Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro on Progress in Las Tunas Province

FL0212234588 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0100 GMT 29 Nov 88

[Excerpts] Shortly before inaugurating the 200 T Rolling Mill, the
commander in chief granted an interview to Naranjo Rosabal, our
correspondent in Las Tunas.

[Begin recording] [Rosaba] Greetings.  Our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro
Ruz went on an extensive tour through the Covarrubias Beach as part of his
visit to Las Tunas Province.  In Covarrubias, the commander in chief talked
to the workers building there and showed interest in their living
conditions and the work they carry out.

[passage omitted]

[Rosabal] Excuse me, Commander, excuse me for just a minute.  We would like

[Castro, interrupting] Which station?

[Rosabal] Cuban television.  Close to here, when you inaugurated Puerto
Carupano 10 years ago, you challenged the people of Las Tunas not to stay
behind.  What is your impression after a decade?

[Castro] Well, I believe... [changes thought] As a matter of fact, I was
reading in the helicopter a report on the economic and social development
of Las Tunas.  There is no doubt that it has made considerable progress.
Its industrial and agricultural production and construction are growing.
Even this year, with all the difficulties we have had, production in Las
Tunas Province grew by over five percent.

[Rosabal] Speaking of construction, the people of Las Tunas have been
capable of working in their won province and have helped other provinces.

[Castro] Yes, they have been capable of that.  I was also seeing that they
have increased sand, gravel, block, and brick production by over 50
percent.  In sum, all kinds of construction material.  They have completed,
they have built some sand washers, some new mills.  They are developing
ceramics.  They are developing sugarcane by-products with a series of
large productions.  They are increasing the production of tubers and
vegetables.  They have ambitious plans for the future.  They have developed
ceramics.  They already have a number of ceramics factories.  They are
producing [word indistinct] ceramics for insulators and other uses.

In the social area, they are making much progress.  They have made notable
progress in education.  They already have a little over 96 percent of
school retention.  They have dual sessions in six or seven municipalities;
100 percent of the city people attend the dual session.  They have improved
considerably in education.  I believe that their infant mortality rate was
around 26 or 27 [units not specified] in 1977.  They have reduce it by
around 15.  It is still a little high and they have to reduce it even more.

They already have over 100 family doctors.  They have over 700 doctors in
the entire province.  They had around 200, 200 some doctors 10 years ago.
I don't even want to think of how many they had before the revolution.
According to statistics, there were very few.  So, in the area of health
they have a number of hospitals, polyclinics, and a good number of
dentists.  Health has improved considerably.

We are also improving recreational activities and sports.  Now they have
the stadium, not a stadium... [corrects himself] the multiple-use room, as
they call it.  They are building a pasteuriazation plant with a capacity of
100 liters of milk and some tens of thousands of containers of yogurt.
They are working on a development program for milk production.  We are
going to start a construction project of many tens of dairies.  We are
going to going to start the construction project in January or February.
It is similar to the one we are building in Camaguey although it is a
little smaller.  We are also going to build it in Las Tunas and in Ciego de
Avila.  Therefore, there is practically not a single field in which
progress has not been made here. [end recording]