Cuba’s Sin Campo No Hay Pais, a campaign led by Cuban farmers advocating for free farming
“Sin Campo No Hay Pais,” or “Without free farming, there is no country,” is a campaign led by the League of Independent Farmers and the Cuban Chapter of the Latin American Federation of Rural Women (FLAMUR) that aims to prevent a food catastrophe in Cuba as a result of the current crisis.
The “Sin Campo No Hay Pais,” campaign comes in response to Raul Castro, who formerly maintained the state collection system and set price ceilings, which repressed the urban vendors and truck drivers in Cuba. Years later, Cuba still needs to import 80 percent of the food it consumes. However, the Cuban economy is currently failing and risking bankruptcy.
In response, the League of Independent Farmers and the FLAMUR have said, “Let’s avoid a famine! Lift the internal blockade and free agricultural production!”
It is the internal blockade that is the only thing keeping farmers from importing, exporting, and receiving private investments from the United States. This became evident in 2016, when Nestlé, a food and beverage company, wanted to purchase coffee directly from Cuban independent producers, and got the okay from the United States to do so.
However, the Cuban government blocked that opportunity by rejecting the offer without consulting the farmers themselves. This took away possible investment and advisement for the farmers from Nestlé, in addition to billions of dollars of United States investments in agriculture.
It is this kind of oppression that the campaign aims to combat. In a statement, the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba said maintaining “the internal blockage on private producers is a crime and colossal stupidity.”
The announcement of the “Sin Campo No Hay Pais,” campaign was released on Monday, April 27. In the statement, the farmers made a list of demands towards the Cuban government. They demanded freedom to produce and distribute their products, freedom to set prices based on traditional supply and demand rules, and freedom to import and export with the United States, since no laws prohibit transactions between independent farmers.
Other demands included eliminating ten year’s worth of taxes on all food producers and processors and delivering permanent land property titles to all agricultural producers.
Simply put, the Sin Campo No Hay Pais campaign is the Cuban farmer’s way of fighting for the food safety of Cubans in order to prevent a possible famine from occurring.
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