Call to Urban Farmers in Cuba: Prepare for Less Fuel

By Vicente Morin Aguado

The number two man in the Communist Party, Juan Ramon Machado Ventura, 88, foresees less fuel in Cuba for power driven irrigation.

HAVANA TIMES – Trabajadores, the official weekly organ of the only Cuban labor union federation, published on Monday a report that outlined the words of the Second Secretary of the Communist Party, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, saying that “a decrease in the availability of fuel is envisioned.”  

The article cites an intervention by Machado Ventura, 88, and one the country’s vice presidents, at a recently held annual meeting on Urban and Suburban Agriculture and Family gardening program saying, “I recommend looking for watering cans to guarantee irrigation for the crops.”

These are the intensive urban gardening crops, centered on the production of vegetables, whose production in the immediate future concerns the Communist Party leader. He exhorted growers “to do more, to work with greater intensity, “to stabilize the supply to tourism, the population and substitute imports.

Urban agriculture gained extension in Cuba when the European socialist camp collapsed, in particular the Soviet Union, which supplied cheap oil to the Caribbean island. Alternatives were developed with the aim of surviving the crisis that was then unleashed in the country due to the lack of energy.

Nowadays the growth of tourism implies a growing demand for vegetables, often supplied with urgency with expensive imports, while the population sees less produce in their markets. 

The Trabajadores article does not mention the current political crisis in Venezuela, one of whose essential causes is the resounding fall of oil production. The Cuban state benefits from Venezuelan oil under an exchange insured until now with the presence of tens of thousands of Cuban professionals, mostly doctors and other health workers and educators, working on “missions” in the South American country.   

Despite much talk of building self-sufficiency, Cuba continues to depend on its allies to survive.  First, the USSR, then Venezuela. Their fate becomes Cuba’s fate.

Vicente Morín Aguado: [email protected]


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4 thoughts on “Call to Urban Farmers in Cuba: Prepare for Less Fuel

  • Brazil and Canada and the USA have been able to blend ethanol with gasoline for use in ordinary vehicles. Cuba has sugarcane and alcohol is very cheap. Any initiatives to blend ethanol with gasoline to make it go further ?

  • Moses, ever looked at the statistics?? The amount of visitors to Cuba from both Canada and Europe far exceeds the amount of US visitors (even when you add up American Cubans and non Cuban US visitors)? The world DOES NOT revolve around only the USA!! And the main influx of hard currency in Cuba from tourism comes out of Canada and Europe!

    And the USA and Israel are the only 2 countries in the world that continue to make life in Cuba extra difficult by maintaining the blockade – the blockade that forces Cuba to trade with and rely on likewise communist countries because our “nice” big brother USA will put bans and restrictions on trade with the USA for countries & banks that the defy the blockade and trade with Cuba. Talk about ironic!

  • Cubas its own werst enemy.the lack of English speaking peaples. The bad food .the washrooms. toilet paper. The attitude towatds tourist. That dont stay in resorts.yes we see the poverty.yes we see and feel the negativity.i have been in cuba for a long time and i still am treated poorly as a tourist..called a tourist some times venders will not sell to me ..i send my wife..if 5 cuc they see me its 15 .a bc bike ride a horse cart dubble if they see me…my family is cuban and they’re ashamed. At their own peaple we get to know the ones that treat me as such. And avoid them. Thare loss..i bring as much as im allowed to bring .humanitarian. from canada..medicine things the cubans much.and im treated as a king from the good peaple that benefit. From the gifts i bring.pain killers eye medacines antibiotic..allergy medicine joint and pian on and so on.i’m trying to talk to my government to send aid to cuba food meat.oil i love cuba and most of the peaple. Time for change .big change. Fast change. Feed help cloth anf give them hope.the rest of the worlds moveing forward.why and whaysholding cuba back.a young girl wont say names bot a boat ride to Florida. 96 peaple on the boat.3 made it boat sank and the three said sharks had a feist
    Horrific..just to eat and live as most of the world dose.shame on reson for this in todays world.

  • Ironic isn’t it? As Cuba’s sugar daddy Venezuela devolves into civil war, Cuba becomes even more economically dependant upon US tourism for hard currency. As US forces accelerate the inevitable end to the government set up in in Venezuela by the Castros to help them resist the US, their very own government will be forced to attract more US tourists .

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