Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

* Castro, Others Analyze Varadero Development

32480032a Havana GRANMA in Spanish 27 Sep 88 p 1

[Article by Candido Dominguez]

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Party
Central Committee and chairman of the Councils of State and Ministers,
chaired a meeting yesterday at which the tourism development plans for
Varadero were discussed.

Members of the Council of State, top-ranking representatives of the
country's tourism institutions, and party and government leaders of
Matanzas Province participated in the session, which lasted nearly 9 hours.

At the end of the meeting, the commander in chief spoke to the press at the
headquarters of the Varadero tourism enterprise, where the meeting was

Varadero must be an experimental center of tourism in Cuba, Fidel stated.

He indicated that a wide-ranging agenda was discussed, problems were
solved, teams were assigned, and a discussion was held on the materials and
transportation industries, all with a view to ensuring that Varadero will
have its own resources and not have to depend on external sources of
construction materials.

He added that the brigades received more equipment, and announced that some
500 workers from the 6th Congress Brigade will be incorporated into the
development plans.  Right now they are working on the expansion of Miguel
Enriquez Hospital, and they will later work on the airport at Varadero.

In addition, the members of the contingent that is building the large rock
and sand mill in El Purio will come and support these plans, "and thus we
will mobilize all the forces we need," stated the chief of the revolution.

Regarding the expansion of hotel capacity in Varadero, he mentioned that a
target of 30,000 rooms will be attained, compared to the 2,500 that existed
when this program began.  This will bring in over $300 million for the
country, and will boost the availability of lodging for national tourists
during the summer.  Moreover, the lodging will be of a better quality.

In this regard, he pointed to the need to adopt organizational measures to
devote more attention to tourism, expanding the options.  He explained why
it is a good idea to develop an entire artisan production industry around

Fidel also reported that a meeting was held several days ago to study the
development problems of national oil production, and that a decision was
made to cancel the plans to drill wells on the Hicacos Peninsula, given the
risk it posed for tourism.

In this connection, he pointed out that oil prospecting and drilling will
be stepped up in other areas of Cardenas Bay.  Earthen causeways will be
built for that purpose, he noted, especially in the coastal zone east of
Cardenas, between that city and the municipality of Marti.

The commander in chief announced that in 6 months an analysis meeting
similar to the one held today will take place in Varadero, and that more
good news will be forthcoming at that time.