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One could assume that Law 259, which grants unproductive land in usufruct to those capable of extracting some profit from it, constitutes an act of rectification.

It will be very difficult to determine if the acreage that is now unproductive was once farmed by its owner or if, since time immemorial, it was abandoned. Much of it, in “an act of supreme justice,” was confiscated from its owners for “the collective benefit,” and converted into farms of the people, with an administrator who had read more Marxism manuals than agriculture books. Soviet tractors replaced the anachronistic oxen, tons of chemical fertilizers penetrated the soil, the most modern pesticides were sprayed from airplanes, millions of cubic meters of water flowing from recently built dams irrigated the earth, seeds created in sophisticated laboratories by new technicians trained by the Revolution promised fabulous crops, while the man, not just any man but the New Man, devoid of ego and fully equipped with a sound culture and unlimited solidarity, established new records in agriculture. I remember having read all this, I remember having written it. I remember having believed it.

I would like to know if any of the now unproductive acreage for which they are seeking a tenant in usufruct went through any of the experiences described above.

Painting: “Sown field” by Osvaldo Castillo

Translator’s note:
Usufruct is the legal right to the use of someone else’s property for a set period of years (or for life), including all benefits and profit from it, as long as the property is not damaged.


Link to Original Blog in Spanish

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Reinaldo Escobar (1947), an independent journalist since 1989, writes from Cuba where he was born and continues to live. He received his degree in Journalism from the University of Havana in 1971 and subsequently worked for different Cuban publications. His articles can be found in various European publications, and in the digital magazines "Cuba Encuentro" and "Contodos."

Desde Aquí/From Here is a personal undertaking born from the need to write about those topics that fill my head every day but that cannot find a space in the official Cuban media.

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