Bad Seed / Jose Antonio Fornaris
Posted on September 29, 2013
HAVANA, Cuba , September, www.cubanet.org – It is not possible to find
antecedents – apparently they don’t exist — or any other moments in
history when Cuban agricultural production fell as deeply and as long as
in recent decades.
As long ago as 1960, Fidel Castro assured that there was a plan to
supply poultry meat to the internal markets as of January of the
following year. And he added, “Starting in 1962 the food supply will be
A little later he affirmed, “It is in agriculture where we have
immediate possibilities. It is in agriculture where the fruits are going
to be seen most quickly… The development of livestock goes hand in hand
with the development of sugar. Meat is red gold.”
Castro’s last attempt (there were many) in the agricultural sector, was
the so-called “Food Plan.” The only thing that materialized from it was
the image of a farmer carrying a bunch of bananas which is on the back
of the 20 peso note.
Fidel’s brother, General Raul Castro, is following in his footsteps in
this matter. Since taking power, he has been looking for the magic wand
to make the earth bear fruit, even moderately.
The latest effort in this direction was the National Meeting of the
Agricultural Sector Producers, which ended on 14 September at the Lázaro
Peña theater in Havana.
Raul Castro sent a message to the event; in one paragraphs it reads, “In
recent years, various measures have been adopted, in accordance with the
Guidelines approved by the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party,
to eliminate the obstacles that hinder development of this sector.
However, there still remains much to be done to make the contribution of
agriculture to the national economy greater, without which we can not
move the country forward in a sustainable way.”
In the early years of the Fidelistas coming to power, the contribution
of agriculture was still outstanding. And that could be appreciated in
the markets. But in 1962, the regime was forced to establish rationing
for essential goods.
From that moment, the shelves of retail stores began to be emptied and
the lack of food began to worsen, until today, when food prices are
infinitely greater than they were at that time.
Why, for centuries, was the land of this Island able to provide
different types of provisions and, instead, for more than half a century
now, it is insufficient? The answer is obvious.
Jose Antonio Fornaris,
Note: Photo is of food ads published in the Revolution newspaper on
November 16, 1959.
26 September 2013
Source: “Bad Seed / Jose Antonio Fornaris | Translating Cuba” –