Believe it or not. Believe it.
Talk about understatement.
According to figures compiled by Reuters in Havana, the 2006-2007 sugar harvest is nothing short of an absolute disaster.
It’s so bad, there is now every likelihood that the Castro brothers will have to import sugar. That's right – a country that used to export millions of tonnes of the stuff every year will be forced to import sugar.
As my father would say, Le ronca ….
Reuters says the total harvest is likely to be as low as one million tonnes.
Sounds like a lot of sugar to you?
Well, the rather modest “target” set by the regime for this year's harvest was 1.6 million tonnes – and this is well below the average in the good old days of between seven and eight million tonnes. Or the nine million record set in 1969-1970.
In fact, just 17 of the 51 sugar mills on the island met their production targets.
You can bet your shiniest convertible peso that the blame game will start soon enough in the official media: the regime will blame the heavy rains. Or the drought. Or climate change. Or the workers for not being “revolutionary” enough. Or that old favourite, the CIA ….
Then again, perhaps we will see one or both of the Castro brothers address the nation, announce that the minister responsible for the sugar industry has been fired and that they, too, are stepping down immediately, such is their shame …
Oh, yes, and pigs will fly.