LA SIERPE, Sancti Spíritus.— “There can’t be any bad weather here,” stated Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez on considering the productive growth, diversification, efficiency, and competitiveness achieved by the Sur del Jíbaro Agro-industrial Grains Enterprise, located in this territory.
The President of the Councils of State and Ministers described it as an example of an efficient socialist state enterprise, where the ideas of Fidel are present, who conceived of and personally promoted the creation of the Sancti Spíritus rice industry in the mid-70s.
“There is much to learn here,” Díaz-Canel reiterated in the context of a government visit that began January 16 in Sancti Spíritus province, where he also called for more exports, to achieve productive linkages with tourism, the non-state sector, foreign investment and the rest of the national economy, and to face problems with scientific solutions.
The Cuban President toured the animal feed farm recently created in an area bordering Sierpe Vieja, an area of 164 hectares devoted to the cultivation of species such as cane, king grass, mulberry, tree marigold, and moringa, among others, that are also processed here to guarantee feed for cattle and other livestock of the Sur del Jíbaro Enterprise. In addition to being one of the largest and most efficient rice producers in the country, Sur del Jíbaro contributed more than 5.7 million liters of milk and some 3,100 tons of meat last year.
Engineer Orlando Linares Morell, director general of Sur del Jíbaro, explained to the President that the current Agro-industrial Grain Enterprise is the result of the merger of the former rice enterprise first with the Ceba Sur Livestock Enterprise (1998), and then with the La Sierpe Agricultural Enterprise and the CAI 7 de Noviembre Agro-industrial Sugar Complex, resulting in a large, varied enterprise. It coexists with some 15 basic enterprise units, five basic units of cooperative production (UBPC), and seven credit and services cooperatives, making sales last year of more than 580 million pesos, with 8.5 million in profits.
“This is the type of state enterprise that must be advocated,” Díaz-Canel said in a dialogue with some of the workers and managers of the fruit and vegetable mini-industry located in the area of El Recurso, where he praised the endogenous way in which they manage development.
Accompanied by Deivy Pérez Martín, first Party secretary in Sancti Spíritus; Teresita Romero Rodríguez, president of the Provincial Assembly of People’s Power; and Gustavo Rodríguez Rollero, Minister of Agriculture, the President of the Councils of State and Ministers also visited a feed factory; areas for newborn lambs and goat kids; pasture no.32, of the Botijuela UEB, one of 13 that have been rid of invasive sicklebush; and a rice paddy in the Sur del Jíbaro UBPC.
Previously, Díaz-Canel had started his tour of La Sierpe in the first solar park built in this province (there are now five), which since May 13, 2016, when it was synchronized with the national grid, has generated 4,634 megawatts. Thanks to the efficiency and stability with which this park operates, the estimated time to recover the investment could be cut by almost five years.
When asked about the José Martí Primary School, residents of the La Ferrolana community responded to the President: “This school is a dream come true.” The school is a National Vanguard Center, Neighborhood Prize winner, and serves146 children from surrounding rural areas. Díaz Canel, accompanied on this visit by Education Minister Ena Elsa Velazquez Cobiella, conversed with teachers, students, and especially with school director, Pedro Figueroa Valdés, who also learned in these same classrooms.
TRINIDAD: A MORE BEAUTIFUL AND ORDERLY CITY
The Cuban President spoke with affection and frankness to the people who gathered to see him in different parts of this city. “We are aware of the problems the territory has; that’s why we are here, to help solve them amongst all of us,” he explained.
“Difficulties will not be solved all at once, but we are aware of them and will provide solutions to each as the economic possibilities of the country allow,” he continued.
“None of the existing deficiencies have been concealed on this visit,” he repeatedly stressed to the population. “We have talked about them and now we must work together to solve them.”
Trinidad is very beautiful, a cultural, patrimonial,and historical jewel, which is why we need to defend and preserve it together, so together we can make it an increasingly beautiful and orderly city, the Cuban President stressed. “This is a beautiful city, and it belongs to you, to Sancti Spíritus, to Cuba and also to humanity,” he concluded.
The President’s intense work schedule in this municipality included a visit to the Santa Ana establishment, a complex of the Palmares extra-hotel chain that includes, among other services, a microbrewery, shops, cafeteria, buffet, and bar.
Speaking with its workers, Díaz-Canel inquired about the variety of services and their popularity among the population; working conditions; links with the non-state sector, and other issues.
The Cuban President then visited the Casa Malibrán, a building that houses the City Conservation Office’s Documentation Center.
Accompanied by several ministers, he learned about the main heritage conservation measures in the historic district, and also in areas on the outskirts of the city, where there are several buildings of high patrimonial value.
As explained, the heritage values of typical squares, urban spaces, fortifications, and houses have been respected at all times, but without excluding them from the area’s development.
Everything done here has a close relationship with tourism development, as well, explained Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero. Similarly, it has been possible to foster and develop harmonious work between the state and non-state sectors, which undoubtedly contributes to the future development of the country.
Regarding tourism development, the ministry’s provincial representative, Reinier Rendón, noted that the city currently has more than 3,000 rooms available to visitors, including both the state and non-state sector.
He also referred to projections for this major tourist destination, closely linked to the country’s economic development, for which it is urgent to create productive linkages with agriculture, to meet the needs of the tourism sector.
Municipal government authorities, responding to questions from the President regarding water supply issues, explained that this is one of the major difficulties that impact the population today. To address the situation, work is ongoing on a new water pipe to supply the municipality, including the periphery, although it is in the city where the biggest problem exists.
Díaz-Canel also inquired about the state of rural roads, another of the main issues affecting the population in Trinidad; progress toward local food self-sufficiency; the collection of solid waste; and the state of the municipality’s health institutions.
On leaving visited sites, the President was always welcomed by residents, who thanked him repeatedly for his straight talk and for placing so much trust in them.
Among applause, photographs, and “Vivas!” to Fidel, the residents of Trinidad ratified before the President their commitment to go to the polls on February 24, to vote yes for the Revolution and yes for Cuba, which is, after all, a yes for the Cuban people.