Fidel Castro visited the Food Industry Research Institute
Fidel Castro visited the Food Industry Research Institute

HAVANA TIMES — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro returned to public activity in Havana on Friday after several months, according to images released Saturday by the official newspaper “Granma”.

Castro, 88, visited the Food Industry Research Institute in the neighborhood of Guatao in the Havana district of La Lisa, the newspaper reported.

The former president “had an extensive exchange of more than four hours with 19 cheese masters” during his visit, said “Granma”. Castro showed interest in the problems facing the food industry on the island, said the newspaper.

In Cuba, for decades cheese has been a luxury item in short supply with most of the production going to the tourism industry. Milk production has also been far from sufficient to meet demand.

The last time Fidel was photographed in public was when he visited a school back in April. In May he received visiting French President Francois Hollande at his home in Havana.

Castro withdrew from power in 2006 with a serious illness after ruling the island for almost 50 years and is rarely seen in public. However he often receives high level foreign guests at his home in western Havana.

28 thoughts on “Fidel Castro meets with cheesemakers

  • My words were those of Lilian Guerra’s. You are free to read the extensively footnoted book which cover carries praise from none other than HT. Are you aware that there were riots and violent protests from the public when SIM agents and police recieved lienient sentences from the Tribunals ? There was tremendous public pressure for justice for murderers and torturers of the US backed dictatorship. And Cuba was completely open about what it was doing. It provided footage of executions to NBC. is Your comments about the Alzados is completely false. The round-ups during Giron are accurate. You neglect to mention there were dozens or hundreds of armed clandestine cells, directed and supplied by the US to assassinate key leaders, sabotage and create chaos as part of the coordinated plans for invasion. Are you suggesting they should have been given probation and a fine for their sedition and terrorism ? Lastly, why do you limit you comments to the violence of only Socialist revolutions ? You dispute the historian’s inclusion of France, Mexico and Haiti ?

  • Please define “widespread violent repression”.

    True, the Cuban Revolution did not inflict the kind of violent repression which characterized the Russian Revolution or Mao’s China.

    However, there were many executions carried out in the first few months after Castro seized power. Crowds listening to Fidel’s speeches in Revolution Square and shouting “Paradon!” were broadcasted on Cuban TV. The number of executions is a matter of historical debate:

    Latin American historian Thomas E. Skidmore says there had been 550 executions in the first six months of 1959.[20] British historian Hugh Thomas, in his study Cuba or the pursuit of freedom[21] stated that “perhaps” 5,000 executions had taken place by 1970,[20] while The World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators ascertained that there had been 2,113 political executions between the years of 1958–67.[20]

    Professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, Rudolph J. Rummel estimated the number of political executions at between 4,000 and 33,000 from 1958–87, with a mid range of 15,000.[22]

    During the Bay of Pigs invasion, Fidel took the opportunity to round up over 100,000 people suspected of political opposition. Most were released, but tens of thousands were jailed for years.

    The rebels who took to the Escambray mountains to fight against Castro and his growing tyranny certainly faced violent repression. The Cuban army sent 250,000 troops to fight the rebels. They took no prisoners and executed any who surrendered.

    So while you can make the very small point that in total numbers, the Cuban Revolution did not murder quite as many people as the other Communist revolutions around the world did, there still was widespread, violent repression in Cuba.

    Freedom House classifies Cuba as being “Not Free” and notes that “Cuba is the only country in the Americas that consistently makes Freedom House’s list of the Worst of the Worst: the World’s Most Repressive Societies for widespread abuses of political rights and civil liberties.”

    And by the evidence of the beating Antonio Rodiles received a few days ago, the widespread violent repression still goes on today.

  • You know that Batista, along with his cohorts, fled to Santo Domingo and then to Portugal! You of course know this but perhaps not all the readers do. Why do you then say he went to America; disinformation?

    It’s your kind of thinking I thought had disappeared. But I see that your dangerous thinking is still around, the same type of thinking that led to the UMAP forced labor camps.

    Because of those, and other repressive policies, hundreds of thousands fled Cuban communism for freedom. Those “traitors” are the same ones who now, ironically, indirectly support the Castro regime with hundreds of millions of dollars in remittances very year. Where would you be without that money?

    Must be embarrassing for you huh?

  • How dare you!! Who the f*ck are you to decide who should be celebrated and who should be ostracized. In many, if not most cases, true Cuban patriots were forced to leave Cuba simply because they disagreed with the Castros. True democracy demands disagreement. For 56 years the Castros have done everything in their power to suppress dissent and maintain control over the Cuban people. The only love the Castros have shown is self-love. True love for the Cuban people would have allowed Cubans to speak freely. True love would not have restricted Cubans from traveling or imprisoned homosexuals. Cuban exiles did not abandon the revolution. The revolution abandoned them.

  • The TRD shops and El Rapido sell Gouda cheese from Holland at CUC8.50 per kg and sometimes Cuban cheese at CUC4.50. Two years ago they introduced blue Cuban cheese, but the Cubans not being accustomed to it – or to the price – didn’t go for it.
    No doubt there would have been regular supplies of cheese and butter if Fidel Castro’s promise to build 150 dairy farms in Sancti Spiritus during 1959 had come to fruition, but that as usual was a pipe dream.
    For a few years butter from Germany was sometimes available but that seems to have ended and most of the time no butter is available.

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