"Celebrating the national commemoration of the 64th anniversary of the assaults on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons, in our province, constitutes a great recognition of the participation of our people in carrying out every effort undertaken by the Revolution, and a commitment to maintain the conquests achieved and to go for more," said Gladys Martínez Verdecia, Central Committee member and first party secretary in Pinar del Río.
She said that residents of the province are extraordinarily happy and grateful, because being chosen to host the national event was a sign of confidence, adding that the commemoration is a well-deserved tribute to those who participated in the 1953 assaults, especially youth who gave their lives that July 26 and following days.
Referring to that morning, 64 years ago, she said the date was inscribed in the nation's history as one of the most significant moments of rebellion of the Cuban Revolution.
She added that learning of the Political Bureau's decision to honor Pinar del Río as host of the celebration served to encourage efforts underway to prepare for the city's upcoming 150th anniversary.
In every institution and neighborhood, she said, the jubilation and enthusiasm of the workforce aided efforts to meet objectives established for the period, and progress was made on more than 200 construction projects.
"For the first time," Martínez said, "we celebrate the day without the physical presence of Fidel, but he is present in the efforts of every collective, which has made progress in implementing the Guidelines possible."
She cited several examples of the province's accomplishments, such as positive results in education, health, and sports.
She added that net sales of goods and services have increased over the last five years, which has meant more availability of products for the population, although supply is still insufficient to meet all needs.
She noted that the production of rice, eggs, pork, and honey has been increasing at a steady rate. Milk production goals were successfully met in 2016, and estimates indicate that the recent tobacco harvest was completed with excellent yields and quality.
Martínez recalled that electrical service is now available in 99.56% of the province, while 56 wifi internet zones have been established and 57 cellular telephone towers erected.
She added that the potential exist to further increase sales of tobacco, natural charcoal, and other product lines, while noting, "There remains much to do," insisting that there are untapped opportunities in the province to progress and advance toward sustainable development.
We are conscious of the economy's needs, she said, emphasizing that efforts must continue to advance food and housing programs, to mobilize the workforce, with attention to the population's proposals, to strengthen the transparency of People's Power.
Martínez ended her remarks saying that the people of Pinar del Río are very grateful to Fidel. Guided by his example, intransigence, and unwavering confidence in victory, we are ready to take on new challenges, she said.
"We reaffirm to Raúl and the Party that we are strong and fighting. They said it could be done. And we did it! Onward to victory, always, Comandante!" she concluded.