OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Education was a priority during the government visit. Photo: Estudios Revolución

This is a visit that in some way reflects the concept of work we have shared in the Council of Ministers, that our government is entirely committed to working and fighting for the people and the Revolution, complementing all the activity carried out at the municipal and provincial level.

These were the words of Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, summarizing the two-day visit he led to this eastern province.

He said that the tour was also directed toward perfecting and strengthening government work in all areas, “These are visits during which we learn, argue, and generalize experiences, which helps us straighten out situations that hold back our work in the provinces.”

At another moment he commented that the best political/ideological work that can be done is to ensure that government and state institutions function well, insisting on the importance of leaders staying in touch with the grassroots.

The President praised work done in Baracoa to build productive chains in the cocoa and coconut industries, and called for a serious effort to get new facilities in the municipality into operation as soon as possible, especially the asphalt plant and sand mill, both in the community of Maraví.

Our economy is directed toward solving the people’s problems, so the misappropriation of resources is inadmissible, Díaz-Canel said during a meeting with the principal leaders of economic bodies, in which the continuing problem of overdue accounts payable and receivable was analyzed, as well as theft of fuel.

In terms of the first, he called for an end to this phenomenon that causes so many headaches for enterprises and the country’s finances, noting that delays in paying farmers for their products are harmful and still common in some areas.

Diaz-Canel toured the Carlos Roloff Valves and Pumps Enterprise. Photo: Estudios Revolución

Noted during the discussion was the fact that these late payments impede or limit producers’ ability to meet their needs, including the acquisition of supplies required to continue production, thus discouraging sales to the state.

The analysis of gasoline theft made clear that this criminal practice is, above all, a result of a lack of control on the part of those in charge of these resources.

OTHER STOPS

The Cuban President began his second day in Guantanamo with a tour of the Carlos Roloff Valves and Pumps Enterprise, known as Valbo.Here he visited several workshops, including those in which picks, shovels, and files are shaped, where production was limited for years due to a shortage of raw materials and the obsolescence of equipment.In the cold fabrication shop, the director of the company, Josefa López Cotilla, showed him a new mill to crush stone, a line of production incorporated just recently.Eighty-two of these machines have been fabricated and sold to construction materials mini-plants, Jorge Marsillí Casamayor, investment project manager, told Granma.Díaz-Canel praised the diversification of production and suggested that the plant establish or expand working relationships with others around the country.

The modernization of equipment at the Imperio Furniture plant no.102 was also appreciated by the President, who asked about the company’s incursion in the export market, praising the quality of pieces and the investment project carried out.

At the plant, he was able to confirm the specialized work that can be done with the new machinery, recalling that the enterprise has extensive experience in producing furnishings for hotels and other tourist facilities.

Several members of the staff worked last year on repairs of furniture damaged during Hurricane Irma at hotels in Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa María,

With Minister of Education Ena Elsa Velázquez on hand, the President held a relaxed exchange with students and teachers at the Pedagogical School in the José Marcelino Maceo Grajales Complex, where the Vocational Sciences Pre-university High School and the Industrial Poly-technical Institute are also located.

Later in the evening, Diaz-Canel met with directors at Dr. Agostinho Neto Teaching Hospital and provincial health authorities to discuss several issues, including the infant-maternal program, in which concerns exist given that the infant mortality rate in the province is higher than the national average.

One fact caught the President’s attention: 80% of patients treated at the hospital had conditions that could have been treated at doctor’s offices or community polyclinics - that is, at the primary care level. He noted that if patients sought assistance at these sites, more attention could be paid to the quality of services available only at the hospital.

After the meeting concluded at the province’s principal health facility, Díaz-Canel conversed with relatives of several hospitalized patients and called on authorities to work on finding solutions to the concerns expressed.

Another stop on the tour was the Provincial Museum, a cultural institution charged with preserving history in general, in addition to caring for the collections housed here.

The President’s visit culminated with a cultural gala entitled “Vignette of my City,” featuring performances by local artists. Upon exiting the Huambo Theater, he talked briefly with the crowd waiting outside on the street to greet him. They bid him farewell with cheers and spirited expressions of affection.