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Cuban Small Farmers Association Defends State Monopoly On The Export Of Coffee

Cuban Small Farmers Association Defends State Monopoly On The Export Of
Coffee / 14ymedio, Zunilda Mata

14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 5 May 2016 — The National Bureau of the
National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) in Cuba rejects the recent
measures from the U.S. Department of State which include coffee among
the products produced by the non-State sector in Cuba that can be
imported into the United States.

In a statement published Wednesday, the Association lambastes the
flexibility, which came into force on 22 April, allowing the import into
the United States of coffee and textile products from “independent
businesspeople” in Cuba.

John Kavulich, President of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council,
acknowledged at the time that Washington aims to support the small
private sector of the island with this measure, although he highlighted
its “very limited impact.”

However, ANAP does not appear to assess new business opportunities in
the same way. The organization, created in May 1961 defines itself by
its “social character” and claims to represent “the interests of Cuban
farmers.” In response to the US State Department actions, it explains
that “the objective pursued by this type of measure is to influence the
Cuban peasantry and separate it from the State.”

The entity, with around 200,000 members, details that something like
that “cannot be permitted, because it would destroy a Revolutionary
process that has provided participatory democracy, freedom, sovereignty
and independence.” The National Bureau statement does not say, however,
if farmers devoted to the cultivation of coffee were consulted before
the statement was published.

Among the arguments put forth in the statement released in the official
press is the fact that “no one can imagine that a small agricultural
producer can export directly to the United States… To make this possible
Cuban foreign trade companies would have to participate and would have
to produce financial transactions in dollars, which so far they have not
been able to achieve,” added.

ANAP presents itself in different forums as part of Cuban civil society,
but this statement says that the Cuban peasants are “members of the
socialist society” and they exist “as part of the State and not as
opposed to it.”

The text which repeats an idea that has been raised by several figures
of the ruling party in recent months, says: “We face the objective of
the imperialist policy of promoting the division and disintegration of
Cuban society.”

In 2014, Cuba managed to produce 6,105 tons of coffee, an amount that
does not cover annual domestic demand, which stands at 24,000 tons. This
figure is very far from that achieved in the decade of the 1960s, when
more than 62,000 tons of this grain were produced.

Translated by Alberto

Source: Cuban Small Farmers Association Defends State Monopoly On The
Export Of Coffee / 14ymedio, Zunilda Mata – Translating Cuba –

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