OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Photo: www.giron.cu

On May 17, Cuban farmers, gathered in Matanzas, reaffirmed their commitment to increasing agricultural production and making a greater contribution to the updating of the country’s economic model in order to construct a prosperous and sustainable socialism on the island.
This, according to Rafael Santiesteban, President of the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) speaking during the main act commemorating the organization’s 56th anniversary.
The ANAP President called on Cuban farmers to continue to transform production, save resources, protect the environment, increase yields, and contribute to the substitution of imports.
Santiesteban, also a member of Cuba’s Council of State, stressed the importance of the date, which symbolizes rebellion and struggle for the entire Cuban population.
“We must remember that the ideas of (José) Martí were frustrated in pre-revolutionary Cuba, and that only after the revolutionary triumph were those that worked the land given rights to it, and confidence in the present and future of the nation validated,” he highlighted.
The Cuban official also noted that this year the organization is celebrating its first anniversary since the passing of Fidel Castro, which is why “we reiterate our commitment to his ideas, to boosting agricultural production, and upholding Cuban pride.
“We reiterate our support and solidarity with Venezuela and its President Nicolás Maduro, demand an end to the economic, financial blockade of our country, and condemn any form of aggression against our sovereignty,” he stated.
Other speakers reiterated Cuban farmers’ commitment to the country’s heroes, martyrs, and the legacy of Fidel Castro, while the act also featured cultural moments in the form of musical performances.
In addition, awards were presented to Calimete (National Vanguard); Matanzas, as host of the main anniversary celebrations; while recognitions also went to Artemisa (West), Cienfuegos (South-central), and Santiago de Cuba (East).
The ceremony, which saw the participation of some 10,000 campesinos, was held at the Dagoberto Rojas Agricultural Production Cooperative (CPA) in the neighborhood of Amarillas, in the municipality of Calimete, Matanzas province, around 130 kilometers southeast of Havana.
The Cooperative was given the honor of organizing the national act, due to its outstanding sugarcane yields; 80 tons per hectare; notable achievements in rice production and social initiatives.  
Cuban Farmers’ Day is celebrated every May 17, in memory of the 1946 murder of humble farmer and defender of social justice Niceto Pérez, in Cuba’s easternmost province of Guantánamo.
As an everlasting tribute to the memory of Niceto, Fidel Castro chose this day in 1959 to sign the Agrarian Reform Law.  
The historic event took place in La Plata, Sierra Maestra, where the General Command of the Rebel Army was based during the struggle to overthrow the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship, which was finally achieved January 1, 1959.