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Monday, July 27, 2009

Raul Castro's Agrarian Message

Nick Miroff writes:

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro was famous for his marathon speeches and unflinching stamina, delivering grand, looping disquisitions that could last for hours in the broiling sun.

But on Sunday, the national holiday marking the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, Castro’s successor and younger brother Raul was brief and direct in his state-of-the-union-style address — in keeping with his reputation as a practical man with little patience for the island’s plodding bureaucracy.

His message was also a sobering one.

The younger Castro, 78, told a crowd of several thousand in this eastern Cuban city that the country had to pull itself out of its ongoing financial straits by working harder, saving more, and going “back to the land” with his agricultural reform efforts.

Rather than shouting political slogans, Castro said, Cubans need to grow more food.

"It is not a question of yelling ‘Homeland or death! Down with imperialism! The blockade hurts us!'" he said, referring to long-standing U.S. trade sanctions against the island. "The land is there waiting for our efforts.”

link: Castro urges Cubans "back to the land" | GlobalPost


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