit in cane are the places which are being planted. There
will be some 2,000 cabellerias of new cane for the year ahead in these
places. It is very important that the province of Oriente contribute not
less than 3 million tons of sugar to the 1970 harvest.

It is possible that the 10 million may be reached before Oriente has the 3
million tons, when the quotas are filled in all the other provinces--since
they finish first.

In that case, we think that Oriente should go on until it reaches the 3
million. If we reach the 10 million and Oriente does not reach the 3
million, the province should go on at least until it reaches 3 million, as
a question of honor.

The harvest will not end languidly, but strongly, aggressively,
combatively, in this area, in the Camaguey area, in Las Villas, in Havana,
in the mills that have a high yield. Therefore we think that right now the
harvest situation is satisfactory. We are going to reach the third million
in 23 days instead of 22. We had planned doing it in 22 days. It is going
to be done in 23, and this in spite of the stopped mills, including the
Jaronu, a colossus. In spite of having 23 stopped mills, we will reach the
[third] million with only one day's delay. And we will accumulate in this
third million, two days' delay.

There is something else, we will lose another day in the fourth million
since 22 mills will be stopped on the 11th and will resume working on the
16th, the rest on the afternoon of the 23d, Guiteras will be undergoing
tandem repairs from 14 to 21 February. I had forgotten Ecuador: its
production is low and we have reduced it to 300,000 odd arrobas, half its
usual load. Thus we have the Brazil stopped, and the Ecuador and the Ciro
Redondo at reduced capacity. The rest of the work forces needed by Camaguey
will arrive in May, and the province will reach between 11.5, and 12
million arrobas each day by 1 March, and in our opinion will have no
problem in finishing the harvest. It will have more than enough forces and
the province has been grinding well. It will reach 12 million in March,
when we open up Ecuador to full capacity, so that it may finish on 30 May
at the maximum yield.

In March we will open up the capacity of Ciro Redondo, but still grinding
part of the Uruguay cane. On 1 May it will begin at full capacity to grind
its own cane. The cane of the Venezuela, that transferred and that ground
by the mill itself, will also be ground at its peak. So we are certain that
the harvest in Camaguey Province will progress perfectly well, that it will
reach the 12.5 yield, and that it will finish with these two mills by 15 or
20 June. We will try to do it by the 15th, because once the whole transport
organization and apparatus is set up we are not going to dismantle it as
long as there is any cane left in those mills. At the time, the Uruguay
will be able to grind the cane of the Orlando, Venezuela, and Ecuador. All
these mills that will have finished will be able to help to reduce the
Uruguay from 23, 25, whatever it is, to 15, 14, 12, and maintain good

Melanio Hernandez will also finish above the 14, 15 with good enough yields
because it maintains a good yield in that period. Those grinding in Las
Villas will be those mills with satisfactory yields in the month of June,
the first half. In Matanzas, the Cuba Libre will have to speed up so as not
to fall behind and if possible finish at the end of May, early June, to
help in some way the 6 de Agosto and the Esteban Hernandez, which is
already picking up. Pinar del Rio will speed up the Marti mill until 10
May. No need to worry about the northern ones and have them finish 20-30
May in order to take the most advantages of maximum yield. In my opinion,
no more massive transfers will be necessary in this area after Oriente.
Luckily, solutions have been forthcoming for each one of them.

We were saying that we will accumulate one more day's delay in the four
million. Now, beginning in March, and considering all the possibilities
opening up in Camaguay, all the mills will be operating. Even taking
industrial problems into account, Oriente Province will reach in may its
potential capacity of almost 16 million arrobas a day. To be more exact:
15,888,000 arrobas. Oriente Province will reach 11 million around 20 March.
When the 11 mills that are to be stopped are functioning once more, when
the Guiceras tandem is repaired, even considering eventual difficulties in
the Argelia Libre, Cristino Naranjo, Antonio Maceo, and Urbano Noris, we
calculate that 12 million will be reached in mid-May, not yet 14, and only
in mid-April will it have reached 13.5 and 14 million. If the 14 million
figure is not reached, if the strategy adopted mill by mill is taken into
account and the measures taken, the yield curves, and the Guiteras and
Argelia Libre, which gives us the most trouble, reach the maximum yield, we
have to get ready and wage a battle there, grinding that cane in May at its
peak, and taking all measures.

In this mill for example, the Guiteras again, we can see the rain curve. We
will be grinding on 10 May in 41 mills in Oriente--39 in the province and
two in Camaguey. Ten May, and with respectably high yields. The Manzanillo
area will finish earlier, so will the El Cauto area, although the mills
have to continue grinding with cane from the highlands, that is, the
harvest will end at a reasonably good time in the lowest places.

The same thing will be done in Camaguay, Las Villas, everywhere. And the
mills that are grinding from 15 May on will be reaching their peaks.
Despite the difficulties, we hope that the harvest ends before 15 July.

There is a good deal of certainty in what we are saying. I also want to
tell you that on 1 February of the year in which the capitalists attained
their highest level of production--7,298,000 tons--they had produced by 1
February 680,281, and we on 1 February had 2,540,415. That is, on 1
February we were ahead by 1,860,134 tons in comparison with the capitalists
highest figure. There are some brokers of great prestige, a German house,
that said Cuba would reach 8 million, and that provoked a commotion. It was
wrong by at least 2 million, and in spite of this it was found that many of
the sugar brokers were of the opinion that Cuba would not make 8 million,
that this was too much, and that we would make 7 million more or less--if
at all. The capitalists achieved a harvest of almost 7.3, and at this
moment we are ahead 1.86 million tons. That is, grinding that which they
ground, we were well over nine.

To refresh the memory of those who doubt, but if doubt helps the price,
doubt is always preferable. We are the ones who cannot doubt, and that is
why it is necessary to explain with a luxury of details. We, however, have
more capabilities: these same investments which have caused so many
headaches, which we hope will be functioning a little better. But we have
calculated inclusively to be able to--if they grind their quota on one day
and on another day half of the quota, if these problem centrals grind their
quote one day and the next day only half of it, we will, in spite of
that--fulfill this plan. It has been calculated with reserves, just in case
it fails, including in case one bursts, if one bursts, We will solve it. If
two burst, it is more complex, but it will be solved. If three burst, we
will have to grind cane until the end of May even in the Manual Tames over
there, and carry the cane through whatever route. But it is possible that
neither two nor three, or maybe none will burst.

We have taken some measures to assist the provinces. What have we done?
There are some mills which needed practically no help; Rafael Freire,
Fernando de Dios, many mills that are working like a clock and have all the
conditions to be a clock. We believe that in general some other mills do
not have any problems, but in any event, we wanted to support and
consolidate; we selected a group of teams in Havana Province who have been
directing mills in the provinces; teams of organizations, which had
maintained their mills above 100 percent of their potential quota in recent
weeks. There were several; for example, Sandino, Nodarse, Habana Libre,
Amistad de Los Pueblos, Osvaldo Sanchez, also the Fajardo, in general a
great group of teams. We picked the teams of the Sandino central, which the
(INOS) had, the Nodarse, which the food industry had, the Habana Libre,
which the INDER had; the Amistad de Los Pueblos, which the Interior
Ministry had, and the Osvaldo Sanchez, which the MICONS had. We must add
that the comrades of the Interior Ministry have turned out to be splendid
administrators of centrals. We should likewise say that they have the
Amistad de Los Pueblos well ahead. In Camaguey they have the Siboney which
they want to conclude by 15 April. They advanced it more than necessary. Of
course this for now serves to help the Sierra Cubitas. In Manzanillos they
are responsible for the progress of the Enidio Diaz, which also is due to
finish on 15 April. So therefore, almost all of the provinces under the
Interior Ministry are characterized by their fast progress, and even to
advances in time. It has done a very good job; almost everywhere it has its
centrals accelerated.

We have transferred the comrades that were in the Habana Libre to the Frank
Pais central, with the directive that they must bring it up to 100 percent
of its capacity. The comrades who had been in the Interior Ministry, in the
People's Friendship Society, [were sent] to the Mella central, which faces
certain problems due to the industrial investments.

It was a central that should be finishing early. It highly interests us for
it to finish because it has an excellent capability for helping out the
Urbano Noris if it has any trouble, or, finally, to help out the Guiteras
in the end if serious difficulties arise. It is not because this central
has an excess of cane, but because it faces some difficulties that we want
it to finish early. Moreover, it has a daily capacity of 600,000 arrobas.

We sent the comrades of the MICONS to the Urbano Noris central, with the
support of the industrial comrades, comrades who have worked on it and
should know how those machines work because they installed them.

Thus, with the sponsorship of the industrial investments enterprise, which
likewise should support the Peru central--where the comrades that were in
the Nodarse were sent, the comrades of the Nodarse went to the Peru, and
the comrades that were in the Sandino went to the Cristino Naranjo--we also
requested five multitalent groups that had been supporting the harvest in
Havana. These were from the school of economy and included

These teams went to the centrals--to the Mella, the Urbano Noris, Peru,
Maceo, Cristino Naranjo--and a new team also went to the Ispacio
Echavarria. We asked that the University of Havana technological school's
support with all the human resources possible--the schools of technology
and economy--support with all the available human resources, the Guiteras
and Jesus Menendez centrals. Dozens of engineers have been converging on
those centrals. If you lack engineers, you will have all the engineers and
technicians you need.

Those are mammoth centrals and their operation is complex. And we likewise
have asked the Ministry of the Sugar Industry to concentrate the maximum
technical resources in the Argelia Libre capital so as to insure its

But above all, this measures was meant to bolster the operation of the
centrals, which themselves have taken all the other steps we have mentioned
for transporting the cane, and the railroad tracks and highways are being
constructed from Cuidad Victoria to Las Tunas for a peripheral route,
because beginning on 10 March some 1,5000 trucks will be circulating

Furthermore, we are going to make the peripheral Tunas highway in 2
one-half months. This is so there will be no need to cross through the
city. The Bayamo, the Tunas-Bayamo Highway now under construction will be
paved, as will the Manati, the road of the Manati central. We will repair
all the chuckholes, perfectly repair the highway of the Peru central--in
other words, all the communications, all the roads, all points--traffic
will be well organized in all these points--and a perfectly organized
movement will be carried out.

This movement begins from today. But the push will be made in May, since it
will not be until May that the capacities of the La Mancha, El Colon, El
Columbia, Alfredo Mola, Menecho Figueredo, will be released. And these will
be released, happily, at the time of the peak yield of the manati and
Guiteras centrals.

This then is the situation. I do not believe there is anything of any
importance left. And, we will create, for the 1-day delay in the 4th
million, we will have to alter the rules.

In March Camaguey will be [yielding] 11.8. That is what it needs, from 11.6
to 11.8. Oriente will be 11 as of the 26th, it will reach 12 about
mid-March, and it could reach 13 on 15 April. Nonetheless, it will regain
its sugar yield despite the millions it has not milled up until now. And in
May it will regain by milling with 41 centrals beginning 10 May. Moreover,
it will step ahead of the harvest.

It will end its harvest before 15 July. And when Oriente finishes a little
more than the 10 million arrobas it has accumulated, then let those who
have interested themselves very much about the question of the centrals
guess what day we will reach the 10 million.

I will not say it. We will keep it at 15 July. In case there is any
question, I asked the comrades for some newsmen to come here--in the event
there was any doubt, any question that would help clarify any of the issues
I have dwelt on tonight, without any timidity.

Question from unidentified person. I would like to know, major, you opinion
about comments published in the foreign press that the Cuban 1970 harvest
pursued political and psychological objectives rather than economic or
social goals.

Castro: Can the case of tons of sugar perchance belong to the abstract or
psychological world? The fact is that the 10 million tons of sugar are
worth more than 1 billion pesos, more than 1 billion pesos. It will allow
our country to have considerable surpluses at its disposal for exports,
[words indistinct] for the socialist camp as the area of convertible
foreign exchange. There is not the slightest doubt that it will likewise
have a psychological impact. Every success has a psychological effect.

I think that the 10 million will have a tremendous impact on the world in
that it means that the country is almost doubling its farm production
between 1969 and 1970. Or is a caballeria of rice perchance psychological?

You have seen that already on 1 February that 3,600 cabellerias had been
planted. Last year it reached 2,000 in April, and now a program is
beginning that doubles last year's. Moreover, we will accumulate about 10
million quintals of unshelled rice on 1 January. Any harvest goes
one-after-the-other. We have acquired six rice mills of 1.5 million
quintals each. These, added to the ones already installed, will permit
shelling 20 million quintals. and for 1971 we will not have enough.

Is that psychological? Well, naturally, that is psychological. We say it is
a success of the country, a result of the country's effort, a tremendous
show, a tremendous moral victory admit the imperialist blockade. It will
remain after the discredit of the imperialist blockade against our country.
Good results from their having imposed a more difficult situation on us;
they forced us to fight, and we are fighting. The country is fighting now.
Everyone who comes here sees this. Everyone is deeply impressed.

It could be that we do not realize that; however, I think we do realize it.
But the country expected great successes from the revolution add we are
beginning to achieve those great successes. Now, the fact that they have
been saying that it is psychological shows the impact of the 10 million.
What else are they going to come up with? First they said we could not make
it, that we would fail in our transports, in all our plans and everything,
and now, we are going to produce it in July. We have a transportation
crisis, is it not true? But in the months of June and July we will come up
with 350 million arrobas, half a million tons over the quotas of the
harvest. The workers also have a good attitude in the people. The norm is
on the increase; it could not increase more in Oriente due to the problems
of the constant halting of the mills, and the larger areas are involved in
new problems because 75 percent, 70 percent of the capabilities of Oriente
are involved in new investments. That is being achieved with great
increases in the number of cutters. We have to maintain it, we have to
increase it. I believe that at the end it will be an impressive battle.
That is, the comrades are carrying out the installations, the roads, and
taking all the measures. Do we not have here? [Castro pauses] and naturally
from today hence they are working fervently at the Guiteras, we have
committed there the best brigades. There are presently, well, university,
everyone will be there, and the comrades at the Enidio Diaz are working
feverishly on installations, roads, and everything.

Well I indeed believe that they have large economic efforts and also large
psychological effects. We are decided not to lose this battle; this is
important. Such as in olympic games, in some contest, here we are defending
the honor of the country, the prestige of the country, the security of the
country, the self-trust of the country, and we could very well ask what are
we good for if we do not reach the 10 million tons? The truth is that the
millions are there and the people are capable of cutting them and the
mills, one way or another, are capable of grinding them, if not one,
another. This is interesting in this movement because it indicates that if
the country had a reserve of transportation to maximize the harvest--there
are some that finish ahead of others, sometimes there are mills with a
short yield cycle, but others may have some kilometers in higher lands in
which cane can be taken from there to here and in others from here to

It is enough to say that each 15 million transported, which yields 3
arrobas for each 100 arrobas of cane, means 5,100 plus tons of guar. That
is to say, why did we not think of this before? There was no need for it.
It could not happen in capitalism because each one was the owner of a
different mill and each ground its own cane. Now the cane belongs to the
country. What difference does it make if it is ground in the Amancio,
Columbia, the Alvarez Mola, or anywhere?

For several years yet we will not be able to control drought. That is, when
we have irrigation throughout then we will be able to protect ourselves
against drought--what we cannot do is to protect ourselves against excess
rains. It may be that some centrals will be operating with cane from other
centrals with better yield--let us say El Centro, which now has a yield of
12, could be sending cane to Jaronu and Jaronu could be sending cane to El
Centrol in March of April. All this would mean a greater utility of our
industrial capacity. Jaronu has a yield of 9, but due to its yield-curve we
have had to have it idle; meanwhile in El Centro we have almost a yield of
12, in the Florida area. If we use that capacity we lose 3 arrobas. For
every 1 million colossus that grinds at 9 cane that can be ground at 12 we
are destroying 10,000 tons of sugar monthly. Each 1 million colossus
destroys, grinding 9, 10,000 tons of sugar. If we had the means by which to
send cane from the Florida area, where we have almost 12, to Jaronu we
would be doing so. And in March and April we would be sending from Jaronu
to El Centro, and at the end, from Jaronu to El Centro. If we estimate the
value of the sugar that this represents we will take advantage of full
capacity. If we calculate the cost to transport this cane we will see that
the sugar produced is worth at least twice the value of all transportation
used in the operation.

Why did this idea not come to us before? Well, the 10-million ton harvest
has presented a very serious problem--how to solve this problem of 400
million arrobas by the first of February around three centrals. This is a
serious problem, with the classic scheme of railroad connections it was
impossible. Railroads are inflexible, for to take the cane from here to
there the trucks [Castro pauses] What do these fleets of trucks equal?
Where is the problem, at the Guiteras? Well then, we place three Guiteras
centrals alongside the present Guiteras in May--3 million arrobas. And, if
need be, four Guiteras, four Guiteras, at the time of the maximum yield.
What do you need? Four centrals? We provide the four, and the trucks and
transport the cane. An analysis will show what all this represents. This
idea came to us only when the problem came into being. And this solution is
possible only in a socialist economy this could never be possible. This
combination used to exist between Bolivia and Jaronu mills because they
belonged to the same company. They did this among themselves, no one else
did this.

So, we will be achieving an experience from this that can be used in any
other year to compensate the problems of the microclimate and topography of
each region. This is very interesting. Now they have given us a solution to
the problem of industrial obstacles. And if the 1970 harvest is
psychological, what is the 1971 harvest? [Laughter] For we are also
ensuring the 1971 harvest.

We are filling in, cultivating, working, and this rain falling in 1970 is
helping us for the coming year. There are a number of cabellerias planted
in the different provinces, in some more and in some less, and here in
Havana they are all [words indistinct] that is left. And there are more
than 1,000 cabellerias planted that will mature greatly.

In 1972, the centrals can begin milling with an 11 percent yield on 15
November. Already 60 caballerias of caneshoots have been transported.
Better said, caneshoots for 60 cabellerias, for Jaronu, 60.5. That is a
cane that in December had a yield of 13.5 here in Havana Province. It is a
cane that has a tremendous sugar yield--ripens unbelievably early. We are
planting (4362 and 6751), which reaches 15, and even 16 April.

In Oriente we saw some fields of 1751 that had a 15.78 on 30 January--in
the Urbano Noris area. What is more, with the capacity built up by the
country and the new varieties, we can produce 12.5 million tons of sugar by
just working with the varieties. Of course, varieties are not changed from
one year to another, but yields are a problem, and you have been able to
see this there. You have been able to see what it means--what an arroba
means. For calculation purposes, an arroba means 1,700 tons in 15 million.
One arroba in 15 million and 3 arrobas mean 5.120!

[Question from unidentified person] Major, besides the 10 million ton sugar
harvest, does the revolution continue with its other plans? The rice plan
to which you referred, the citrus plan, the plans to have the harvest, and
also the rice plan and the citrus plan marching simultaneously at a good

Castro: Well, I am going to give as an example the plan for grazing lands.
Right now there is a battalion of brand new machines that is already
turning over the soil for new pastures in Oriente; there is another
battalion in the (Tunes) area; another battalion in the Rectangulo zone
with 1,000 caballerias that are already filled; another battalion in the
Sancti Espiritu area, another in the Escambray area, another in the Sagua
area, another in the Pinarl del Rio area. Also, there is a pretty large
team working in Havana. Also, in Las Villas Province. We intend to plant
not less than 15,000 caballerias of grazing lands this year! And we are
struggling to plant 20,000! We are struggling to plant 20,000 caballerias
of rice, together with the 10-million ton sugar harvest, and together with
the cane that is being planted for 1971, and together with the cultivation
of these 10 million tons. And we are doing this with machines and
herbicides, using them for both the newly planted crop as well as for the
cane shoots.

Furthermore, this year some 1,200 cabellerias of citrus were planted, that
is, this year that just ended! More than all the citrus planted in the 70
previous years. Wow! In other words, if we were to count the number of
citrus plants from 1900 until 1960, in just one year, this year, more
citrus plants have been planted than in that entire period. And this plan
will be increased this year, with tremendous possibilities. But of course
these are plans that do not have immediate repercussions.

However, some day citrus production will become almost as important as the
10-million ton harvest is today. This is impressive because we are located
in a climate in which we may produce either sugar, or citrus, or coffee. In
other words, if we have all year--if we control the drought problem and
well, we still have the hurricane problem.

We still have before us these winter winds. You all know that during the
past few days we had a winter hurricane here. A real winter hurricane! I
saw some of the cane. It damaged it, smashed it down, dragged it, and so

Then I said to myself, well, here is one more reason for the wind-breaking
curtain to be imposed. For it is no longer a matter of October hurricanes
which sometimes come in June. These hurricanes, like the ones now, that
take a crop in bloom, remove the flowers, and [words indistinct]. We are,
therefore, building antihurricane wind-breaker curtains precisely because
of what occurs to the crops which must have this protection.

Grazing lands do not need this protection. It is not important for
sugarcane. Spates [brombas] may effect sugar yields somewhat, but not to an
important degree. Citrus, coffee, vegetables, however, that kind of planted
crops must be protected against these winds. So now, we have had a new
experience: a winter hurricane. A cyclone no one was expecting! Seven
consecutive days! Not even in the month of June does it rain as much as it
has rained here. And furthermore, it has rained not for two hours, but for
an entire day.

These are natural phenomena against which, [Castro changes thought] but we
are learning the techniques to use against these phenomena. For example,
the case of the drought. Just take a look at the plans, the irrigation
plans and how they have grown! It seems that there are years that are dryer
than others, years more humid than others. By studying rainfall all these
years we have learned that dry years come in periods, even for 4 or 5
years, and the rainy years, in periods of 4 or 5 years. We have seen, we
have been able to see how during the years 1962 and 1963 about four dry
years came together. Some dryer than others, of course, but it seems that
there is a cycle. This could be determined better by a systematic study of
all the information available on rainfall during the last 50 years. There
must be some information on this. The sugar mills have quite a bit of
information. For example, here I have some data on monthly rainfall for 30
years, 40 years, at certain sugar mills.

The truth is that the plans are marching at a great pace. This is
unquestionable; we have reached a really satisfactory level and pace. I
mentioned grazing lands because in 1968 we were unable to expand these
much, nor in 1969 because of the cattle plans. But we have more means now,
for rice, for grazing land, for cane, and we are acquiring even more means.

[Question from unidentified person] Does the measure take to transfer cane
imply that this will be a future measure used in the 1971 harvest?

Castro: Well, I know that now, at least, it has solved a problem, but I
think that the benefit of an experience still remains. An experience, as I
mentioned before, can be used in times of crisis, simply to (?expedite) the
sugar grinding. For example, right now we have the Jaronu sugar mill. It is
not operating right now, right? And it is not for lack of cane, for its
grinding seasons ends in April. And Brazil sugar mill? Why is it not
operating? Not because its season ends in April. It ends in June. It is not
operating because it has a yield of 9 and a bit more and with these yields
it would destroy 10,000 tons of sugar, or 5,000 tons of sugar, while it
[the yield[ rises. Then what do we do? We halted it on the 16th. We
examined its cane carefully in the laboratory; from the 16th on it rises
rapidly. This would extend the harvest to the 2d or 15th of June.

This is no good for us because it drops off at the end--though of course
when it drops off around here, it does not drop to 9, but rather to 11, to
10.5. What do we do then? We take its cane to Bolivia, which has grinding
capacity surplus that ends on 2 May, when its curve holds up until the end
of May. We need to support it so it can extend its own harvest. And as I
was saying that now, we could [word indistinct] to El Centro. For here,
these centrals have yield--I will tell you the yield of these centrals.
While the Brazil's is at 9--of these centrals, where is it--the Ignacio
Agramonte, on the 8th of February it had 11.65, Carlos Manual de Cespedes
had 11.26, Argentina, 11.72, Republica Dominicana, 11.72--these have one
and one-half arrobas more than the former.

And this means that we could now be moving from that area to here, in this
period, with the mill grinding without problems in January and February. It
is in May that their yields drop. Then, at a specific moment the mills
should begin to compensate for this drop. When this mill's yield is higher,
it should help this mill here, thus all mills operating at full capacity
throughout the month of May. This can mean from 2.5 to 3 arrobas of sugar
out of every 15 arrobas. Because let us consider the yields of these mills
as they are now--since from the early part of January their yields have
been 12.5, [corrects himself] 11.5--when this mill here had a minus 9
yield. Therefore, figure out for yourself how many trucks are needed to
carry cane from this point to that point and how much this means in terms
of sugar.

This calculation is perfectly easy and it has one advantage: That all these
trucks are then available for use the rest of the year. They were all with
means of transport for the rest of the year. They are used for this for 5
or 6 months and all the rest of the year are used to transport fertilizers
and all the things that need to be transported. One has to transport the
rice. Now, when exactly does the rice begin to be harvested? Where there is
no more cane. And after the cold weather, when this movement has not yet
started? In November, in December? The spring rice is being harvested at
the end of the year. And the rice planted in spring is harvested in the
middle of the year, at which time this harvest does not coincide with the
sugar harvest.

The transportation of fertilizers that must be carried out here is in the
order of millions of tons. Well, a program of transportation can be set up
that will permit that to be done and the rest of the time to do this. What
I insist on is that the means of transportation used during a harvest is
paid off. Fuel costs must be added, the expenses, but that is all. Anyway
the cane has to be cut, anyway it has to be ground. What is bad is having
to cut cane in July, without sugar, with heat--all the discomforts for the
work force--the deterioration of the machinery used in July. What is bad is
to stop a sugarmill, because if you order it to start grinding, you will be
destroying sugar due to a problem of climate. And this is something man
cannot control because of rainfall--that certainly is beyond his control.
What can be guaranteed is irrigation in times of drought.

What no one is yet able to assure is that he can prevent a downpour in
January, or in February. That factor is still quite far from being capable
of being controlled. Perhaps some day we will be able to control that, too.
And this is the [Unreadable text].

However, in this case you would save more than 3 arrobas, because if you
save [corrects himself]--take--from this sugar mill here scheduled for 26
July, this sugar mill scheduled for 10 May will already be below 10. And by
July it will be at 6. And this can be ground at 14. Not now, now we save a
lot more, because we extract it, during an extreme, an extreme drop-off
period, and we place it at an optimum time. But I broached this without
there being that kind of a situation. For that situation will not exist in
the site nor any of those places when they have their full grinding
capacity. They can pick their period perfectly.

Those of Monte Argelia Libre, which is a strong central, which now has a
low yield--and this is still a problem of climate, and reaches its peak
yield in the month of May. Yet in January it is 4 months away from its
peak. Naturally it can work with varieties, early ripening, and such, but
all this serves to extend the cycle in which it can work, but there is
always a limit.

Thus, when we have a cane that ripens fast and reaches 13 in one area,
elsewhere it does not reach 13 until January, at least. However, it can be
moved from the point where it is at 13, from November, to the point that is
still humid. It maintains humidity--a factor that retards ripening, and
does not permit reaching that grade. Even now you have here, in the Urbano
Noris area, cane with 14 and 15. Its yield here is still perceptibly higher
than at the Argelia Libre. This is because it rains even more at the end of
the year in that area.

And we also know (?from experience) where it rains here. We know that it
rains in the west. I think that is the advantage of the climate in the
west, and Havana's great advantage for agriculture is that it gets rain
during this period--in January, February, March. It begins to stop little
in March and April--it may rain more or less around the middle of
March--and it also has a period of drought--25-30 days in the month after
the first 2 weeks in November until 20 December and the cold waves bring
water here, because these waters are the result of the cold winds charged
with humidity. And it rains in the north. That's why you see a different
behavior in the south. The cane begins to reach maturity earlier, and it
takes longer to reach maturity in the north.

On the other hand, when, because of the heat of the summer that approaches,
it begins to rain more in areas in the south, the yield drops rapidly in
the south and, on the other hand, continues almost till June in the north.
Of course, the more those problems are observed and the more attention that
is given to them, more and more things will be learned which are of great
value. That is information that has tremendous value and from which great
economic profit can be had, taking advantage of the advantages of a
socialist economy. There are not the contradictions of a private interest,
which would make anything like that impossible.

Newsman: Major, can it be said that, in general, the productivity of the
macherteros is satisfactory?

Castro: Undoubtedly, because you see, the problem of the labor force has
not arisen yet except in isolated cases. It has arisen a little in Las
Villas Province, because they have a number [Castro leaves thought
incomplete] but not because their productivity is low, but rather because
of the quantity of cane that they have been cutting, without a single
sugarcane collection and preprocessing center or anything. That is, they
have a productivity of almost 200 [arrobas], but still, because there are
many workers, regular old [cane] workers, who are building dams, operating
tractors, and so they have some limited problems in the work forc