FAO Congratulates Fidel Castro for Reducing Hunger in Cuba

José Graziano. Photo:wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES — The head of the UN Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), José Graziano, congratulated Cuban leader Fidel Castro in a letter for the reduction of hunger on the island.

Cuba has met the 2015 target of halving the number of people suffering from hunger, according to Graziano’s letter dated April 29 and published today on the cover of the official newspaper “Granma”.

The message is addressed personally to the former Cuban president, retired from power since 2006. Fidel Castro ruled the island for nearly 50 years after the triumph of the 1959 revolution.

Cuba joins 15 other countries to be honored for having fulfilled the goal set at the World Food Summit of 1976, Graziano said. “All will receive a certificate of recognition for having met the target in advance of the summit,” he said.

Besides Cuba, among the countries listed for their achievements in the fight against hunger are Chile, Guyana, Nicaragua, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela in Latin America.

FAO will hold its next conference at its headquarters in Rome on June 15-22.

7 thoughts on “FAO Congratulates Fidel Castro for Reducing Hunger in Cuba

  • Indeed and Castro’s mismanagement of the economy and agriculture over the last 50+ years resulted in the disaster Cuba is in 2013.
    The facts don’t change. those that ignore reality and how Cuba became such a disaster are sure to come to the wrong conclusions.

  • Sure Cuba of course has manipulaterd the reports, may also the ones for Chile, Peru, Nicargua, Ghana, Armenia etc….

  • En esa ocasión, se le hará un homenaje a Cuba y a los otros 15 países que más éxito han tenido en la reducción del hambre. A todos ellos se les entregará un diploma de reconocimiento por haber cumplido anticipadamente la meta de la Cumbre. Los países que acompañarán a Cuba son: Armenia, Azerbaiyán, Chile, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Nicaragua, Perú, Samoa, Santo Tomé y Príncipe, Tailandia, Uruguay, Venezuela y Vietnam.

  • we are living in 2013

  • Quite strange given Fidel Castro created hunger in Cuba.

    “Armando Hart, a member of Castro’s innermost ruling group, made the extremely significant observation that:. . . it is certain that capitalism had attained high levels of organization, efficiency and production that declined after the Revolution. . . (Juventud Rebelde, November 2, 1969; quoted by Rene Dumont, Is
    Cuba Socialist?)

    Theodore Draper quotes Anial Escalante, (before he was purged by Castro) one of the leading communists, who admitted that: …in reality, Cuba was not one of the countries with the lowest standard of living of the masses in America, but on the contrary, one of the highest standards of living, and it was here where the first great . . . democratic social revolution of the continent burst forth. . . If the historical development had been dictated by the false axiom [revolutions come first in poorest countries] the revolution should have been first produced in Haiti, Colombia or even Chile, countries of greater poverty for the masses than the Cuba of 1958. . . (quoted in Draper’s Castro’s Revolution: Myths and Realities; New York, 1962,p. 22)

    Castro himself admitted that there
    was no hunger in Cuba:

    Cuba, the “Pearl of the Antilles,”
    though by no means a paradise, was not, as many believe, an economically
    backward country. Castro himself admitted that while there was poverty, there
    was no economic crisis
    and no hunger in Cuba before the Revolution. (See
    Halperin: The Rise and Fall of Fidel Castro, University of California, 1972,
    pgs. 24, 25, 37)

    From this other Socialist website
    the developed status of Cuba before Castro (and the immediate effects of his
    take-over) are clear:

    “Firstly Cuba was already relatively developed before 1959, probably third in Latin America. Secondly, Cuba compares well but not is not markedly better than examples of capitalist countries on a similar level, like Taiwan and Costa Rica.
    Thirdly, since the withdrawal of the Russian subsidy there has been a
    terrible decline in living standards.

    Cuba’s annual growth figure of 4% over the first thirty years, even if it is
    credible, which I doubt, does not reveal the whole picture. Cuba fell from
    third place in Latin America to fifteenth for GDP per capita between 1952
    and 1981, and the growth figures that were achieved did not arise from
    increases in productivity. The economy shrank from the mid-1980’s and
    plummeted 35% between 1989-93, back to 1970’s levels. GDP per head is now
    lower than Jamaica. From 1963 Cuba became a sugar monoculture within the
    Soviet empire. But the real crisis in Cuban agriculture is shown by the fact
    that half the food for Havana (three million people) is currently produced
    by the army, which owns just 4% of the land.”


    Before Castro Cuba was the third developed country in the Americas beating lots of European countries. It also was a net exporter of food.
    Now Cuba is a third world country and imports 80% of the food its people consume.
    No congratulations due.

  • Given that the report was written by the Cuban government and handed over to the UN, and that the UN were not allowed to conduct their own independent research in Cuba, there is no way of knowing if it is true or not.

    The report and the “congratulations” are meaningless.

  • From my personal experience, it is true that given the overall poverty level in Cuba, there are relatively fewer beggars in the streets and even fewer hungry children. There is an old Cuban joke that asks “What are the three worst things about the Revolution?”. Answer: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. So while it is true that hunger is low in Cuba, what the Castros have done is sacrificed the breadth and depth of food choices to facilitate this outcome. In other words, EVERYONE is a little hungry and bored with the available food choices so that FEWER go without anything to eat at all. My Cuban next door neighbor said to me that Cubans DO have a choice of what they eat. One day it is beans and rice and the next day it is rice and beans.

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