President Miguel Díaz-Canel called for waging war on bureaucracy, against delays in administrative decisions at all levels, and any manifestation of insensitivity to problems that affect the population unnecessarily, during the final meeting concluding the Council of Ministers’ visit to the eastern province of Granma.
Of the 33 actions agreed upon during his first visit in June of 2018, 17 had been completed and work on 16 is moving forward; while solutions to several others are not advancing at the pace projected, including public works in Yara, the restoration of heritage homes in Manzanillo, and corrective work on this coastal city’s aqueduct.
“We cannot advance if we are slow in making decisions. What must be decided centrally, let it be centralized, but quickly. If the answer is no, report this right away, and if it is yes, even faster,” the President stated.He insisted on the importance of further strengthening state enterprises with new productive linkages and the application of scientific knowledge generated in the region.On the issue of housing subsidies, Díaz-Canel called for putting some heart to the subject, granting it the priority it deserves, given its impact on the population, especially the most humble, with the most urgent needs, to whom the Revolution is committed, noting that the program “has not gone well in any part of the country.”
The President said that cadres and managers must include in their work plans regular visits to those awarded subsidies, to expedite solutions and check that resources allocated by the state are used as established.
Education is defended with commitment, soul, creativity, and by example, and with these convictions educators will march on May Day, said Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, during a National Seminar to prepare for the coming academic year, yesterday. The first session was devoted to analyzing the Ministry of Education’s (MINED) work in 2018.
This concept, he said, was reaffirmed by young leaders from Manicaragua and Cienfuegos, who reported impressive results in their schools, emphasizing the importance of personal example and dedication.
During his comments, Diaz-Canel established a collective reflection, seasoned with remembrances of his student days and those spent in leading the Ministry of Higher Education, noting the continued relevance of foundational precepts of Cuban education, cherished by teachers and professors over the years, including Fidel Castro and José Ramón Fernández, who we all recall affectionately, as a revolutionary and pedagogue, he said.
The main task at hand, he pointed out, is the improvement of teaching, with experimental projects underway in a several institutions, the results of which will be generalized.
He noted that despite the difficult times, a new special education school was recently inaugurated in Santiago de Cuba, with another to open soon in Villa Clara, examples of what a Revolution can do.
The work of teachers and professors merits more recognition
He emphasized that the work of teachers and professors merits more recognition.
Teresa Amarelle Boué, Party Political Bureau member and secretary general of the Federation of Cuban Women, honored Ena Elsa Velázquez, Minister of Education, with the Ana Betancourt Order, for her career as an educator and government leader. Distinctions were also awarded to pedagogical schools and provincial education directorates with the best results in 2018.
The meeting was also attended by Roberto Morales Ojeda, Political Bureau member of the Party and vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, and Olga Lidia Tapia, member of the Central Committee Secretariat, and other leaders.
The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Thursday afternoon received the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on an official visit to our country.
During the amicable meeting the two leaders addressed the positive state of the historic bilateral relations their countries share, and reaffirmed the will to promote political ties and collaboration. They also discussed other topics of on the regional and international agenda.
Accompanying the distinguished visitor were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Health, and Education: Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, respectively; and Ghana’s ambassador in Cuba, Napoleon Abdulai.
Also participating on the Cuban side were Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla; the Ministers of Foreign Trade and Investment, Higher Education, and Public Health, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, José Ramón Saborido Loidi, and José Ángel Portal Miranda, respectively; as well as Cuba’s ambassador in Ghana, Pedro Luis Despaigne González.
This was one of the calls to action made by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, upon summarizing the first day of a working meeting with presidents of Provincial and Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power from the entire country
The intense working meeting held March 11, with presidents of Provincial and Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power from the entire country, and headed by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, focused on strengthening government work at the local level, while contributing to economic development and increasing citizen participation.
Upon summarizing the day, Díaz-Canel reiterated that the meeting’s objective was to strengthen working relations between the central government and local levels, as part of a plan that includes regular visits by central authorities to the provinces.
He emphasized that conditions must be created for more efficient public administration, which implies not only the availability of material resources, but also adequate work styles and organization; a cadre policy that promotes sensitivity and revolutionary concern, without bureaucratism, with collective spirit, and close ties with the grassroots.
“Amongst us all, we must develop a government that works for the people,” he reiterated.
Cadres who are not sensitive, do not take action, are bothered when people come to them with problems, the President said, calling for fewer obstacles and less bureaucracy, for continuing to prioritize attention to the population.
We must seek government action that is more transparent for the population, so they know what we’re doing, what the priorities are, what is directed toward development, or toward meeting their needs. This guarantees the people’s participation in decision making, he added.
In his comments, the President also emphasized aspects of the international situation, with a neoliberal, colonizing offensive underway, media manipulation, the proliferation of fake news, increasing confrontation, and U.S. persecution of the region’s nations, among them Cuba, now facing the potential implementation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.
Given this environment, the focus remains on the three priorities for government efforts expressed several months ago by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, who placed preparation for defense and the economy at this level.
The other priority was the constitutional referendum, which was conducted and led to a victory, a reaffirmation of commitment to the Revolution by a majority of Cubans, the President noted, indicating that the economic battle continues to be the fundamental task at hand, the most complex, and that in which the people place the most hopes. To rise to the occasion, structures and management must be reinforced and support sought from the economic sciences.
Minister of Agriculture Gustavo Rodríguez Rollero presented an update on the municipal self-sufficiency program, generating a number of remarks on the issue, described as key to the country’s food security and sovereignty. The goal of producing 30 pounds of produce per inhabitant and five kilograms of animal protein, every month, has seen different levels of development, and is in need of greater yields and the diversification of crops.
Ricardo Cabrisas, a Council of Ministers vice president, pointed out that the substitution of imports with domestic products is also decisive, since Cuba annually devotes some 1.8 billion dollars to buy food on the international market, 30% of which is for animal feed.
Also raised during the discussion were intentionally trying out-of-season plantings; considering traditional crops; focusing on the needs of each province; specialization of cooperatives and individual producers; with particular attention to contracting, an issue emphasized by First Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa.
Additionally reported during the meeting were results of large scale studies on high-protein plants begun by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, which include research, development, innovation, production, and distribution of high impact products for the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries, and others that could become sources of income.
In this regard, Díaz-Canel referred to the need to promote this program, first, in honor of Fidel, who dedicated the last years of his life to demonstrate the viability, under our conditions, of these crops and productions, which are linked to various activities and sectors.
An exhaustive explanation of how to achieve adequate budget execution at the local level was presented by Meisi Bolaños, minister of Finances and Prices, who insisted on tighter control of financial resources; the importance of complying with tax law; and proper management, to eliminate deficits in revenues, which have been gradually reduced, but still affect 19 municipalities in four provinces.
She specified that, within local budgets, we must give better use to territorial tax collections, given what these funds mean to development at that level, not only in production and services, but also in the generation of jobs and their sustainability.When dealing with the subject of outstanding accounts receivable and payable, she emphasized the urgent need to transform the current situation in the chain of defaults, synonymous with lack of control and disorganization.
Several ongoing projects regarding electronic commerce, and others being planned, were reported by Minister of Domestic Commerce Betsy Díaz, who said that the main objective is to facilitate service and reduce the handling of cash in transactions, by both legal persons and individuals.Regarding the use of point-of-sale (POS) terminals (debit card readers), she spoke of the short-term extension of this modality in outlets selling construction materials, and in the retail network, with priority in Havana and Santiago de Cuba.Irma Martínez Castellón, minister-president of the Central Bank of Cuba, said that the functioning of POS must be demanded at sales points.Alejandro Gil, Minister of Economy and Planning, referred to local development programs, since, he said, given the current economic situation, solutions must be found as close as possible to the site of a problem.As of the end of December, 290 local development projects were underway across the country, mainly in commerce and gastronomy, the food industry, culture, local industry, tourism, and community services.Practically giving a methodological class on management of these types of projects, he stressed that those which have financing will always be immediately approved, calling on local authorities not to request resources from the national level and seek ways to self-finance.As has been emphasized on other occasions, he said local governments must involve universities and research centers in the conception and implementation of local development programs, a valid course of action for all activities that promote economic and social progress in the country, according to those in attendance.
The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers tours areas in Havana hit by a tornado last night
During the dawn hours, the President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, toured areas in Havana hit by a tornado last night.
The municipalities of Regla and Guanabacoa suffered the most damage during the severe storms that formed ahead of a cold front which crossed the provinces of Pinar del Río, Mayabeque, and La Habana.
“We are touring areas affected by the extreme weather phenomenon in Regla. The damages are severe; at this moment we lament the loss of three human lives, and 172 injured are being assisted. Several brigades are already working on the recovery,” Díaz-Canel stated.
According to preliminary data cited by authorities in the capital, on the Cuban television program Buenos Días, the deceased and injured were victims of partial or total collapses of their homes, falling trees, and other events related to the storm.
According to Prensa Latina, a tour of the city’s streets revealed many fallen trees and damage to buildings, partial interruption of electrical service, and closed streets, including the Malecón, due to high waves.
President Díaz-Canel reported on Twitter that a Council of Ministers meeting was held to evaluate the situation and adopt measures to move forward in the recovery from the severe damage left by wind, rain, and a tornado last night.
The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers condemned in a tweet the document published by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on December
The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers condemned in a tweet the document published by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on December 10, in which he accuses the Cuban government of violating human rights.
The Cuban leader described U.S. discourse on this issue as hypocritical, dishonest, and indicative of double standards, emphasizing that the U.S. has no moral authority whatsoever to talk about the issue, when it has imposed a prolonged economic, commercial, and financial blockade on Cuba, which constitutes a massive, cruel violation of human rights.
“While others export weapons and wars, Cuba shares knowledge and services. Our doctors and teachers have illuminated, and are illuminating, remote regions. Our currency is solidarity,” Díaz-Canel insisted.