Photo: Estudio Revolución

Upon concluding the government visit to Granma, the President and First Vice President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers led a meeting to summarize and reflect on the experience, with political, governmental, and administrative leaders in the eastern province.

Reviewing the status of the territory’s principal socio-economic indicators, strategies were identified to correct and support the work of several efforts described as priorities here, such as local production of construction materials; increasing income to reduce the budget deficit to zero; revitalization of industry; eradication of overdue accounts payable and receivable; as well as the reanimation of construction projects both in housing and the water distribution system.

After an explication of the complex economic, commercial, and financial conjuncture facing the nation due to external factors, Díaz-Canel insisted on turning the focus toward internal shortcomings and exploiting all untapped productive potential, as efficiently as possible.

He criticized weaknesses in planning at state enterprises that led to overly conservative goals, which subsequently leads to deceptively high earnings – an issue that can be remedied in the second half of the year, and considered as planning begins for 2019, to accurately project local potential.

“We must also make sure that the provincial plan assumes the nation’s interests, but without neglecting territorial development,” the President said, citing examples such as the need to include funds to begin construction of Polyclinic1 in Manzanillo, and work on the pediatric hospital in Bayamo.

Díaz-Canel emphasized the urgency of applying macro-economic reasoning in analyzing all enterprises, and break from certain myths such as the idea that it is better to import, ignoring the fact that this is more expensive than using domestically produced products.

“If we don’t begin to do so, we are never going to find a way to produce things efficiently here,” Díaz-Canel stated, citing the case of the Manzanillo battery factory, as a clear example of the revitalization urgently needed in national industry.

Ministers and deputy ministers reported on the principal projects underway in the province of Granma, primarily in construction, the water distribution system, communications, and economic management in retail commerce.

Díaz-Canel emphasized three elements as key to strengthening relations between central and provincial government bodies: closer ties between leadership cadre and local entities; regular, systematic reviews of work and the creation of more opportunities for debate; as well as accountability reports by cadre and institutions at all levels, municipal to national.

The Cuban President recalled the historic motivations that are encouraging Granma’s population to do better work, for progress and well-being (July 26, October 10, and the 60th anniversary of the Revolution), and expressed his thanks for the innumerable expressions of loyalty to the legacy of our Comandante en Jefe, the affectionate greetings sent to Raúl, and the opportunity to hold a warm dialogue with the people during his visit to the province, accompanied by Federico Hernández, Party first secretary in Granma, and Manuel Sobrino, president of the Provincial Assembly of People’s Power.

“The commitment of this people is part of their tradition of struggle, assumed with conviction, responsibility, and commitment, because they are the cradle of the Revolution; if Granma triumphs, Cuba triumphs,” he concluded.