PINAR DEL RIO, March 11, 1997.- The farming sector presents today, again, a desperate situation. The much touted Agrarian Reform Law, which was signed at the Sierra Maestra by the author of the attack on the Moncada Barracks, has served no purpose.
Cuban farmers throughout these 38 years have been victims of evictions from their lands. In the 1960's, when the Escambray Law; and in 1973, when members of Jehova's Witnesses sect refused to plant tobacco for their strong beliefs in their biblical and religious teachings.
Today the threat is against farmers who, brandishing real justifications, were not able to meet with the planting plan as ordered by the authorities at the service of the government.
In the municipalities of Guane, Mantua, and Sandino, in the province of Pinar del Rio, there's a threat of a thousand dollar fine to be levied against those who do not meet such plans, in spite of the fact that they can not count on the necessary resources to be offered by Cubatabaco, such as motors, fertilizers and others.
The most delicate part of this situation is that these threats are fully backed by the organization which is supposed to watch out for justice in the farming sector, the National Association of Small Farmers, an organization which encompasses those mis-named farmers/owners of their lots.
Report issued by Blanca Nieves Cruz Rivera, president of the National Civic Movement Maximo Gomez Baez.