There has been considerable controversy about the Cuban presence in Africa, but it is not all military.
There has been considerable controversy about the Cuban presence in Africa, but it is not all military. Recently 42 breeding bulls arrived in Dar es Salaam, a gift from President Fidel Castro of Cuba to President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania.
SYNOPSIS: Tanzania prides itself on being one of the world's major beef producers. The government runs schemes to encourage people to work on the land and farming is the foundation of the economy. President Nyerere is the architect of the policy of "villagisation" - the creation of villages based on communal living. Although Cuba has no military involvement in Tanzania, its aid projects in agriculture, education and medicine are considered to be among the most successful in the country.
These bulls will eventually be sent as breeding stock to a Cuban-built artificial insemination station near President Nyerere's home village of Butiama, but they will first spend a short period of acclimatization near Dar es Salaam.
President Castro and President Nyerere share a keen interest in cattle breeding. Watching the unloading were Tanzanian Minister of Agriculture, John W.S. Malecela, Cuban Ambassador Reginaldo Cepeda, and the ships's captain. Tanzania is primarily an agricultural country, with 90 percent of the people gaining a living from the land. There are close to 11 million head of cattle which makes for a flourishing export trade in meat, meat products, hides and skins. These Cubans bulls will be a valuable addition to the bloodstock line.