HAVANA TIMES — Fidel Castro is alive and well and was seen outside his home for the second time in the course of less than a week, this time while meeting with chiefs, officials and civilian employees of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) and the Ministry of the Interior (MININT).
The objective of the meeting was to speak, not about armaments and combat strategies, but about the main challenge currently faced by the country: producing food products for the population.
According to reports made public this Saturday by Cuba’s official media, on the gathering that took place on Thursday, Castro, who will turn 89 in about a month, gave FAR and MININT officers diplomas acknowledging their work in the production of food products.
“During a lively exchange with the officers in attendance, Fidel spoke of the accelerated growth of the world’s population in the midst of climate change; the crisis stemming from the growing water shortages, and the international conflicts that have an impact on the rise of products,” a brief note published by Cuba’s official newspaper Granma pointed out.
Fidel underscored the importance of increasing food production, applying science and employing it in the reproduction and development of farm animals.
The issue of food production will be tackled during the upcoming session of Cuba’s National Assembly (parliament), scheduled for July 15. Official statistics indicate that, during the first half of the year, the production of such food products as cheese, chicken, cold meats, mince meat and sausages remained unstable owing to underproduction at the national level, a phenomenon which forced the government to destine US $40 million above the allotted budget to purchase those food products abroad.
Castro also spoke of the “awareness of the Cuban people, forged in the heat of the revolutionary process, an awareness that has led to the creation of high values among human beings.”
The note is accompanied by three photos credited to Estudios Revolucion. The place of the meeting is not mentioned.
In one of the photos, Castro appears sitting at a table, surrounded by those who attended the gathering, including General Leopoldo Cintra Frias, Minister of the FAR, and General Abelardo Colome Ibarra, Minister of the Interior.
This is Castro’s second public appearance in less than a week. This past Friday, he attended a meeting with experienced cheese makers at the Food Industry Research Institute of the Ministry of the Food Industry (MINAL), where he spoke with attendants for around four hours.
Last Monday, he sent an effusive letter of solidarity to the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras, praising the leader for his “brilliant political victory” following the referendum held in the country the previous Sunday.