AN APPRAISAL OF THE CUBAN SUGAR INDUSTRY

Created: 3/1/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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AH APPRAISAL OF THE CUBAN SUGAR IHDJSTHY

CIA/RBarch ig62

WARNING

theNational Defend of the United flta**

Title ig, USC,ndr,nB. mlaalon or revelation of ahlch In aaTmSr to an unauthorised poraon l*

CEffTRAL INTBLLIOEIiCE AGENCY Office of Beeearch and Reports

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FOREWORD

This publicationasic survey of the sugar Industry of Cuba with particular wnpheBls on the. It Is designed toackground to be uned in making assessments or future econooiic activities jr, the eugar industry, Sourcec uoed in theare available in the files of this Office.

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CQaTEnTS

Summary and

I. Introduction

II.

III. Quantitative Aspects

2

IV. Critical Points in tne Time

V.

VI. Balance Sheet of Strengths and Weaknesses in the Cuban

Sugar

Tables

Production of Raw Centrifugal

Exports of Rav Centrifugal

3. Harvested Area, Production, and Yields of Ravin

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Pay

>*. rYoduction,pparent Doawstic Consumption,

and Stocks of Raw Centrifugal Sugar in

5. Imports and Inventory of Tractors in

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Production of raw sugarhe keyfltone of the Cuban economy and will continue to be so far Into the future. The prospecto of tbe Caotro regime dependarge extent on the successful functioning of the Cuban Bugar Industry, which now la operating primarily under government control.

Cuba devotes more than one-half of ite cropland to sugarcane,approximatelyercent of the annual world production of rowugar, and normally contributes about one-third of the total raw sugar moving in international trade. The potential exists for Increases ln production of cane, both by expending tbe acreage of cane and by tbe use of more Intensive techniques.

Caneerennial that needs to be replanted onlyears. It grows readily in the hospitable climate of Cuba. Pests and diseases are of only minor significance. Tbe crucial time in tbe economic life of the crop is the harvest season, which lasts from January through May, the dry season of the year. At this time the cane rauat be cut and quickly transported to the mills for grinding. Any delay between cutting and grinding resultsecreased yield of sugar from the cane.

* Tbe estimates and conclusions ln this publication represent the heat Judgment of this Office aa

** Raw centrifugal sugar la the form of auger produced when the sugar syrup Is extracted, from cither the beet or the cane, with tbe color and the impurities removed, the water boiled off at restrainedunder vacuum, crystallization induced, and sugar crystals separated by centrifugal action from tbe final Juice. This form is to be differentiated from the product consumed ln India, Pakistan, Colombia, mainland China, and Burma, which consists of the Juice simply squeezed out of tbe cane and boiled to varying conolBtencies and also le to be differentiated Trom tho pure white, completely refined sugar, vhlch Is produced from the rav centrifugal sugar with uppcrcent loss of weight.

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During both the harvestI and the) harvest the Castro regime has been forced to draft "volunteer" canecutters ln order tohortage of labor In the caneflelds. Because of tbe lack

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of proper technique and physical endurance required in the cutting of cane, these voluntary cutters have proved to be somewhat inefficient harvesters and occasionally have damaged tbe perennial root stock. In apite of both exhortation and expedients resorted to by the regime, tbe Cuban sugar crop2 will be the smallestccording to current indications.

At the time of their expropriation by Caetro,rinding adlls in Cubs bad capacity well in excess of requirementa, but tbe increasing shortage of spare parts for these ndlls already Is tending to reduce the original grinding capacity.

ountries of the Sino-Soviet Bloc have deliveredof tractors, trucks, and other fax* machinery to Cuba, the bulk of which has been scheduled for use in the sugar industry. Available evidence indicates, however, that much of this machinery la not well adapted to tropical conditions in Cuba and that the suppliers in tbe Bloc have not followed through with the necessary spare parts andfacilities.

Unlike nany sugar-producing countries, Cuba has been backward in developing methods and facilities for bulk handling and presentlylarge quantities of Jute bagging that cannot be supplied directly rroo indigenous Bloc sources.

In summation the Cuban sugar industry le characterizedumber of important strengths and weaknesses. On the positive aide, it must be noted that the physical environment in Cuba is ideal for production of cane. Cuban sugar Hills still possess grinding capacity well In excess of normal requirements for production. In the Bloc the Castro regime has found an area willing to substitute itself for the US,urchaser of Cuban sugar andupplier of material inputs for the Cuban sugar industry. Finally, the availability to Cuba of asugar atock of moreillion tons*1 will nerve tosubstantially the adverse effects of tha short crop expected

On the negative aide, disruptions introduced by the regime In the occupational structure of Cuba appear to be resulting in an increasingly severe labor shortage at sugar-harvesting tine. In addition, afuture weakneaa lies In the accelerating deterioration of the sugar grinding mills, which are primarily equipped with US machinery and for which replacement parts have becocae almost impossible for Cuba to obtain. By substituting the Bloc for the US as its primary trading partner, the

* Tonnages are given in metric tons throughout this publication unless otherwise indicated.

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Castro regime bas thrust on the Cuban sugar Industry tbe penalties of extremely long lines of contrunications; significantly higher transport costs;ong lag time between requests for and receipt ofparts, and technical assistance. Tbe countries of the Bloc are notoriously poor suppliers of spare parts and service, and Cuban authorities have discovered that Bloc agricultural machinery is poorly adapted to tropical conditions in Cuba.

As of the beginninguba has no facilities for the bulk handling of sugar, nor has ltomestic source for production of bagging. Its very heavy requirements for bagging cannot be obtained directly from sources In the Bloc and ere traditionally filled instead by India and Pakistan.

Although the Cuban position in the world sugar market2 can be shored up to come extent by the availability of its large carryover stockhe net effecthort sugar harvest2 Is likely to be that the already serious shortage of foreign exchange in Cuba will be further aggravated.

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I. Introdu cti on

In the wake of tbe caa-kltnont of Castro tond tbe Coomunlat style of dictatorsnip, the econoale partnership between Cube and the US has been dissolved. Coneotsltant with this turn of events, thefunctioning of tbe Cuban sugar Industry has bccoae primarily dcpend-ent on the Sino-Soviet Bloc, botharket for Its product and alsoource of supply for capital equlpnent and other caterim inputs.

In tbe dlscuoolon that follows, an effort has been made to survey the relative position ol" Cuba lo the sugar-producing world, theof sugar to the Cuban economy, and tbo biological and economic characteristics peculiar to tho Cuban sugar Industry. In tbe light of the new politico-econccic orientation of Cuba, this survey alsoreliminary evaluation of the extent to which the Bloc has been able to take the historic place of the US in this production relationship as well as an assessment or tho proaent status of the Cuban sugar industry.

astro, through the agency of the national Institute of Agrarian Reformad converted the former large sugar estatesovering an areaonand representing aboutercent of the total areami and in Cuba. Of this total area,ectares ore devoted toof cane. ooperatives cnployem-nnvnt workers and0 seasonal workers, all of whom arc directly controlled by the General Adnlnl strntloo of Cane Cooperativeshich operates under the authorityRA.

Tbe owners of small farms were permitted to retain their holdings, although TKRA controlsreat extent the availability of supplies and the disposition of output of thla sector of the agricultural economy. The small farmsotal areaillion hectares, or aboutercent of the total Trur-lund. ectares are dovotod to production of cane, tha remainder being used to produce the bulk or other Cuban agricultural crops. IBHA controls the small farms through the National Association of Small Farmershich coordinates

* Inll autonomous agricultural and marketingwere incorporated under INRA, which was endowed withjuridical authority for handling all matters pertaining to agrarian reform, agricultural production, credit, concerce, and trade. ** One hectareeres.

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agricultural activities in the private sector to Beet nationalgoals. Loans are made to the small farmerereditwithin AHAP.

The large livestock farms also were confiscated by Castrotate-owned Peoples Farms. These farmsotal areaillion hectares and comprise aboutercent of the total farmland. The main occupation of the Peoples Paras is the raising of livestock, and these farms are of only minor significance in the sugar industry.

It is too early at thlB time to evaluate the effect of thiscontrol and reorganization of the sugar industry, although there are Indlcatione that economic incentives have been diminished by the

changes.

III. Quantitative Aspects A. Output

The raising of sugarcane and the extraction of raw sugar from the cane form the keystone in tbe Cuban economic structure. More than one-half of the total harvested area of Cuba Is devoted to production of cane. Because traditionally not all of the sugarcane crop isthe allocation of Cuban land resources to production of cane io even greatereasure based only on harvested area would Indicate.

Although Cubamall country by most standards, lt accounts Tor aboutercent of tbe annuel world production of raw centrifugal sugar, including that derived from both cane and beeta. The stotistical relationship between the annual output oT sugar in Cuba and the world totalhown In

Because the population of Cuba amounts toillion people, the large Cuban output of raw sugar obviously cannot be consumed Traditionally, Cuba consumes onlyercent of its domestic production end exports tbe remainder. In terms of worldof raw sugar, the Cuban share tends to approximate one-third of the annual total, aa shown in*

ollows on p. 7.

ollows on p. 7.

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S-EsC-eT-EJT

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Table 1

Production of Rav Centrifugal

Metric Tons) (Tbounond Metric Tons) of Total

Table 2

Exports of Rav Centrifugal

World (Thousand Metric Tons) (Thousand Metric Tone) of Total

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prfrCE-T

Tt. Yields

The yield of rav sugar per harvested hectare in Cuba Is lov compared to yields ln other cane-producing areas. 5ields of sugarons per hectare. This yield is less than one-half of the yield obtained in Havali, Peru, Java, and Taiwan. The extensive nature of production of Cuban sugarcane Is partly obscured by the fact that Cuba has one of tbe highest recovery rates of raw sugar fron sugarcane. Cuba has an abundance of land to ubc for the growing of Sugarcane and thus bas low yields of cane per unit of land area. Once the cane is harvested, however, its sugar content Is efficiently extracted at the mill.

International comparisons of yields of cane sugar per unit of land areas are complicated by the fact that some cane-producing areasfor example, Hawaii androwing season of upears, whereas other areas ouch as Louisiana require no more thanonths. Cuba recuiresoonths. Also, eome regions must replant completely every year, whereas others need replantraction of the total cane area.

Cuban yields per unit of land area reflect no well-defined trend in the period5fl shown in No conclusions can be drawn concerning the apparently low yieldecause of the fact that the eetitnate of harvested area for that year requires further validation.

Cuba has the potential to Increase production of sugarwithout increasing tbe land area devoted to cane. This Increase can be accomplished by tbe utilization of more intenaive techniques or production of cane including greater emphasis on the application of fertilisers end tbe wider use of irrigation.

C. Stocks

End-of-year Btocks of raw eugar in Cubaons during the5 Stocks on hand at the end1 are estimated to have been somewhat above this average. Tbe volume of end-of-year etocks in theas tendedevel almost double that of the, as shown in*

ollows on p.* ollows on

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a.

3 J

Area, Production, and Yields of Raw Centrifugal Sugar In Cuba 73

(

of Measure

an

Thousand hectare* a/

b/

netrie tor.a

toes nor hectare

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Table k

Production, Exports, Apparent Domestic Consumption, and Stocks or Raw Centrifugal Sugar in

etric Tons

domestic

a/ /

End-of-year

uT

D* spectu?

Cuban production of raw sugar2 Is expected to be downfrom the level1ariety of reasons Including drought, the reduced rate of replanting9he Tact that almost no cane wns left uncut after tae harvestnd the increased emphasis on production or other crops. The highest predictions5 million bono. Tbe exportable surplus, afterons Tor domestic consumption, wouldaj-tmumillion tons. The Sino-Soviet Bloc has agreed toillion tons, and if Cuba fuirillR its commilajents to theurplusillion tons will befor export to countries outside the Bloc. Some mrorraed Western estimates of production, however, are as lowillion tons,ecent decision by Cuba toons from the Bloc suggests that production might very well approach this very low level.

IV. Critical Points in the Time Cycle

A. Planting

erm derived from tbe Spanish word reto no, denoting "sprout" or "shoot."

Sugarcaneerennial tropical plant, and because Cubano frost, the perennial nature of the plant can be used to advantage. Every year tbe perennial root stock sends up new shoots that then can be harvested. Each successiveowever, yields

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somewhat less sugar, aad In Cuba tbe noraal practice is to replant sr. area after tbe eighth or ninth rstoon. Accordingly, every year only aboutercent of the total crop area is replanted toonstant acreage In cane.

Before planting time the land is plowed and harrowed by tractors or oxen. Furrows ere opened, and pieces of cane stalks, each with several Joints, are placed in the furrows and covered. Most of the planting is done during the period September through November before the winter dry season begins. Some spring cane also is planted.ln May or June, particularly in the eastern part of the Island, if an excessively dry winter has Injured the fall plantings. The government ha* recently announced its intention to plant moreectares of sugarcane in the spring This announcement cuggostu either that fall plantings were injured by tbe drought or that the regime is determined to make up for the poor harvest2 by bringingumper crop

With sufficient moisture the Joints sprout, and the young cane uppears above the groundonths after planting. The cane must then be cultivated or hoed at leaot two or three times in order to kill the weeds, until the cane Is toll enough to shade the ground and thereby binder the growth of weeds.

Sugarcane ln Cube is attacked by two diseases: irus disease known as mosaic, and theungus diseusc known as ring spot. Tbe Cubans have learned to mitigate the effects or mosaic disease by the use of resistant varieties. Ring spot (leptoephaerla saccharl) Is transmitted almost entirely by spores carried about in air currents, and apparently no successful iwthod boo been devised thus far in Cuba to prevent this disease.

The only insect pest of any economic significance to the sugar Crop of Cuba is the sugarcane borer (diatraea saccharalic). This peat is controlled by propagating its natural enemy, tbe Cuban fly (lexo-phogoaboratory and releasing these flies in Infected areas.

The new cone is ready for harvest ino IM months. The first crop produces the highest yield and Is called "plant cane." Thecrops from the same plantings are callednd thesea crop everyonths. The harvesting takes place during the dry season from January through May, when the sugar content in the cane is

highest and there is no rainfall to hinder harvesting operations.erts first In toe eastern part of the Island and terminates in the West. The length of the harvesting season (safra) depends on many factors, including the availability of labor, the timing of the dry season, and tbe amount of cane to be cut.

In the harvesting operation the tall dense cane is cut at the base or the stalk by handachete. The leaves and tops are then stripped orr, und the cane Is cut into lengths ofeet and thrown into piles. The cut csne must be taken to the millsew hours, or the sucrose will start Inverting to glucose, which Isless desirable commercially. The cane is picked up from the pile ana loaded into trailers pulled by tractors, trucks, or oxcarts and then is transported to the mills to be ground. The caneery bulky product, and the sugar mills are located as close to the cane-fields as possible to decrease transportation costs and tbe loss of time.

Vr.cf the cane is cut. It cannot be stored, and hence the har-veeting period coincides with tbe grinding period. This fact places tjreat strain on the Cuban labor force, about which more will be saiducceeding section.

LJ. Processing

the mill the cane Is crushed and ground, and the Juice Is separated from the stalk. The sugar concentration is increased by evaporation, following wdlcb the sugar is crystallised, and the crystals are removed from the liquid by contrifugation. The centrifugal raw sugar then is pacKed Into Jute bags and Is ready for shipment. Although the raw sugar requires further refining, such refining Is done primarily in the consuming country, largely because of the fact that refined sugar readily absorbs moisture and in transit by ocean probably would become caked. The raw sugar Is not much bulkier than refined sugar, for no more thanercent of tbe weight is lost in refining.

There areugar grinding mills in Cuba,ombined grinding capacityons of caneours, la Cuba the recovery rate of raw sugar from cane IB5 percent. At this rate tbe Cuban sugar mills are able to turn0 tons or sugarhour day. Tbe maximum production theoretically possible, on the ussumptionather long grinding seasonays for Cubahale1 and or all mills working at full capacity, wouldillion tons for one season.

*9 the national average duration of the zafraays.3 It was onlyays.

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one of rav sugar are refined every year in tbeuban refineries, and about one-half of this amount is consumed domestically.

V. Input3

A. Labor

Employment in the sugar industry is highly seasonal because the harvesting of cane isanual operation that must befrom January through May. During tbe harvesting season, as many as liOO,0CO workers have been employed in harvesting the cunc and in transporting lt to the mills. This number of people represents aboutercent of the total Cuban population older than lU years of age. The period between harvests bas traditionally been one of unemployment for most of these canecutters and Is termed tlempo muerto (the dead time). The Castro government has announced an intention to make more efficient use of this manpower after the harvest season by channeling the cutters into construction work and Into the militia. Available evidence does notlear picture as to the degree of success achieved thus far in implementingrogram. In any event the transfer of canecutters to tbe militia would appear to represent adrain on tbe economy, unless they were conscripted for theperformance of civilian work assignments.

For the) zafra. as with the lost, Castro has been rorced to draft 'Volunteer" canecutters. Many of these volunteersreceive no reimburcomont for their efforts. Efficientof cane requires proper technique In the use of the machete, and reports indicate not only that the harvesting last year wasperformed by the inexperienced "volunteers" but also that damage which might affect future harvests was not infrequentlyon the perennial root stock.

The cutting of cane in Cuba is almostanualand, as such, is very heavy work requiring both strength and Tbe plant growseight of abouteet, and each stalk weighsounds. Every stalk must be cut three or four timeueavy machete to reduce it to piecesreet in length. The Initial cut must be made low on the plant toaximum length of cane. Thi3 cutting operation, coupled with the lifting and carrying, is hard on an inexperienced canccutter. In order forutters to harvest enough cane toillion tons of sugarong zafraays, every cutter muston of cane each day.

The extreme seasonality of employment ln Cuba is one major factor contributing to the attractiveness of crop diversification and

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also the mechanization of the cutting process. It appears, however, that the regime does not expect within the near future to transfer cane acreage to other uses, nor has the regime as yet introduced mechanical cutters. Labor undoubtedly will continue toajor bottleneck in the sugar industry at harvesttlme, January through May.

3. Fertilizers

Arable land In Cuba is both fertile and abundant. Consequently, relatively little fertilizer Is used. Most of what Is used is applied to cane and tobacco land. The smount applied to cane Is directlyto the market price of sugar. In recent years the totalof fertilizer in Cuba varied from slightly leesons toons. Until the advent of Castro, most of thiswas imported from the US, but now Cube has turned to the Sino-Soviet Bloc for the bulk of its supplies.

The plan2 calls for an applicationons. Should Cuba be successful in obtaining this amount of fertilizer froa. the Bloc and In applying It more intensively to cane land, an Increase in yields of cone could be expected for the harvest When viewed against the background of the chronic shortage of fertilizers within the Bloc and the air of unreality surrounding many of the near-term Cuban economic goals, however, announcement by the regime of the planned application of fertilizer2 appears overly optimistic.

C. Tractors

As of the beginninguba wan manufacturing no tractors, although some facilities are available for minor assembly operations.*uba imported annually an averagefrom the US and Western Europe (primarily England and Westuba turned almost exclusively to tbe Sino-Soviet Bloc for Its supply of tractors as well as for other farm machinery. 0mports from the Bloc totaled approximatelyunits each year.uban plans envision the importsractors, all of which are to be supplied by countries of the Bloc.

On the basis or data on units imported and units in circulation for each of the, It appeara that American and European trsctors, under Cuban conditions, deteriorated at the rate of5 percent per year. How that supplies of spare parts for these tractorB have been almost completely cut off, the rate of deterioration undoubtedly has increased, and as time goes by, these tractors of Western origin will continue to deteriorate at an accelerated rate. There have been persistent reports that tractors are being cannibalized. Therefore, it appears tbat these increased Imports of tractors from the Bloc will

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Mreaae totractor parkepUc-ent. Tor

D. PagHi:ut

coffee aaor

nae beenTTT^ riber-processlns

"^uxeod0 that*>

valued at current US ft? _ . equipment froa Horticrn Ireland

ESS& ESSSs.

* ollow on

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Table 5

Import* wa Inventory of Tractor* In

Unite

Year

iy48

I960

2

from

US and Europe Slno-Sovlet Bloc

197

0 0

0

0

b

/ -

o

of Tractors (End of Year)

O

O

0 a/

C00 a/

Data2 probably are tbeestimates, for to.ercent rata of depreciationin arriving at tbe estimates. In fact, th. rate ofof the Cuban tractor parklmostconsiderablyercent. esult, tbetractors fit for use probably Is substantially (butthan the data shown for total inventory.

averagesed and probably overstatesnumber.

An Important obatacle to this program, however, lies In the fact that thTreglme ha. not been successful to date In developing an efficient technique for decorticating the boaw-grovn fiber.

Even If the technical problems involved arc solved and the kenaf bag plantull capacity, Cuba will still be compelled

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to Import the remaininginion bags required to handle the sugar aad coffee crops.

InI, Faueto Santos Reyes, who won In Calcutta as the leaderuban purchasing mission, said that Cuba will purchase from Indiaillion jute bags for sugar. In view of the fact that Cuba Imports normallyillion Jute bogs from both India and Pakistan for use In packing both sugar and coffee, this figureags from India for sugar seems to be rather high, although the Reyes statement did notime period for the purchase. Jute bagging is perhaps the cost significant import in the Cuban sugartbat cannot be supplied by Bloc sources. Although there seema to be no prospect that this supply may bo cut off. Imports of bagging doequirement for convertible foreign exchange. The statement by Reyes might Indicate that Cuba intends to stockpile this itemedge against future contingencies. On the other hand. Increasedof bags might be due, at least in part, to the fact that bogs used to ship sugar to the Bloc have been retained to hold the sugar in storage, and,econd use Of some of the bags is presently not possible.

One way to avoid reliance on Jute bags is by switching to bulk handling of the sugar, as many sugar-exporting countries have done. Cuba ban been rather backward in its sugar-handling techniques,hange to bulk handling would involve great expense and considerable time.

Presumably, Cuba will need slzoble quantities of Jute bugging from India and Pakistan for many years to handle its sugar crop, and, therefore, bagging will continue to be an expensive and vulnerableIn the Cuban sugar Industry.

Sheet of Strengths and Weaknesses in the Cuban

A. Strengths

Cuban physical environment is ideal for production of The rainfall Is generally reliable and adequate during the growing season, after which harvesting may be conductedonth dry season. The soil ia generally fertile, and there are presently no serious disease or pest problems. Production of cane in Cuba can be Increased both by the use of new land and by the practice of moreplanting.

At the time or the Castro takeover, Cuba was endowedigh-capacity, highly efficient cane-grlndlng complex,ugar

mills. These millsotal capacity far exceeding that necessary for normal production, makingubstantial increase inof rav sugar, if similar increases could be achieved ln the growing and harvesting sector of the industry.

Although politics appears to haveore Important role than economics, the Cuban sugar industry nevertheless has beer, shored up through commercial commitments made to the Castrc regime by theBloc. The Bloc has taken the place of the USrimary purchaser of Cuban sugar. At least5 the Bloc is committed toillion tons or sugar every year. In addition, the Bloc bIbo has committed itself to substitute for the US as the primaryof machinery and other material Inputs necessary to the operation of the Cuban sugar industry. Finally, In spite of tbe export of more iiugar1 than in any other recent year, tbe Cuban sugar industry vas still able toarryover stock of moreillion tons Inasmuch as an unusually short crop is expected in the current year, this large carryover will assume critical Importance ln assisting Cuba to maintain Its place ln tbe world market.

B. weaknessca

Apparentlyesult of disruptions Introduced by the Castro regime in tbe occupational structure of Cuba, sugar harvestingare suffering increasinglyhortage of labor. illion hectares of cane must be cutelatively abort period of time, and tbe harvested can* must be transported immediately to the grinding mills to minimise tha loss of auger content. Theof cane is exacting and exhausting work, and tbe use ofand inexperienced "volunteer" cutters results in economic lose. Although Cubs can increase production of cane in the field and has the capacity to grind increased Quantities or cane in the mills, any increase in production of sugar will depend on the ability of tbe regime to overcome the serious bottleneck of labor shortages during the harvest season.

At the time of the takeover by Castro, most of the machinery used in tbe Cuban sugar Industry was of US manuracturc. Although present capacity in the grinding mills la still well ln excess of normal production requirements, the need for replacement parteiy mills la already serious and will grow with time. Failure to obtain adequate replacements may soon resulteduction of the present grinding capacity of tbe sugar mills.

The fact that tbe new suppliers In the Sino-Soviet Bloc are located halfway around the globe from Cuba means that the delivery of machinery, parts, and otber material isar nore time-consuming

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process then before. Even If lt la assumed that the countries of the Bloc are willing and able to respond quickly to Cuban requests, the simple fact of distance compels the Castro regime to suffer the penaltyong lag time between the request for and the receipt offrom the Bloc. In addition, increased transportation charges, stemmingreatly expanded volume of long-distance international shipping, represent an uriavoidablc added cost to the Cuban sugaras long as the Bloc functions as Its principal market and source of re supply.

Apart from the factor of distance, the record established by the countries of the Bloc as suppliers of spare parts and service ispoor, especially in the area of automotive equipment. unless the countries of the Bloc prove to be willing to modify their standardized lines of production to the specific Cubanmuch of the material and machinery from the Bloc will continue to be poorly adapted to Cuban agricultural conditions. At present the necessity for Cuban technicians to make time-consuming technicalleads to excessive delays in putting machinery from the Bloc into operation. Similarly, shortages of spare parts arc nuking itfor the Cubans to maintain this machinery ln operating condition.

Cuba is dependent on two countries outside tbe Bloc, India and Pakistan, for its supplies of jute bagging. The need for this material resultsrain on seriously limited foreign exchange holdings and, perhaps more significantly, constitutes an input to the Cuban sugar industry that cannot be supplied directly from sources in the Bloc.

Finally, although Cuba2arryover stock of moreillion tons of sugar, it appears that the total amount of sugar available for export in the current year will be substantially lover than the regime had anticipated, becauseerious reduction in the harvest The virtual certaintyhort harvest2 stemsariety of factors, including an unusual drought during tho growing season, overcuttingnderplaoting9 andhortage of skilled harvesting labor brought about by the disruption by the regime of tho traditional occupational structure In Cuba.

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