Commander Guillermo García Frías’s purebred racehorses
ROGELIO FABIO HURTADO | La Habana | 16 de Noviembre de 2016 – 03:29 CET.
I was recently looking for information about the mistreatment of
animals, when I found, in El Nuevo Diario (Nicaragua), an excellent
story by the journalist Francisco Menéndez about the breeding of
According to the report, this is a thriving business overseen by the
Commander of the Revolution Guillermo García Frías through “his
companies ALCONA S.A. and Flora y Fauna.” These companies are present
throughout the country, with about 40 farms (none of them owned by
García Frías in 1959 or earlier) dedicated to breeding racehorses. This
is, of course, rearing for external commercial purposes, as in socialist
Cuba horse racing has been banned since 1967.
The former Grand Oriental Park Racetrack in Marianaohas been buried
under a thick layer of asphalt, converted in a vast truck parking lot.
The equine emporium of the former farmer from the Sierra Maestra boasts
17,000 horses of 17 breeds, the most important being Dutch jumping
horses and English racehorses.
The business began to be promoted in 2005, when they bought 23 horses in
Holland, including two mares that were already pregnant. This
acquisition included counsel by Dutch experts. These were horses
descending from champions.
When the Dutch found that the weather conditions were favorable, they
began to export very young foals, just a year old. The training of
thoroughbreds begins when they are three years old. The last acquisition
that we know of was in 2013: a group of 53 animals, at a cost of around
two million dollars, which produced revenues of four million. As you
see, a far cry from the result of self employment in Cuba.
A farm of 27 stables, 12 of them dedicated to horses, with a workforce
of over 100, is the flagship of the old commander’s empire: Rancho
Azucarero, in Artemisa. Dedicated to this activity since 1944, then
linked to the Oriental Park, and today specialized in Dutch jumping
foals, this estate includes a riding school for children and an
international cemetery for pure-bred animals, providing proper burials
for these noble horses.
Since 2010 the Remate Élite horse auction has been held at the Lenin
Park Equestrian Center during the first half of February. Customers from
Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Angola and Spain stay at
the Villa Charco Azul on the grounds of the Rancho Azucarero.
This annual auction of about 30 horses is the highlight of the event.
Although much more modest than European functions of its kind, at which
horses are sold for tens of millions, this auction gives the organizers
a clean take of half a million euros. At the one held in 2014, the
Edelman and Fumuto horses fetched prices of around 40,000 euros each.
As usual in Cuba, these major capitalist businesses, handled by
longstanding, trusted figures, are exempt from the public domain,
accountable to no state body, as this impunity appears to be an
inseparable part of what the official propaganda calls the “conquests of
Thus, we ought to thank Nicaragua’s El Nuevo Diario for disclosing these
Source: Commander Guillermo García Frías’s purebred racehorses | Diario
de Cuba – www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1479263378_26765.html