Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Fidel Castro Grants Interview to GRANMA
Havana Radio Rebelde Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000016764
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL2509200090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-187          Report Date:    26 Sep 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     4
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       5
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       25 Sep 90
Report Volume:       Wednesday Vol VI No 187


City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Fidel Castro Grants Interview to GRANMA

Subheadline:   Comments on Plans for Havana Province

Source Line:   FL2509200090 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 1700 GMT 25
Sep 90

1.  [Text] We are considering a strategy to achieve a production of no less
than 15 million quintals [crop not specified] in Havana Province. The basic
idea is for the province to become self-sufficient in tubers and vegetables and
produce enough for the residents of the capital, not just so that enough food
will be available, but also to avoid transporting those products from distant

2.  This statement was made by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro at the beginning
of an interview with Comrade Susana Lord of the newspaper GRANMA on Sunday,
after his second consecutive weekend tour of Havana Province. On this occasion,
he was accompanied by Chilean Senator Anselmo Tule and Cuban officials.

3.  After giving the number of tubers and vegetables that are to be planted in
the 1990-1991 winter campaign, Fidel said that all potatoes will be harvested
at once and later kept refrigerated for months because of the high cost of
production. We are going to guarantee basic supplies such as plantains,
pumpkins, sweet potatoes, yucca, corn, and other crops, Fidel said.

4.  Fidel mentioned the use of microjet irrigation. He said that the
introduction of that technique in the country will revolutionize plantain
production, with land and air irrigation bringing yields of 20,000 and 30,000
quintals per caballeria, respectively.

5.  The commander in chief said emphatically that the key to what we propose to
do is the availability of adequate manpower. He said that Havana Province's
miscellaneous crops enterprises, with their 1,700 caballerias, have only 1,900
direct manual workers, and that there are plans to reduce the administrative
service personnel of those enterprises in that province and throughout the

6.  Fidel said that some 50 camps will be built in the eight miscellaneous
crops enterprises in Havana Province, and 10 more may be made available for the
labor force that comes from the capital, which might total some 20,000 people
at times of maximum demand.

7.  After stating that agriculture in Havana Province has been fortunate to
have the support of dozens of schools in the countryside, Fidel said that at
this time, there are over 20,000 hectares planted--some 1,700 caballerias--
which are afflicted with an enormous labor scarcity. This is due, he said, to
the fact that when spring comes, it is no longer possible to count on the
youths from the schools in the countryside, because they begin their period of
exams and vacations.

8.  The future solution to agriculture's problems, Fidel said, will not lie in
the shuttling of workers [mobilizaciones], although it will continue to be the
only recourse for a number of years. It will be necessary to build the required
housing, establish adequate living conditions, optimize attention to the
workers, and pay rural workers higher wages than city workers, if we want to
produce the food that the people require, he said. He mentioned that it is not
possible to mechanize the production of tubers and vegetables, as was done in
the sugar and rice industries. He added that the rice crop will advance
considerably with an engineering system that is being developed.

9.  On the subject of raising livestock, Fidel said that the most urgent task
is to increase the production of feed, of which some 13,000 caballerias have
been planted this year. Under the special period plans, efforts have already
begun to domesticate 100,000 bulls within no more than six months. These bulls
would ordinarily have been sent to the slaughterhouse.

10.  This makes the importation of poultry meat necessary to substitute for the
beef those 100,000 bulls would yield. It has to be said that the equivalent
amount of poultry is being purchased. It is possible and very probable, added
the commander in chief, that if the fuel situation continues to be critical
later on, not only because of the difficulties in the supplies from the USSR
but also because of the stratospheric oil prices caused by the Persian Gulf
crisis, it would be necessary to proceed to domesticate 100,000 more bulls. We
would thus have over 400,000 animals doing agriculture-related tasks. We cannot
fold our arms because of the difficulties. We simply have to face the
difficulties no matter what they may be.

11.  Referring again to the shuttled workers in Havana Province, Fidel said: Of
course, although the shuttled workers are showing a great awareness and work
spirit, their production will never be the same as that of permanent workers.
However, we are pleased with the fact that participation is massive and that
volunteerism prevails.  I am certain that there will be more than enough ideas
and forces inasmuch as it is a vital matter for the country and the people have
always responded and risen to the occasion during difficult times.

12.  Fidel added: Everything is always more difficult in the capital,
everything is easier in the rest of the provinces.  However, if we had a large
surplus of employees and not enough activities to employ them in, the
revolution would never throw a single man or woman to the streets.  Each worker
will be guaranteed enough income to meet his needs. If it were necessary to
reduce the work time per week, we will reduce it as much as necessary for the
duration of the special period. Work hours per day would not be reduced. Work
days per week would be reduced when there is no other alternative in activities
that make this possible. To reduce one or two work hours per day would not
translate into any type of reduction of transportation needs or efforts that
people would have to make.

13.  Many workers would have more free time, said Fidel.  Free time is much
appreciated as long as it is used in an intelligent and fruitful way.