Public response to Mr. Marcelo Resende,  representative of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO) in Cuba from the FOUNDATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CUBA.

Mr. Marcelo Resende:

Your ongoing statements, since your arrival to Cuba as permanent representative of FAO, regarding  the food situation in the island are shocking. You have gone to extremes to praise the methods used by the Cuban government in various media of the Cuban official propaganda machinery on the island.  Thus, you have become a willing part of the current media offensive  that responds to the increasing scarcity of food not with products, but with propaganda.

With a lack of sense for your professional responsibility and a great display of servility towards the Cuban dictatorship, you have tried to assist the Ideological Department of the Communist Party of Cuba to persuade the Cubans that, in the current situation, they are in a better situation than the rest of the world. We regret to inform you that few see or read that propaganda in Cuba.  No one can believe it when going out searching for food they hardly find any. Cubans are not idiots, Mr. Resende. Neither are you. You know perfectly well that you have lied..

You had affirmed, among other things, that “Cuba demonstrated its vocation for the development of food production with the democratization of lands through the Agrarian Reform, whose first law was signed on May 17, 1959.”  Also, that the Cuban government “ has demonstrated its political will with numerous social and agricultural programs for the elimination of hunger”.

For many decades, agricultural public policies have liquidated the potential of national production. Today, when there is little hard currency available, 80% of the food is imported into a country with a climate capable of having several crops per year. The reason that there are no potatoes, sweet potatoes, or vegetables, is the Cuban state national blockade of citizen’s initiatives. It is not the U.S. embargo.

The causes are the precariousness of the property on the land, given in temporary and always reversible usufruct, the farmers dependence on the state to acquire capital and necessary inputs for production, the obligation of farmers to associate with pseudo-cooperatives or state owned companies that manage all the stages of production, the prohibitions to import and export directly or to associate with investors from the Cuban diaspora or any foreign capital.

If your purpose is to help Cuba and not to benefit the propaganda machinery of the Cuban government then consider the responsibility that FAO, the organization that you represent, has to promote changes of the current regime of agricultural production and marketing

What we Cubans need is a transformation of the agricultural production system to a different one based on private property and economic freedoms that is at least similar to the one that put an end to the Vietnamese famine and turned that country, in a very short time, into a food exporter. In simple words, it is necessary to put an end to the monopoly of the State and the national blockade to the development of the private sector of agricultural production and its commercialization.

What Cuba does not need, Mr. Resende, are international officials who come praisel the non-existent political will of the Cuban government in the fight against poverty and hunger in Cuba. The Cuban government actually makes war on prosperity, not on poverty. The sad part is that you must be aware of that fact and deliberately decided to become an accomplice of the state crime against the food security of the Cuban people with your false statements.

It is regrettable that someone who represents FAO, praises a system that has destroyed the agricultural production and productivity of the country since its implementation almost six decades ago.

Shame on you, Mr. Resende!

Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba