Ruthless Attack on Cuban Sugar Industry
Losses resulting from the US blockade and aggressions
affecting the Cubas main industry total more than $11.1 million USD,
announced Andrés Sarasola, consultant to the minister of the sugar
industry, during the presentation of expert testimony in the court where the
lawsuit against the United States is being heard.
According to an article in Granma International,
listed among the main causes of this loss was agricultural sabotage; arson
committed against sugarcane plantations, warehouses and other installations in
the sector; destabilisation of the work force; breakdowns obliging the sugar
mills to store cane for prolonged periods, thereby severely reducing its sugar
content; and threats of armed aggressions requiring the mobilisation of workers
from the sector into combat posts.
However, the expert stressed, the first attack, direct and
ruthless in nature, against this industry was the cancellation of the sugar
quota by the US National Security Council at the beginning of the 1960s which
totally closed off access to a market where Cuba had sold 60% of its sugar, the
mainstay of its economy.
This had serious repercussions for the first harvests after
the triumph of the Revolution. The loss of the market also forced Cubans to
import machinery from distant countries lacking in experience of sugarcane
technology, and whose equipment was poorer quality and frequently inadequate,
according to expert Juan Godefoy García, who also testified during the
Andrés Sarasola explained that the equipment brought
from the former Soviet bloc required a vast amount of fuel, which together with
other factors, contributed to a huge increase in production costs, in the
production of raw as well as refined sugar.