Rafael Hernández spoke at the invitation of the Schumacher Center’s latest program– the Cuba-U.S. Agroecology Network. Under the direction of former Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture Greg Watson, the Agroecology Network’s goal is to create an exchange of information across borders to promote a resilient and sustainable model of agriculture.
With relations normalizing between the two countries, the small-scale low-input system of agriculture for which Cuba has become famous is vulnerable to industrial agriculture interests. Out of necessity, Cuba adopted a sustainable agriculture after the fall of the Soviet Union and support from the Eastern Bloc ceased. Cuba has since become an example for urban gardens and sustainable agriculture everywhere. Rafael discussed how Cuba can entertain more open borders without sacrificing their unique political and cultural identity.