Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Tours Alquizar Farm, Praises Workers
Havana Tele Rebelde Network
Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     FL2804132092
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-082          Report Date:    28 Apr 92
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     2
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       3
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       27 Apr 92
Report Volume:       Tuesday Vol VI No 082


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Tours Alquizar Farm, Praises Workers

Author(s):   Mariela Diaz at the Alquizar Miscellaneous Crops Enterprise, on 27

Source Line:   FL2804132092 Havana Tele Rebelde Network in Spanish 2300 GMT 27
Apr 92

Subslug:   [``Excerpts'' of interview with President Fidel Castro by Mariela
Diaz at the Alquizar Miscellaneous Crops Enterprise, on 27

1.  [``Excerpts'' of interview with President Fidel Castro by Mariela Diaz at
the Alquizar Miscellaneous Crops Enterprise, on 27 April-recorded]

2.  [Text] [Castro] What do I think of the province? Well, I think that the two
provinces, Havana and Havana City, are working very well together, because, of
course, this province alone-without the mobilization of 20,000 workers from
Havana City-could not have won the potato war. We do not know what could have
happened without the mobilization. But the fact is that the potatoes were
harvested and are stored away in refrigerated facilities. Now we have potatoes
to supply almost 3 million people and for state-run entities. The people think
that there is a lot; there is enough, but the number of people is also high.

3.  Certain figures have been mentioned I do not think are correct. It has been
said that the eight-pound potato quota will last until December. I do not think
that such figures should be issued. Because, first of all-there are several
reasons-we have to keep an eye on the cold-storage centers.  A malfunction
could occur at any time.  Something could affect the inventory, and the weight
of the potatoes decreases as the months go by. Therefore, toward the end you
have at least 100,000 fewer quintals as a result of the decreasing weight of
the potatoes.  Furthermore, we have to supply almost 3 million people, as I
said before, besides the state entities. In addition, you always have to
maintain a reserve in case we have to help another city or province at a
certain time. As a matter of fact, during the recent harvest we distributed
some potatoes, just as cabbage was also distributed to other provinces. You
always have to put some away, so you can take a pound or two and help another
province at a certain time.

4.  That is why we can say that there is not enough to last until December at
the eight-pound rate in the capital. We also have to keep in mind Havana
Province, besides consumption at the state entities, which is high. Do you
understand? In other words, we need 250,000 quintals a month. I do not think
that we can say that the potatoes will last until December if we distribute
them at the eight-pound rate. We might have to issue smaller quotas during the
off months, June, July, August. Later on, issue a little less, and in that
manner we can prolong it. But, above all, we have to have certain amounts
available in case we have to help another city. We do not know if we are going
to have a hurricane or something else happens.  Maybe we will have to help
Havana. We have to see what happens. We depend a lot on plantains, yet the
hurricane season is coming, not only rain but also hurricanes, and that is
dangerous for the plantains.

5.  [Diaz] I asked you more than two questions.

6.  [Castro] Keep going, keep going.

7.  [Diaz] I wanted to comment on something to you. A concern exists among
miscellaneous crops enterprise managers. Some are of the opinion that planting
beans now is an extremely expensive investment.

8.  [Castro] Well, if you knew that a few days ago...[pauses] What day did we
hold the meeting?

9.  [Unidentified speaker] Wednesday.

10.  [Castro] Last Wednesday. What was the date?

11.  [Unidentified speaker] 23, 22 April.

12.  [Castro] On 22 April we had a meeting. We were making a few adjustments in
the crops we considered could take too much work force. We made some
adjustments and rationalized things.  We gave priority to yuca, boniato,
plantains, corn, and cucumbers. We reduced the amount of beans to be planted,
and we decided....[rephrases] We are studying where they are growing, where
they are on the ground, where they are up on stakes. They are in better
condition both on the ground and on stakes, for planting. But an adjustment was
made in the plans for cucumber and eggplant, also.  Because eggplant must be
planted earlier. There were some problems with the seedlings. There was also an
adjustment in the plan for garlic.

13.  It must also be said that the work force has been rationalized, seeing
where the major force must be concentrated in these days, precisely because
although we have the camps and all the mobilized workers, there are many things
to be done. There is also the corn, among the crops that must be taken care of
in these days.  We must prepare the soil and plant the corn, in addition to
boniato, yuca, plantains, and cucumbers. So there were adjustments in these
plans, on 23 April at a meeting we had with all the miscellaneous crops

14.  [Diaz] Do you have a special message for the workers before 1 May,

15.  [Castro] Well, a special message would be to ask them to continue working
as they have done up to now, and ask them to win the battle of spring planting
to ensure the tubers, vegetables, and food for the off months, and congratulate
them especially for 1 May.

16.  [Diaz] Thank you.