Statement in La Coloma, Pinar del Río, October 2, 2022

Statement in La Coloma, Pinar del Río, October 2, 2022
Fecha de publicación: 
4 October 2022
Imagen principal: 

In a few hours, a hurricane destroys us faster than we can recover, that is a first logical thought we must have. But that is not a reason to feel defeated. On the contrary, we must join efforts, talents, hands, and disposition.

People are also shocked and we have to get out of that lethargy of damage and start working, and then we see how we advance day by day with such work and start recovering from destruction.

It must be said that after five days Mayabeque province is practically recovered. Havana is quite recovered; the Isle of Youth was recovered. In the provinces of Artemisa and Pinar del Río, where the damage was greatest, the situation is more tense. As the situation improves in other provinces, more work force come here; but what has been done is actually heroic.

I know that this causes a lot of trouble. In addition to the accumulated situation that we are all already experiencing, then comes another group of negative situations that trigger discomfort and harden daily life; but here we have lived hurricanes that have taken no less than 19-20 days for us to recover. There is an important number of provinces where most of them have been recovered in just five days. I am convinced that by next week, we will be almost fully recovered, especially in electricity, communications, and then we will start with the housing issue.

Housing will always take us longer; but when you see that there is the capacity for mobilization, there is the willingness of the people to be involved and that they begin to make progress day by day at high rates in several places, it gives us confidence that we can overcome this situation.

On the other hand, everything we do, we have to do better. For example, the work that has been done today in the recovery of the water supply in Pinar del Río is going to allow that province to now have a better water solution in the three water-conducting tubes than it had before the cyclone. That is the concept of everyone involved working, what we do here is to improve La Coloma, and so in each town based on what we are doing.

Faced with this, there are different attitudes: there is a part of the population that immediately gets involved and finds solutions to their own problems and then works on the social issues, and so the personal, family, and social interests converge. There are other people who are more shocked and it is more difficult to push them, but later, little by little, when they see others’ involvement, they also join.

There is a group of people who, as recovery progresses, begin to have logical concerns and make claims as they see their recovery process is slower because they live in more complicated places; from a civic position, from a decent position, they make logical statements of the concerns they have, and that is why all cadres, all leaders need to be constantly explaining things. Let us remember that now communication is affected because there are some places where there is no electricity, and there is no television, no radio. That is why it is paramount that every day, at a certain time of the day, we can inform the population where we are at in the recovery process and what the difficulties are; where we are making progress and where we are not; what new things must be done, what new things must be fostered.


And, unfortunately, there is a group of people who, in a very vulgar way, I would say in an indecent way –regardless of the damages they have, because look at the others, who are the majority, who act in a different way– do some claims from positions of total misunderstanding, challenging, offending. Who are they offending, the very same people who are working to solve their problems? What is the logic of that, or who are they serving? Who are they summoning to come and solve the problems, if they are going directly against the people? It would be more useful if, with all those concerns that they may have, they could start helping those who are in hot spots working for them. We cannot allow that. Demonstrations of this type have no legitimacy. The concern and the honest approach, it is the decent approach in the midst of a difficult situation the one we accept and attend to.

The main concern of the country is how, in the fastest possible way, we can save this whole situation and get better at the same time. But those who act that way, who claim all the rights that the Revolution offers but who contribute little, must be confronted, confronted with arguments. One thing must be taken into account here: we are building a socialist society with a lot of work due to a blockade that does not allow us to advance in that socialist construction; but a socialist society is built from a centrality of work, where people contribute and receive for what they contribute.

There are many people who believe that everything has to be given to them, that everything has to be put in their hands, that everything has to be resolved and they do not need to get involved. In this group of people, those who are encouraged by the haters take advantage, those who, at this time, are more concerned about the progress of the recovery process in Cuba than about the damages caused in other places in the region, where less progress is being made in recovery and that have also been hit by cyclones in these times, to make other types of expressions, counterrevolutionary expressions, trying to commit acts of vandalism such as closing roads, throwing stones at economic or social places. That is already out of the law, and these situations will be dealt with the rigor of the laws that in our society, from the Constitution and from the law, protect the stability of the population, protect adequate social coexistence so that there can be peace, harmony, and we all can work together.

There are people who, unfortunately, have taken the streets –they are the fewest–, but they have demonstrated in that way and we know all the links they have with all that counterrevolution from abroad, which encourages and pays for that behavior.

I think that the majority of people is joining, getting involved, raising concerns, proposing things that can be improved. Having that in mind, together with all the institutions, we have to work and advance. But we are going to face bad behaviors from the Law, as it is established, as endorsed by our Constitution so our citizens can enjoy peace of mind, in terms of not altering public order, in terms of not altering the citizen order; because, in addition, those same people who act in this way have all the guarantees that are given in Cuba and they are taken care of, and nobody says: “the hurricane hit you and because you are behaving this way, we are not going to help you.” No, everyone is cared to and solutions are also sought for the problems they have.

I think that is the conception with which we have to work, the one we have to share, what we have to convey, what we have to communicate, what we have to explain to the whole population.

I would also say that there is record time. Havana, such a complex capital city, has levels of recovery in five days, that should be a record. And they have achieved those levels of recovery and the same is happening here in Pinar del Río, in Artemisa and other places. It deserves a recognition. But you also have to support. It is very encouraging when a brigade is working on a post, on a line, and there is a part of the population helping to open the hole or paving the way to remove the bothering sticks, and together we are moving forward, and together we are feeling that victory is nearing as we advance. If we work together, we are going to return faster to a condition of normality.

This is a province that has been historically hit by hurricanes, and we still have debts from previous cyclones. And once we get more resources available, we must pay off that debt, previous and today’s debts. There were already over 29,000 homes affected in the territory (Some people tell him that 5,000 between total and partial collapses now).

Among all the provinces affected, there are over 40,000 homes that need restoration, improvement, repair or even construction from their foundations, because they were totally swept.

Today I see a different spirit in Pinar del Río, people have been coming out of that hit, you can see people working everywhere. We must also highlight the contribution of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior and other institutions; how young people have come here. They were in all the urban vegetable gardens. They were all working.

And we urge to do better everything we plan to do. This is how the people of Pinar del Río are working and this is how Cuba is also committed to working for Pinar del Río, to working for Artemisa, and to finish off the job we started in other three provinces and in the special municipality of Isle of Youth.

You have to put your chest to the bullets! We have to solve this by ourselves, with our effort, with our talent and making progress; It is not just solving adversity, but overcoming that adversity.

I ask for a lot of patience in the cadres, because the people are also in a very complex situation, just as the cadres are in a complex situation, because those who are taking a step forward and are trying to explain and to summon people have also their homes devastated. They have family problems like you, like the workers’ problems. But we can overcome this working together.

Nobody is to blame that a cyclone hits us, nobody is to blame that a cyclone has destroyed things. But we all have the responsibility to overcome these damages. The responsibility belongs to everyone! And it has to be like that, with the effort and with the certainty that we can face it.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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