Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-94-144 Daily Report 26 Jul 1994 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Raul Castro Chairs Meeting With PCC Officials in Villa Clara

FL2607160694 Havana Cuba Vision Network in Spanish 0000 GMT 26 Jul 94 FL2607160694 Havana Cuba Vision Network Spanish BFN [Report by Marta Moreno; from the "NTV" newscast]

[Text] Army General Raul Castro, Cuban Communist Party [PCC] second secretary and Revolutionary Armed Forces minister, chaired a meeting in Villa Clara with the main PCC, Union of Young Communists, and mass organization leaders from the five central provinces and their 53 municipalities. The meeting involved more than 60 comrades and lasted more than 12 hours.

Participants discussed important issues like providing food for the people, reinstating discipline and revolutionary vigilance nationwide, and, above all, paying close attention to the ties with the masses and the labor-peasant-student alliance.

These and other issues were discussed but not in the traditional manner. In any case, the discussion focused on problems and the ways to solve them with the participation of every person in his assigned place.

[Begin Division General Ulises Rosales del Toro recording] If people see the PCC, its cadres, and activists [words indistinct] objectively, they will have a positive and admiring opinion about Communists. To be a Communist today is to be a revolutionary in difficult times, dedicated to the people's problems and standard- bearers of the optimist, combative, audacious, and creative concept that things can be done. [end recording]

Raul emphasized: We live in crucial times and it is time to face problems in a dignified way, to strengthen our ties with the people and, above all, to reject lies. He quoted our commander in chief from over 30 years ago.

[Begin Castro recording] They caught us telling a lie and forced us to live with it. Our hearts sank when we realized the truth, but it was better for our hearts to sink rather than live with a lie. [end recording]

Another extensively discussed topic was agrarian production, including distribution-marketing procedures, prices, participation of various categories of producers, state-owned farms, Basic Cooperative Production Units and Agriculture-Livestock Cooperative, private land owners and tenants, and other issues which may help fulfill the people's need for food -- the number one goal in the current economic and political activities.

Special attention was given to the sugarcane sector's recovery and sugar production, the main source of revenue for our national economy. Agriculture Minister Alfredo Jordan and Sugar Industry Minister Nelson Torres, both members of the PCC Politburo, and Fishing Industry Deputy Minister Enrique Oltuski referred to the actions carried out by their respective organizations to increase production, lower costs, and progressively reduce state subsidies.

Orlando Lugo, president of the National Association of Small Farmers, and other comrades talked about the reduction in deliveries from the peasant sector to the state's distribution centers and the sale of part of their production on the black market -- which jeopardizes the workers' economy and deteriorates fraternal ties between the two classes, whose alliance is vital for the defense of the achievements reached by socialism and the fatherland's independence.

Lugo also referred to the lack of raw materials needed in the production sector and the lack of industrial products for personal and local consumption experienced by the peasant sector. There was a consensus among participants on the need to study and seek trade formulas that are more consistent with the current economic and financial situation that prevails in the country, to encourage an increase in agrarian production in every sector, to create a more direct distribution to consumers by simplifying current marketing systems and new formulas of attracting surplus production into the national network. They also agreed on the necessity of increasing the struggle against speculation, profitteering, and, above all, against criminals who steal and illegally slaughter cattle.

The meeting's participants also reviewed efforts to put the domestic economy on a sound basis to support the measures, because it is an essential issue for the country's economy.

Army General Castro emphasized that the cadres' creative capability is required. We must all work to attain results because we cannot rely on good intentions.

[Begin Castro recording] If we cannot establish the difference between essential things and secondary things we will be surpassed by events. We see many political, administrative, and other types of cadres surpassed by events because they do not know where to start working. [end recording]

Raul ended by issuing an appeal to work together under the party's leadership, seeking alternate solutions and, above all, countering deficiencies that are not a result of the special period or imperialist blockade.