The maxim that reports do not reflect the full dimension of reality, and that a constant connection with the grassroots is needed to find useful experiences, accompanied President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and his Council of Ministers, during a recent working visit to this province.
This truth was reflected in his continuous exchanges with workers in different sectors and the population, during his visits to the Jardines del Rey resort area, the Ceballos Agro-industrial Enterprise, and the La Cuba food processing company; in debates on the proposed new Constitution he attended; and during his tour of the capital’s downtown boulevard and the Hotel Rueda, while participating in its official opening with Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero Cruz.
On the last day of his government visit, Díaz-Canel interacted with students and professors at the Raúl Corrales Fornos Pedagogical School, one of two such institutions in the province, with a student body of 522 young people being prepared to teach in early childhood, primary, and secondary education.
Here he held an animated conversation with several students, who shared their personal experiences with the President, including one whose parents resisted her decision to become a teacher, and who now works at the Raúl Corrales School; and a young teacher who said she was ready to leave the school, but after having direct contact with students, came to love the profession.
“This is evidence that shatters the view of those who think that youth are not interested in the teaching profession. We have seen here, through your stories, a palpable example of the social impact these educational centers have today,” Díaz-Canel stated.
Minutes later, he would tweet: “I was deeply moved sharing with professors and students at the #CiegoDeÁvila Pedagogical School. Beautiful life stories that expressed passion for #Cuba and commitment to the #RevoluciónCubana. #SomosCuba #SomosContinuidad.”
Next he moved to the city’s park, where a Wi-Fi internet connection is available, and parked was a van serving as a mobile Youth Club computer lab, which this summer made stops in 19 rural communities in all of the province’s municipalities - resources that contribute to the computerization of Cuban society.
He also visited a “recycled” playground, where the equipment was constructed using discarded materials including metal and non-metal parts, wooden elements, and old tires, showing just how much can be done when untapped potential like this is taken advantage of, he noted.
Near this area, the President dialogued with sugar industry workers, discussing the next harvest and the construction of a bioelectric generating plant at the Ciro Redondo Sugar Mill.
Later, he presided a final meeting devoted to evaluating progress being made in the implementation of development programs in Ciego de Ávila, along with First Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa; Roberto Morales Ojeda, a vice president of the Councils of State and Minister; Félix Duarte Ortega, Central Committee member and Party secretary in the province; and Raúl Pérez Carmenate, president of the provincial government, who reported on social and economic statistics related to progress in the province.
The first person to take the floor, following the report, was Minister of Economy and Planning Alejandro Gil Fernández, who focused on an issue that some may have considered insignificant: the surpassing of projected goals for earnings.
“It’s not a bad thing that you have earnings, especially if they are the result of an increase in productivity, but it’s good to make careful estimates and include this potential in the economic plan, to the benefit of the country and the enterprise itself.”
He likewise emphasized the necessity of increasing export lines, noting that the potential exists to do so, mentioning the Ceballos, Cubasoy, and La Cuba food processing companies, and the Turiguanó cattle breeder, all agriculture enterprises with excellent scientific and productive capacities.
Upon hearing the concerns of managers and workers from the Ceballos enterprise that they only receive 17 cents for every dollar in exports they produce - an obstacle to development and increased investment at the plant - Gil Fernández stated that this situation will be submitted to a thorough review.
Regarding outstanding accounts payable and receivable, an ongoing problem in the province, the conclusion was drawn that all of the causes are subjective, and that their resolution depends on managers and the steps they take to confront this predicament. The President insisted, “Money that belongs to others must be paid immediately:”
During another moment, Inés María Chapman, a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, referred to the work of the province’s Physical Planning Department, directing staff to adopt measures to speed up processing times, since 222 cases are currently overdue, also noting problems in the training of personnel and “very poor working conditions,” especially at the municipal level, she said.
Other sensitive issues did not escape attention during the discussion, including delays in investment projects at the Ciro Redondo Sugar Mill’s bioelectric plant, the East-Central Water Diversion Canal, and in the production of construction materials; the repair of water pipelines and sewer systems; and the poor condition of elevators in the city’s 12-story apartment building.