FW: Cuba: Organic farming model for black farmers

Barry Stoller bstoller at SPAMutopia2000.org
Fri May 4 16:24:58 MDT 2001

Despite the insulting, silly photo of a wax replica of Castro on the
front page of the New York Times today, the bourgeois publicity
favorable to Cuba---and socialist gains, even under duress---continue to
mount. Yes, Castro presently looks like the 'best Leninist' of today.
However, the bourgeois press doesn't praise the enemy without ulterior
motives. Is the U.S. ruling class now divided on tactics concerning
Cuba? Is the below another attempt to flatter Cuba into entering the
'free trade' arrangements that have lead to the demise of so many other
formerly proud socialist nations? One might wonder.


Associated Press. 4 May 2001. Black American farmers urge closer links
to Cuban counterparts.

HAVANA — After touring Cuban farms where the soil is plowed with oxen
and crops grow pesticide-free, black American farmers urged closer links
with their Cuban counterparts amid U.S. efforts to sell crops to the

The farmers also said Cuban farmers could teach them much about the
advantages of producing food the simple way their grandfathers did.

"We would like to bring some our farmers here so they can really get the
feel of a typical farm family," said Ben Burkett, who still runs the
family farm in Petal, Miss., that his great-grandfather founded 116
years ago.

As the delegation from the Federation of Southern Cooperatives prepared
to wrap up its visit to Cuba this week, Burkett said the group would
also like to bring Cuban farmers to the United States to see how their
American counterparts live and work.

The U.S. federation represents 75 cooperatives of small farmers and
credit unions and more than 10,000 mostly black families in 11 southern

Connections with the Cuban agricultural industry will be invaluable when
U.S. trade sanctions are eliminated and American farmers are able to
sell their rice, poultry and other products to Cuba, said Shirley
Sherrod, the federation's Georgia director

"The United States trades with China," said Mike Espy, a former U.S.
Secretary of Agriculture who joined the trip. "The United States trades
with Vietnam. To isolate Cuba and not trade with it is illogical."

The U.S. Congress last year passed a law allowing the direct sale of
American goods to Cuba for the first time in four decades but barred the
American government and banks from financing such sales.

Havana has said that it would not buy a single grain of American rice
under the existing legislation.


Barry Stoller


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