Their support has been vital, without it we would not have been able to face the current situation in the country with the oxygen deficit, said the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, while highlighting the work carried out during the last few days by the workers of the oxygen production plant of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, located at the San Antonio de los Baños Air Base.

The Head of State arrived there late on Monday morning and toured the two plants of the armed institution which, since a few days ago, have joined the production of medical oxygen for health centers.

During his visit to the facility -accompanied by the member of the Party’s Political Bureau, Army Corps General Alvaro Lopez Miera, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces- he could also see the start-up of a third plant, donated by the Russian Federation to contribute to alleviate the current situation the country is facing with oxygen coverage, due to a breakage in its main industry and the increase in cases of COVID-19.

In an exchange with those who have made possible the heroism of putting it into operation in record time, both Cubans and Russians, President Diaz-Canel acknowledged the effort made by all. “Having put it into operation gives us another guarantee and helps us a lot,” he said.

As detailed to the press by Lieutenant Colonel Boris Portuondo Tartabull, head of Gas and Electricity at the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, specifically at the Daafar organ, this new equipment, of similar characteristics to the two already available there, was installed in just over 12 hours of hard work since it arrived in Cuba, around two o’clock in the afternoon last Sunday.

Since it was put into operation in the early hours of Monday morning, the production capacity has been increased to 360 cylinders every 24 hours, which is carried out in three work shifts.

There is no rest here, the troops feel proud of the mission they are fulfilling, we know that every time a car leaves with oxygen cylinders, it is a Cuban that we are going to help, that we have to save, he reflected.

From these plants – he specified – the combat missions of the Armed Forces are usually guaranteed in wartime; the mission now is to produce oxygen, both liquid and gaseous, for the western and eastern regions.

As part of the tour, the Cuban president also visited the area where the cryogenic gasifier is located, where liquid oxygen is converted into gas. Ten cylinders can be filled there at a time.

Already on the runway of the Air Base, where a helicopter was getting ready to transport cylinders to the provinces of Pinar del Río, Cienfuegos and Villa Clara, the Head of State received an explanation about the preparation process before take-off and how the flight is guaranteed safely, amid the complex conditions in which it is carried out, taking into account the sensitivity of the cargo.

“Your work has been decisive,” he told them, while proudly patting the shoulder of one of the crew members who would immediately leave for the next mission.

It is Cuba’s daily battle for life, in which also play an essential role those who work in the Empresa de Gases Industriales de Cuba, in whose areas is located the base business unit Gasificadora de La Habana, the largest of its kind in western Cuba.

The First Secretary of the Party’s Central Committee went there to see part of the work flow for the filling of medical oxygen cylinders, which are distributed in Havana and other provinces.

Accompanied by the Minister of Industry, Eloy Alvarez Martinez, the Head of State praised and thanked the performance of this group, which works 24 hours a day, with an extraordinary effort to contribute to mitigate the current situation that Cuba is going through in its health institutions.

After midday on Monday, when President Díaz-Canel visited the Gasification Plant, the hustle and bustle of the workers moving and preparing the balloons that, hours later, would be in the health institutions, saving lives, was palpable.


The President of the Republic spent part of the afternoon learning about the work of two enterprises that are ready to become micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) under the new legislation.

Díaz-Canel evaluated in each of them the contribution they will make to local development projects and to productive linkage processes between non-state forms of management and state enterprises and entities.

In VéloCuba, a community project of bicycle mobility, specialized in repair, restoration, maintenance and rental of bicycles, he learned of the approval of the Ministry of Transport for it to become a small enterprise.

Accompanied by Perla Rosales Aguirreurreta, deputy director of the Office of the Historian of Havana, the loquacious engineer Nayvis Díaz Labaut, director of VéloCuba, reported that the project began in 2014 and has grown from 60 bicycles and five stations, to 294 pieces of equipment and eight stations.

On its conversion to a local development initiative of the city from a small business dimension, the Cuban head of state stressed the importance of elaborating its project well, in such a way that it covers the wide range of services proposed for now and the future.

Díaz-Canel highlighted the value of this enterprise – where women predominate, including those who work as mechanics – to resume and promote the use of bicycles (cycling) on a massive scale, as a sustainable transportation alternative, friendly with nature, and very necessary for the mental and physical health of people.

In his afternoon tour of the capital, together with the President of the Republic were the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil Fernández; the First Secretary of the Provincial Committee of the Party in Havana, Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar; and Governor Reinaldo García Zapata.
From Old Havana, Diaz-Canel went to the municipality of Playa to visit the family home and workshop of the young entrepreneur Abel Bajuelos Rizo, leader of the Abdimensional project, a digital manufacturing initiative based on 3D printing (third dimension) that should acquire legal status as a private micro-enterprise.

Abdimensional has developed projects and collaborations with several centers and institutions in the country, and has gained prestige for its contributions in the area of Public Health during the fight against the pandemic with the manufacture of equipment and parts from digital printing technology.

Abel, who graduated from high school in percussion, is a self-taught designer and (endorsed by the Higher Institute of Industrial Design -ISDI-) is registered in the National Design Registry of the ONDI.

He presented Díaz-Canel with an analysis on the state of the art of 3D printing. Both agreed that the discipline will constitute a new phase of the current Fourth Industrial Revolution, so special attention should be paid to its development and the generation of productive chains between the different economic actors.