Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
In a congratulatory letter, Army General Raul Castro Ruz greeted the members of the Urban, Suburban and Family Agriculture Movement, on the occasion of the 34th anniversary “since we together promoted the incipient experience of growing vegetables in beds enriched with organic fertilizers”.
The leader of the Cuban Revolution recounted how “what was an exception in very few places, was gradually extended throughout the country, until reaching more than 12,640 hectares that today make up the productive base” of that Movement.
Remembering how distant it may seem “that moment at the end of the 1980s when we indicated the need to develop and generalize this method of cultivation”, he stated that “undoubtedly, times have changed, but the need to produce food remains intact”, and emphasized these last two years, when the world has experienced one of the worst health crises. “COVID-19 has brought everything to a halt and has put millennial inequalities under the spotlight”.
He emphasized how, “in the midst of that gale, our country, besieged as never before by the United States, has no other option but to move forward by its own forces”, and affirmed that “in that battle you play an essential role, you, faithful promoters of the sovereignty that comes from the countryside and effort”.
He described as undeniable the progress of this popular movement. “The 1,300,000 tons reached today in its different productive modalities speaks of how much has been achieved, but also of the potential we still have,” he argued, and then asked: “How much more could we achieve if all the available areas in cities, communities, plots and yards were exploited, or if those that are sown were used more intensively?
“Finding the answers to these questions is the best help we can give to our people. That people who have been able to overcome these hard times and who will once again emerge victorious,” he assured, before ratifying his confidence in the Movement “to achieve the longed-for, and above all indispensable, food security.”
(No English subtitles, but watch it anyway. It’s three minutes long.)