Azcuba assures that the 33 plants inactive for this harvest "will not be dismantled"

Azcuba assures that the 33 plants inactive for this harvest "will not be dismantled"

The directors of the company Azcuba revealed this Monday to Granma what they plan to do with the “sleeping” centrals during the next harvest. Only 23 factories throughout the country, of the 56 that could work, will be responsible for the production, starting this November, of the planned 455,198 tons of sugar.

However, the mills that do not grind cane this year “will not be dismantled,” assured Dionis Pérez, Azcuba’s director of communications. In a long report, the daily of the Communist Party once again recognizes the “modest” dimensions of the next harvest and justifies the Government, which seeks to “maintain stable production” with the little financing that it will allocate to sugarcane production.

The harvest will not even come close to the figure demanded by Cuban consumers – around half a million tons of sugar – and it is expected that it will be destined mainly for export, tourism and, the rest, to cover the family basket.

with the article of Granma, Azcuba warns inactive plant workers about what they must do to justify their salaries. “Repair, maintenance and upkeep work,” Pérez summarized, “for which financing is available.”

A part of the budget allocated to the harvest will be diverted to inoperative factories, which does not rule out “the risk of machinery dismantling” due to some unforeseen planning event.

It is not clear how the “relocation” of sugar cane workers will be organized, who are promised “sources of personal income” in the production of food derived from sugar

“The work force will be maintained,” the official clarified, “one part will participate in the conservation and preservation of the mill and another will join the maintenance and repair work, after the authorization of financing for these activities.”

Pérez resorted to euphemisms and detours to mitigate the helplessness in which the workers will be left. When in doubt, he referred to the “93 measures to save the national sugar industry” drawn up by the Government.

It is not clear how the “relocation” of the sugarcane workers, who are promised “sources of personal income” in the production of food derived from sugar, will be organized. In addition, the authorities promise to hire them as workers in the “construction of 447 homes, mostly in sugarcane communities,” and will offer them jobs in the “rescue and start-up” of some thirty carpentry shops and warehouses linked to the sugar mills.

The plan provides for the delivery of 57,427 hectares of land to sugar companies in the future, which did not specify when it would arrive, destined for the preparation of the next harvest, but this is just a “projection.”

In the absence of work in this harvest, there is no choice but to concentrate on the next one, that is, “planting cane and food,” says the official, who presents Azcuba’s decisions as a “strategy” for the creation of “labor groups” more stable.

In the absence of work in this harvest, there is no choice but to concentrate on the next one, that is, “plant cane and feed”

Granma dedicated a good part of his report to exemplify the words of Dionis Pérez with the tasks carried out by the inactive central Uruguay, known as the Colossus of Jatibonico (Sancti Spiritus).

The Government “had decided that there would be few inputs and little financing to repair the mill, we were only going to do conservation work and repair some lines of equipment,” said Eddy Gil Pérez, director of the plant.

Of the 424 workers who worked in Uruguay, 180 are today engaged in minor repair work and 101 in miscellaneous activities with painting or construction. The idea was, according to the director, that everyone would be left with “some employment relationship” and within the sugar sector. The money to pay these salaries comes from a loan that they have had to request from the bank and that must be paid within the impossible period of two years. Even so, it has only been possible to cover 80% of the payments.

“Next year, the State will grant us a loan for the paralyzed factory,” says Gil, who expects 15 million pesos from the state bank so that Uruguay can resume its work in 2023.

The “dead time” of the Cuban centrals will last until next year, without there being good reason to expect a change in their infrastructure. The deficiency in the organization of the harvest translates into unemployment, instability and more debts for the Cuban sugar industry, which was once the first in the world.

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