Get to know the municipality of Contramaestre, Cuba

An approach to the municipality of Contramaestre, Cuba

Contramaestre is the westernmost municipality of the province of Santiago de Cuba. It is located at the foot of the Sierra Maestra mountain range and in the southern center of eastern Cuba.

With a population of 105,370 inhabitants, the territory bases its economy fundamentally on agriculture, whose main productive pole is the Laguna Blanca Agricultural and Livestock Enterprise northeast of the city of Contramaestre.

This area has 1,500 hectares of land dedicated mainly to the production of viands, vegetables and grains, destined to the municipality of Santiago de Cuba.

Two other large entities support the local agricultural activity: Empresa Agroindustrial América Libre and Empresa de Café Rolando Ayud. In both cases, they promote this strategic work, with the development of productive polygons in which priority is given to raising livestock.

Contramaestre has the benefits of the Turquino Plan applied in two of its thirteen districts, Los Negros and La Torcaza, because they are located in mountainous areas, where coffee is the main economic activity.

Between Los Negros and La Torcaza, around 450 tons of the aromatic bean are produced annually, which are processed by the Unidad Empresarial de Base Rolando Ayud, an industry that also processes the bean from the five eastern provinces. Its production represents 56.6% of the total of the 4 coffee processing companies in the country, as well as 40% of the exportable coffee and 74% of the coffee for national consumption.

As part of the search for food sovereignty and the completion of productive cycles, a Grain Processing Plant was built in the territory with a capacity of 120 tons per day, which makes it the largest of its kind in the country.

Empresa de Capital Mixto Tropical Contramaestre S.A. is an example of the country’s efforts to develop its infrastructure. Fruit and vegetable processing is consolidating and has a promising future considering the availability of raw material in the fields and the investment project that is currently being undertaken in this industry.

The main human conglomerates are located in the towns of Baire, Maffo, Los Negros, Pueblo Nuevo, Venta de Casanovas, Laguna Blanca, Xavier, Los Pasos, La Carolina and the city of Contramaestre.

The municipality has an important network of clinics, polyclinics, maternity homes, grandparents’ homes and homes for the elderly. One of the most important health institutions in the province is located here, the Orlando Pantoja Tamayo General Teaching Hospital.

Contramaestre and education

Contramaestre has 131 educational institutions, which cover the educational needs from the first ages to higher levels. The Municipal University Center develops a dynamic scientific and research activity, which contributes to local development plans.

The wide network of Commerce, Gastronomy and Services includes hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, wineries and markets, some of which are in the midst of a process of improvement that should soon provide higher quality services.

With a rich tradition, the system of Casas de Cultura, museums, bookstores, libraries and galleries make up a wide range of institutions with many material and human potentialities for the spiritual enrichment of Contramaestrians.

This territory has a rich history with transcendental facts that marked the whole nation. On November 4, 1868, the Carga al machete (First Machete Charge) took place in Pino de Baire, led by Máximo Gómez; on February 24, 1895, the Cry of Baire took place, led by Saturnino Lora and ordered by José Martí. Contramaestre was also the scene of peasant struggles during the pseudo-republic and the Battle of Maffo led by Fidel Castro, the last great action of the Rebel Army against the Batista dictatorship.

The top leadership of the party and the government in this eastern Cuban province has called to develop with impetus and perseverance the actions aimed at renewing the image of Santiago’s environment. In that purpose, the municipality of Contramaestre is of vital importance, since it is the territory that welcomes the untamed land.

A great challenge lies ahead for the forces of different entities in charge of revitalizing the image of the Contramaestre municipality.

To check the progress of the actions in that direction the First Secretary of the Party in Santiago de Cuba José Ramón Monteagudo Ruiz and Governor Beatriz Johnson Urrutia, toured the objects of work included in the program.

Precisely at this point located in Contramaestre, where those who enter the province of Santiago de Cuba by road are welcomed, the members of the Central Committee together with political leaders and administrative cadres, oriented to follow up this task.

It is a matter of intensifying the constructive actions, the renovation of bridges, fences, billboards, traffic signs, power and communication poles, as well as the repair of speed bumps and potholes on the central highway.

The top leadership in the province called for coordinated and systematic work on one of the priorities included in the program to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada.

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