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Thread: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

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    Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvestCuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest | Reuters

    *Government hopes to match this year's 1.1 million tonnes

    *Fewer mills to open

    *Joint venture talks stalled

    By Marc Frank
    Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:23pm BST

    HAVANA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Cuba's once proud sugar industry is gearing up for the 2011 cane harvest with fewer mills scheduled to open and hopes to merely equal this year's dismal output of 1.1 million tonnes of raw sugar, the official media reported on Monday.

    The Communist party newspaper Granma, quoting deputy sugar minister Adrian Jimenez Fernandez, said 39 mills would grind the cane into raw sugar, compared with 44 the previous season and 54 in 2009, with the "mission of producing a similar amount of sugar as this year's Harvest".
    Cuba sugar production was 1.1 million MT in 2010. The estimate for 2011 is close to one million MT with a population of 11.4 millions. In 1894, one year before the War of Independence, the island produced over one million MT with a population of 1.7 millions. More than 117 years later the communist regime will be producing even less.

    In 1959 Cuba exported 5.0 million tons. In the years just preceding the 1959 Revolution, Cuba has been the larger exporter of sugar cane in the world. Who would have imagined a few years ago that the world's largest exporter of sugar would have to resort to external supplies to meet its needs?

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    So much for the Communist system.

    I friend went to Cuba though Mexico a couple years ago and said the people live under terrible conditions. She went into areas where she wasn't supposed to go and said many of the houses didn't even have glass in the windows and in the Hotel they were rationed a certain number of sheets of toilet paper per day.

    And some idiots are trying to push us into: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

    Cuba is a great example change we don't need. And Nov. 2nd is V4V-Day. Vote 4 Victory Day. Send the Socialists/Marxists/ Communists/Black Liberation Theologists a clear message that we want our Nation Back the way it was before this radical crap started.

    We don't want to end up like Cuba.

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    This talk of Cuba's "proud" sugar industry. When was it ever proud? When the U.S. was given preferential prices? Or when Russia subsidized it so it could have access to the island? Next you'll be telling us that sugar cane farm hands(which were out of a job and income for the many months in which sugar cane production ceases) fared better before Castro. An economy which is not diversified, such as Cuba's, means that regardless of who is in power the majority of the people won't ever benefit. This is the case across the overwhelming majority of under developed nations.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    This talk of Cuba's "proud" sugar industry. When was it ever proud? When the U.S. was given preferential prices? Or when Russia subsidized it so it could have access to the island? Next you'll be telling us that sugar cane farm hands(which were out of a job and income for the many months in which sugar cane production ceases) fared better before Castro. An economy which is not diversified, such as Cuba's, means that regardless of who is in power the majority of the people won't ever benefit. This is the case across the overwhelming majority of under developed nations.
    A free market, could have deversified. Under the control of a government that didn't have the will, or a clue, to deversify, deversification wasn't going to happen.

    Hence, the problem with too much government in the market.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    A free market, could have deversified.
    Spoken like somebody who has no clue what they're talking about. Cuba had a free market before Castro and yet it had no diversified economy. A free market does not mean a diversified economy. Look at West Africa.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    How the Castros regime can explain the reasons why they have to resort to a sugar importing country like the United States, to procure a product that traditionally exported the island. Who would have imagined that Cuba would become an importer of food, even importing sugar, from the United States, of all places?

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    I imagine it will be no easy for the official propaganda machine try to avoid that the people will not associate the sugar imports with Florida, the larger producer of sugar cane in US. The sugar plantations and industries in Florida were developed by entrepreneurs whose industries and plantations in Cuba were confiscated by Castro brothers regime, in order to put them “to the service of the people” and to make them “more efficient and productive”. A tale that time has demonstrated it develop with a conclusion very different from the beginning. The end result has been the collapse of the sugar industry developed over centuries by hard and intelligent work of many generations. It has been cause by lack of foresight and mismanagement under the Castros dictatorial regime.

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    Cuba official statistics show the island has 700,000 hectares dedicated to sugar cane and 44 mills participating in the harvest. The state of Florida has only 163,000 hectares dedicated to sugar cane, 5 sugar mills and 2 refineries. The sugar production in 2010 reached 1.63 MT valued at approximately $500 million. Look at the figures and arrived to your own conclusion.

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Spoken like somebody who has no clue what they're talking about.
    That would seem to be obvious considering the person you quoted.

    Cuba had a free market before Castro and yet it had no diversified economy. A free market does not mean a diversified economy. Look at West Africa.
    The Batista-era was not exactly a free market. However, you are correct that a free market will not necessarily lead to a diversified market. Actually a free market should actually lead to a less diversified market in the context of global trade as comparative advantage results in industries in certain non-competitive regions dying off. There is a reason that the US doesn't make T-shirts anymore in large numbers and why Mexico doesn't write software. Actual free markets should on a broad scale, especially in total dollar value, become very specialized markets. And considering Cuba's geographical location, it does not suggest that it could become significantly diversified. Virtually no island nation has its GDP gathered from dozens of industries. Most are dependent upon a handful, if not one, usually tourism. Nauru for instance is massively dependent upon phosphate exports.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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    Re: Cuba prepares for another bitter sugar harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    So much for the Communist system.
    Cuba's not Communist. Cuba has social classes, dictators, and no power to the people. Not to mention it does trade with the West. That's basically failing every major Marx test to be Communist.

    That said, Cuba has been exceptionally poorly managed. But the sugar probably has more to do with Brazil's constantly expanding sugar production depressing prices. There's no way Cuba can manage the economy of scale Brazil can with its sugar. Comparative Advantage clearly favors Brazil. The fact that government sugar mills in Cuba are closing is a partial sign of that.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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