Mexico Donates Tractors and Nurseries to Cuba as Part of a $6 Million Program

In the image, one of the tractors that Mexico donated as part of the Sembrando Vida program. (X/AnaTeresita Gonzaléz)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, December 12, 2023 — With the donation of half a dozen tractors to Cuba and the inauguration of two fruit and timber tree nurseries in the municipalities of Artemisa and Mayabeque, the Government of Mexico proclaims that 5,000 people have benefited as part of the Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) Program, which was announced last June with an investment of 6,000,000 dollars.

According to the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), “support and inputs in kind” have been delivered, in addition to technical assistance from Cuban and Mexican agronomists to improve cultivation techniques.

As part of the benefits, the report emphasized that the nurseries have an irrigation system that works with solar panels. Donors emphasize that no electrical energy or “other fuel” is necessary, but the truth is that the tractors will need fuel, which is scarce on the Island despite the constant arrival of oil tankers, mainly from Venezuela and Mexico.

Los viveros de Sembrando Vida en Cuba cuentan con paneles solares. (SRE)
The Sembrando Vida nurseries in Cuba have solar panels. (SRE)

The Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (Amexcid), in charge of the program, already implemented in El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize, announces the progress on the Island two months after it reported on the drawing up of a list of beneficiaries. Until then, only a small hoe, a metal file, pruning scissors and a pair of boots had been delivered to the beneficiaries.

The agency says nothing about the $150 per month that Sembrando Vida planned to deliver directly for eight months to the people enrolled in the program, as announced in June by the executive director of Amexcid, Laura Elena Carrillo Cubillas.

Sembrando Vida was implemented by the López Obrador Administration as “the largest job creation program in the history of Mexico,” with a budget, this year, of almost half a billion pesos. The Government of Mexico included it in the Development Plan for Migration.

López Obrador’s proposal focuses on containing the irregular exodus of people through the implementation of social programs in the Northern Triangle of Central America made up of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba and Belize.

However, Sembrando Vida has been denounced for mismanagement by some media and organizations. The information platform Connectas revealed that this program, to which 63.5 million dollars were initially allocated, “has received criticism for the expulsion of beneficiaries in a discretionary manner, the opacity in the management of farmers’ savings and the delay in the investigations that denounce their mismanagement.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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