Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Tours Sierra Maestra Southern Coast

FL0208034688 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 2 Aug 88

["Report on part" of President Fidel Castro's tour of Santiago de Cuba on
28 July; produced by the Council of State--recorded]

[Excerpts] As part of his working visit to Santiago de Cuba Province,
Commander in Chief Fidel Castro toured the southern coast of the Sierra
Maestra in Guama municipality on 28 July.  He was accompanied by Esteban
Lazo [first party secretary in Santiago de Cuba Province].  Eddy Fernandez
[president of the people's government in Santiago de Cuba Province], and
Roberto Valdes [chief of the Interior Ministry in Santiago de Cuba

Fidel learned how the construction of the Granma highway is progressing.
The road will be 210 km long and will unite Santiago and Pilon.  It is a
project of extraordinary importance and work has now been accelerated to
complete it.

Fidel also examined the territory in detail to plan hotel installations and
other projects of different sizes that are part of the great effort to
develop tourism in this area, taking advantage of the singular conditions
and natural beauty of the ocean and the mountains on this coast. [passage

If we can propose an important tourism program today in this region, said
Fidel, it is because of the extraordinary effort to construct this road and
the economic and social development promoted by the revolution during the
past few years in what was one of the most isolated and underdeveloped
areas of the country.  In addition to the road, electrical service to the
zone, construction of homes, and many other social projects are included in
this program. [passage omitted]

In Madrugon in the Sierra Maestra, Fidel spoke extensively with several
peasants and expressed interest in the social situation of this area.
Projects for this region include the construction of a dam on the Sevilla
River, an extensive plan for vegetables and tubers, a pre-university, and
other projects which will be built in conjunction with the construction of
a hotel in Sevilla.  This will be the first hotel on the Guama cost.
[passage omitted]

The dam on the Sevilla River will meet the water requirements for the
population, tourist installations, and agriculture.  It will also prevent
flooding that occasionally occurs in the coastal valleys and will prevent
beach pollution.  The dam will also allow breeding of different types of
fish and will have other results that make it a focal point in the integral
development plan for the region. [passage omitted]

The tour concluded in Santiago de Cuba, where Fidel and provincial leaders
reviewed in detail the extensive plans for the development of tourism in
the southern coast of the Sierra Maestra.