Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Television Service in Spanish 1800 GMT 21 Dec 71 F

[Text] Maj Fidel Castro, party first secretary and prime minister of the
revolutionary government, said yesterday in his closing remarks at the
national plenary session of the workers of the construction materials
industry that construction workers should care for, give good maintenance
to, and make good use of the country's equipment and technical devices. In
the plenum, Fidel stressed the need for strictly observing measures
governing all economic activities such as quality and cost controls.

The prime minister stated that both alternatives were essential in the case
of Cuba--a poor country seeking development. He harshly denounced waste and
unrealistic attitudes toward equipment and in matters concerning production
without economic controls.

In his speech, Fidel reviewed the boom in agricultural, social, and
industrial construction, as well as in waterworks and road construction
during the years that the revolution has been in power. He indicated that
in order to give proper response to rising needs, it was necessary to seek
new organizational procedures that are more effective in construction work.

As an example of new solutions, he referred to the method of organizing
specialized brigade in industrial construction. As a good way to solve
future problems, he said that some sectors and organizations--after an
analysis of manpower requirements-- could use surplus personnel to organize
industrial construction brigades, and in this manner solve their own
problems. In outlining these suggestions, Fidel stressed that the formation
of microbrigades had brought about the solution of the housing construction

In another part of his speech, Major Castro brought out the importance of
the construction materials industry, pointing out that the rest of the
sector's branches depend on that industry for supplying materials, which is
why this is the key factor in all construction work. He also referred to
unnecessary organizational elements which have to be revamped, and pointed
out as a typical example of absurd procedures the method of centralizing
concrete production and distributing it in concrete mixing trucks over
great distances. He said that such a system increased the cost of concrete,
that it was more sensible to have small mixing plants close to large
construction sites requiring large quantities of concrete, and in this
manner eliminate the hauling of concrete over great distances.

He also objected to the excessive use of washed sand in construction work,
stating that the increased demand for such material makes it necessary to
use as much washed sand as regular sea sand depending on the type of

Fidel praised the microbrigades of Havana Province, particularly those
working in Alamar. As proof of the progress made in construction work, he
mentioned the great advances made in the construction of the Alamar housing
project. On the other hand, Fidel reproved backwardness and delays in
exploiting modern technology in our country, and criticized the unrealistic
concepts of some projects which do not conform to economic realities of the
country and, thus, are never completed.

He also mentioned incorrect use of equipment which is built for specific
purposes. He criticized the hasty impulses of those who covet control over
the latest type of equipment and technical devices that have been produced
in the world, likening them to people with millionaires' concepts and poor
men's pocketbooks. He added that at times were are not conservative in
preparing requests for manpower and materials. He recalled that Cuba
requires 500,000 men to produce a 700 or 800 million dollar sugar harvest,
while other countries require much less manpower as is the case with Chile
which can earn 900 million dollars from the work of 30,000 copper miners.

Fidel persisted in stressing the need for quality controls, stating that
this factor, quality, affects all aspects of economic activity. He
confirmed the probability of Cuba acquiring a concrete plant which, even
though it is not automated, can produce 1.2 million metric tons per year
with fewer than 500 workers. By comparison, he cited the present situation
in which 2,000 workers are needed to achieve this output.

In closing, Fidel expressed his confidence that the workers and production
program of the construction materials industry will respond to the demands
of that fundamental sector of the national economy.