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Could US Trade Threaten Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba?


#1

Could US Trade Threaten Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba?

Ming Chun Tang

With limited access to chemical and mechanical inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and farm machinery, Cuban farmers have pioneered innovations in sustainable agriculture out of necessity since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc.


#2

Monsanto is certainly drafting a Cuba free trade agreement, no?


#3

Anyone who believes Obama actions "opening" Cuba have anything to do with justice or ending an era of bad policy is delusional. Obama represents profits uber alles! "Opportunity" & "normalization" means the opportunity to regain a foothold in Cuba and return domination & property for US corporations, to regain political influence/subversion! Obama is an agent of financial/economic usury and political evil - his actions re Cuba and Iran only an extension of his subservience to global corporate dominance, banker/Wall Street usury, for-profit war & MICC - his support for the TPP and TTIP tells the tale. CUBANOS BEWARE!

Sustainable AG in Cuba cannot "compete" with chemical AG, but is critical to Cuban agriculture and the health of the people - the goal of "opportunity" is to sell tens of thousands of tons of poison pesticide chemicals, non-organic fertilizers and "proprietary" un-saveable seeds - the UN-sustainable Monsatan model of planetary agricultural slavery and destruction!

The Obama/corporate agenda is to "open" Cuba as elsewhere to corporate domination and endless economic servitude!

"“I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas. … I’ve urged the people of the Americas to leave behind the ideological battles of the past.” What Obama means is he intends to bury the Cuban revolution and spirit!

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/class_domination.html


#4

Mr. Tang is quite naïve about the political power of an entity like Monsanto. It's salivating to sell its pesticides and herbicides and gen-tech to a market that due to its island status has largely remained immune to these horrors. (And the Cuban people enjoy better health as a result!)

Please Cuba, don't open this Pandora's Box!

Monsanto lies about outputs and lies about the efficacy of its pesticides even those laced INTO the plant foods.

Yesterday I viewed a documentary on why Americans have such high levels of cholesterol and heart disease and the author--a medical doctor--traced it all back to glyphosates. They block our bodies' absorption of key minerals and this, in turn, weakens key functions.


#5

Of course it's about opening Cuba to our disastrous ( for ordinary Cubans) trade policies. We destroyed the self-sufficient Mexican agrarian society and then brutalize Mexicans crossing the border searching for work so as not to starve. More American exceptionalism...


#6
The 'new' Cuba will go just like this...

American agricultural corporations will eliminate trade barriers. Cuba will be flooded with cheap produce, free if necessary, until all of their competitors are out of business. At that point the same companies will buy up all of the good farmland, hire back the farmers at slave wages, raise their prices and eventually emulate every other Latin American country that has surrendered their sovereignty to multi-national corporations. Unemployment will soar, prices will quickly climb back to their 'pre-corporate' levels and the landless peasantry will find themselves helpless in the fight against these corporate juggernauts. The only major difference is that this time around the Americans will be on the look out for any democratic radical like Che Guevara and take him out before the public gets to rally behind him.


#7

Not Monsanto, Cargill.
Learn about that name, they are the major player in transnational agriculture.
http://www.cargill.com/news/cargill-helps-launch-drive-to-end-cuban-embargo/index.jsp
http://www.cargill.com/connections/for-cargills-fernandez-cuba-embassy-flag-raising-is-a-family-affair/index.jsp
http://www.startribune.com/cargill-takes-the-lead-in-urging-end-to-cuba-trade-restrictions/288773831/
http://www.soyatech.com/news_story.php?id=35133


#8

"around a quarter of the country’s farmers have nonetheless succeeded in supplying some 65 percent of national agricultural output using agroecological practices"

Umm, no. According to the linked article "Cuba's small farmers control only 25% of the nation's agricultural land but produce over 65% of the country's food."


#9

So those who control 25% of the agricultural land produce 65% of the country's food.

Why, in the communist workers paradise in the Caribbean, don't the most productive farmers control the majority of the land? Even if they only controlled 50% of the land they could dramatically increase food production to 130% of what is now being achieved.

The answer is that the communist military dictatorship of the Castro family in Cuba is just as bound to their destructive ideology of agricultural collectives as the neocon miitarists in Washington DC are to their doctrine of "search and destroy" as their organizing principle of world domination.

Agricultural collectives have been a grand smashing failure at producing healthful food for a society whether they are the Kibbutzim of Zionist Israel, the agricultural debacle of North Korea, or the Stalinist farms of the Soviet Union.

But they are such a perfect fit for Communist doctrine and ideology that their practitioners just cannot give them up even at the cost of increased hunger. So the total answer that Ming Chun Tang studiously avoids is that communist doctrine is just as harmful to sustainable agroecological practices in Cuba as all the US for profit industrial farming corporations combined.


#10

Commonly, Mennonite colonies throughout the world farm on a collective model, even here in the United States. Though on paper their holdings may appear as individual family farms of modest size, in reality communities exist, to some degree, as de facto corporate entities pooling resources, cash, and other assets collectively owned.
Too, it is interesting to note that the Mennonites around the world maintain a close working relationship with Cargill. It can be surprising, at first, to drive through a Mennonite farm community dominated by extensive acreage planted in GMO corn & soy, poultry CAFOs, with signs prominently posted at the highway proclaiming Cargill affiliation.---so much for the commonly held misapprehension about bucolic 'horse and buggy' simple folk.
Mennonites, through such NGOs as MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) frequently function as adjuncts to USAID efforts to inject neo-liberal economic and social reforms. That the Mennonite Central Committee played its part in lobbying Congress ought not be dismissed.
example:
http://www.lawg.org/component/content/article/77/160
Of interest from above letter, this:
"We also support Senator Byron Dorgan’s amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that would grant a general license for trips to Cuba for any travel associated with U.S. agriculture and medical sales to Cuba"


#11

Quite naive, how exactly? In case you didn't understand it (or didn't read it for that matter), my point is exactly the same as yours, which is that American agribusinesses, like Monsanto, are only interested in profit and pose a threat to Cuban agroecology. I'm amazed you seem to think I put a positive spin on this.


#12

Add Archer Daniels Midland to Cargill and I suspect there are others as well.