1,600 tons of donated rice arrive from China

1,600 tons of donated rice arrive from China

HAVANA, June 6  Cuba received a new rice donation of 1,580 tons (t) from China, as part of an aid program from the Asian ally that includes the delivery of more than 20,000 t.The cereal shortage in recent months has brought into focus the Government’s inability to supply the population with this basic food through the ration book.

According to the newspaper Trabajadores, the cargo recently arrived at the port of Mariel, in the province of Artemisa, and is made up of 66 containers, the first of a total of seven deliveries, four of which will be received in that enclave near the capital. and the remaining three through the port of Santiago de Cuba, between the months of June and August.

During an event to receive the donation held on Tuesday in the port of Mariel, Oscar Pérez-Oliva Fraga, recently appointed Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), thanked China for the “noble gesture” at a time when the Isla is experiencing “complex economic times.”

“We are certain that this donation will benefit a significant number of the population in the western and eastern regions, thus contributing to meeting the food needs of our country,” said Pérez-Oliva.

The official recalled that 408 tons of rice were delivered to the Government through six charter flights in April.

For his part, Ma Hui, Chinese ambassador to Cuba, said that the charitable shipment seeks to respond to the “urgent needs of sister Cuba” by actively providing food aid.

According to the Chinese diplomat, his Government also “collaborates with the Cuban side to study and explore medium and long-term solutions that guarantee sustainable agricultural development in the Caribbean country.”

Read also: Vietnamese Abandon Their Successful Rice Project in Cuba

“China is willing to share its experience and advanced technology with the world, with the Cuban side, strengthen technical and personnel exchanges in the agricultural field, help improve food production capacity, defend food sovereignty and security,” Ma added.

He also pledged to continue providing all the help within the reach of the Chinese government “to alleviate the difficulties faced by the Cuban people” for which he blamed the United States embargo.

For Ma, China-Cuba relations are an “exemplary case of solidarity and cooperation between socialist countries.”

“We will continue to make more progress to build the community with a shared future between China and Cuba,” said the Chinese representative in Cuba.

Most of the rice consumed in Cuba is imported or comes from donations. In the last decade, national production has plummeted and in recent months the sale of cereal to citizens through wineries has been greatly affected.

As a result of the protests of March 17 and 18 that occurred in Santiago de Cuba and Granma, the official media have reported on shipments of rice arriving in Cuba, such as the shipments that arrived during April and another 1,600 tons that the regime took away—alliance with Vietnam.

This Wednesday the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, begins an official visit to China. According to the official MINREX website, cited by Cubadebate, during his stay and as part of the program of activities, Rodríguez will hold official conversations with leaders and senior officials of that country.