Odebrecht to invest even more in Castrolandia
Castro Kingdom opens sugar plantations to foreign investment
Potential vassals begin to line up in order to reap windfall profits from slave labor. Meanwhile, deep in the recesses of its secret Punto Cero fortress, the royal court draws up plans to fleece all applicants, once their investments have been secured.
From China Daily
HAVANA - Cuba has authorized the first joint venture in the sugar industry in a bid to boost efficiency, modern technology to revitalize the sector.
The state-run Sugar Group Azcuba was approved a month ago to create the first joint venture with foreign capital, to build a bioelectrical power station in the Ciro Redondo sugar factory, 45,000 km east of Havana.
"The main goal is to achieve a diversified sugar industry to obtain the economic goals we have along with a high integration of the technicians," Wilson Morell, vice-president of Azcuba, told Xinhua in a recent interview during the Congress of Sugar Industry technicians which ended last Friday at the Havana Convention Palace.
New facilities in the sugar factory will allow a greater contribution of electricity to the national network, Morell said, adding it will be the first step for the creation of similar units for better use of the energetic potential of the sugar cane,
Another project with foreign capital at the sugar mill in the central province of Cienfuegos was also approved last Friday, he added.
However, the official did not specify which foreign company would participate in the project.
In January, the Brazilian group Odebrecht announced the signing of a contract with Azcuba for the productive management of a sugar factory in Cienfuegos.
For over a century, Cuba was among the world's top sugar exporters, exceeding 8 million tons annually. But the industry shrank after the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba's main economic ally. The island country's sugar production hit a historical low in 2009 with only 1.1 million tons.
President Raul Castro has been trying to restore the sector with new technologies and systems to achieve a more efficient management and generate exports capable of financing its own expenses.
The 2011-2012 is the first production season after Castro implemented reforms to modernize the industry, including dissolving the Sugar Ministry and replacing it with the more free market-style Azcuba, a company with representations in every province.
Azcuba is comprised by 13 sugar companies, 56 sugar factories and derivatives, two research institutes and a qualification center.
Postscript to this news story, from The Real Cuba web site: (includes photos) In 1958, there were 161 sugar mills operating in Cuba. According to the legend spun by King Fidel, Prince Regent Raul and their apologists, the majority of the sugar mills were owned by American companies, but that is just another "fact" invented by the crown's Ministry of Truth. Of the 161 sugar mills operating in Cuba in 1958, 113 of them were owned by Cubans; 41 by Americans; 6 by Spaniards and one by a French company. The Castro monarchy took took possession of all 161 sugar mills and now the majority of them are destroyed and abandoned. Castrolandia now has to import sugar to meet its own people's needs.