Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish 1625 GMT 29 Jun 71 C--FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

[Text] Havana, 29 Jun-- Prime Minister Fidel Castro said last night that
the main difficulties confronted by Cuba in the field of transportation are
the sudden jump "from the ox to the machine."

The aforementioned statement was made by the top Cuban leader during his 2
hours and 40 minutes speech in which he referred to the transportation
problems, at the conclusion of the national meeting on transportation which
was held in Havana over a 3-day period.

Fidel Castro added: "Our main problem is that we do not have a machine

He said that he will launch a large plan for reconstruction and
modernization of the railways amounting to about $300 million.

He added that as soon as these railways projects are completed it will be
possible to attain a speed of 200 kilometers per hour on the new railway.
This will enable the introduction of more rapid equipment. Fidel Castro
pointed out that the railway reconstruction and modernization projects will
be the product of a plan elaborated by a group of Soviet experts. Fidel
Castro also said that it is necessary to make the same effort in the
railways under the sugar industry, in order to be able to achieve a
corresponding development.

The Cuban prime minister announced that in order to execute this ambitious
plan of reconstruction and modernization of the railway, he would soon
assign the transportation department a prefabrication plant which will
yearly produce about 1 million concrete beams.

Referring to interprovincial transportation, Castro pointed out that the
upcoming addition to this system of 150 Japanese buses, as well as the 115
English vehicles recently placed in service, will provide Cuba with one of
the most modern and comfortable means of transportation that it has ever

He also referred to the purchase of 200 microbuses from Italy aimed at
providing service from bus stations, the railway stations, and the airports
throughout the country.

The prime minister announced the intention of trying to build a (?city) bus
in Cuba. The chassis and the engine would be imported from Japan. In his
speech delivered before more than 3,000 workers of the Cuban transportation
sector, Fidel Castro announced that the first prototype of this bus made in
Cuba will be ready in 2 or 3 months.

He also referred to other improvements in the field of transportation
achieved in Cuba's second-ranking city of Santiago, and in Cienfuegos where
an important industrial complex is being built.

The Cuban prime minister urged an intensification of reconstruction
projects involving Cuban parking lots, and added that these projects are
still unsatisfactory.

In the ceremony held last night, the new secretary of the National
Transportation Union, Alfredo Suarez, spoke prior to the Cuban prime

The new transportation union [secretary] was elected yesterday by the trade
union delegates who attended the national transportation meeting which was
held in Havana over a 3-day period--starting last Friday. Fidel Castro
spoke at the conclusion of the meeting, shortly after the inauguration of a
basic secondary school near Havana.