Camagüey, Cuba, sugar harvest, sugarcane combines, millionaire operators, Sugar Worker's Day

Sugarcane operators: key to millionaire contribution to the economy (+ Photos)

By Juan Mendoza Medina / Radio Cadena Agramonte.

The people of Camagüey, Miguel Castillo Márquez, Ernesto Martínez Martínez and Osmel Álvarez Rabí, have spent several decades of life dedicated to the sugar sector, with such dedication that they proudly and simply display the status of millionaires in the sugarcane harvest.

This result was the main motivation for Radio Cadena Agramonte to, minutes before a recognition ceremony in the City of the Earthenware Jars, talk with them and discover the reasons and forces that make these materializations possible, so necessary to multiply in each Cuban cane field.

Belonging to the Batalla de las Guásimas Sugar Agroindustrial Company, in the municipality of Vertientes, Castillo Márquez assures that the key is to keep the combine always ready, and another decisive factor is the support regarding the transportation of the grass.

“The machine almost becomes part of one's family: we work in 12-hour shifts, both day and night,” confesses this 66-year-old man, with 46 harvests as a millionaire, and adds that “I will be there until “My the body tells me to go rest."

The previous criterion is shared by Osmel Álvarez Rabí, as he assures that the combined company must be taken care of, especially when there are so many resources missing like now, and perhaps there, in the midst of the limitations, is the secret to reaching one million arrobas - and more - of the raw material supplied to the industry.

This operator of the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Agroindustrial Sugar Company, in the territory of the same name, has a purpose every day: to fulfill the cutting task with effort and sacrifice, for which he has the support of the entire family, since “Sometimes I spend 24 hours working, when there is some difficulty with another colleague.”

The same merit as a millionaire is held by Ernesto Martínez Martínez, also from the Cespedeño municipality, and in his squad, he says, the machines had good productivity in the last harvest, despite the shortcomings.

“Our working day is hard, especially at times when there are no supplies, but we do everything possible to comply and look for solutions when there are breakages,” thanks, in large part, to the inventiveness of mechanics, welders and the operators themselves, with which they even save energy carriers.

For the upcoming race, number 38 for Ernesto, “we are concentrating on repairing what gave us problems in the last harvest, and the challenge will be to continue contributing to the country.”

"It's hard work that we do, although today's CASE machines are more comfortable, but I still like it, and when I get on the combine the first thing I think about is completing the day's task."

In workers like these three there is a guarantee of continuity in the sector, and ample example to pass on to new generations; However, there is still work to be done to save the union's tradition: we must give more attention to the worker, increase motivation, says Martínez Martínez; Meanwhile, Álvarez Rabí reiterates the need to “do more, which is what is hitting us, there is very little and poorly attended to. That is the fundamental problem.”

Miguel, Ernesto and Osmel embody the qualities that have identified Cuban sugar producers for centuries: perseverance and sense of belonging. What they, like many others, achieve in sugarcane fields and mills, is an example that the sector can still contribute to the country's economy and remain a symbol of the history and culture of a nation. (Photos: Periódico 5 de Septiembre and the author)

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