Cuba, the socialist island in the Caribbean, is striking problems of inefficiency and distribution in its struggle for economic progress.
GV Cattle at farm & sugar cane wagon.
GV Crane moving sugar cane
SV Sugar workers (2 shots)
SV INT Factory (2 shots)
GV EXT Sugar factory
TRACKING SHOT Tractors ZOOM TO boat.
MV & CU Farm machinery being cleaned (2 shots)
TRACKING SHOT Transport crates
CU Picture of Guevara PAN TO crowd outside shop
CU Girl and toyshop (2 shots)
CU Children and toyshop window.
Initials SAW/AH/BB/0055 SAW/AH/BB/0111
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Background: Cuba, the socialist island in the Caribbean, is striking problems of inefficiency and distribution in its struggle for economic progress.
Mainstay of the Cuban economy is the sugar crop--this year all available labour is working in the fields and factories. The Christmas holiday has been delayed to make sure it doesn't interfere with the harvest.
Last season, Cuba failed to reach its targeted sugar crop and in a nationwide speech Dr. Castro, the Cuban Head of State, admitted some of the problems besetting the country's economy.
One of them is difficulties of distribution. New tractors lie idle in the ports. Some of the them are East German, equipped with anti-freeze and heated cabins for the Europeans winter. Hardly suitable for the hot Cuban sun.
Tractors from Italy are also standing idle waiting to be moved to the farms. Red-tape and bureaucracy are a problem for Cuba.
Cuba's lifeline is Soviet aid--about one and a half million dollars worth (GBP650,000 sterling) every day.
When Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, the United States was the major purchaser of sugar--but Washington now refuses to trade with Castro. As a result the economy has been heavily dependent on help from the Soviet Union.
Consumer goods are also subject to holdups. Even toys are rationed this Christmas--two or three to a family. And for many Cubans it will be a strenuous yuletide--cutting cane in the sugar fields.