This was said many years ago, when I was a child. We were proud of being the world’s sugar bowl. All this is now ancient history. There it lay, preserved along with the memory of a Republic, which if it was not perfect, at least we could be proud of it, because it was still very young, and it was located in a very good place in our hemisphere. True, some things needed to be changed, and others improved, but we had one of the most advanced constitutions of the time, so much so that ours was even a model for the UN charter.

Sadly, today in our country the sugar consumed by the population has been rationed for many years. We lost our factories, and the few that are still functioning fail to produce enough to meet the scant international commitments. Many mills were demolished and others serve as museums, where they show foreigners how sugar was made. Something like Greece displaying the ruins of the Parthenon.

But we are daring, so much so that we have now sent Cuban sugar technicians, with their tremendous experience, to advise Haiti on its harvest. I wonder where these specialists were as our industry languished almost to death. Will they be able to accomplish in that country what they were unable to do in our own land? That is a question that the Haitians will be able to respond to only with the passage of time; we already suspect the answer.

Translated by: Tomás A.