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Castro Discusses Housing, Transportation at ANPP

FL2912193688 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1404 GMT 23 Dec 88

["Summary" of 1st day of the Fourth Regular Session of the Third National
Assembly of the People's Government, ANPP, in Havana's Palace of
Conventions on 22 December--recorded]

[Text] [Unidentified speak No 1] The fulfillment of these objective and the
analysis of the practical experiences gained in their application
indicates that the necessary conditions exist for the presentation to this
assembly of the draft for a new law that will facilitate a solution to the
country's housing problem while resolving the deficiencies or errors
detected in the process of applying the current law.  The general housing,
law has not been exempt from any of the defects that the current
rectification process in fighting throughout the country.

Conceived, among other objectives, to complete the urban reform law in the
sense that our people are the proprietors of housing, it is part of the
principle that the home, as personal property, can be an object that can
be freely disposed of by its proprietor.  Control mechanisms and exchange
operations were developed for this and for uninhibited homes, for their
sale, exchange, or acquisition [words indistinct], etcetera, which, in
conjunction with a large amount of money, easily obtained by certain
individuals, has prompted lucrative activities to develop in the housing

As a way of solving the housing problem, it was decided to create temporary
cooperatives for the construction of housing.  The construction would be
done by the people themselves with the free sale of materials without
necessarily giving priority to the workers, getting around [soslayando] the
decisive participation of the state with the support of the masses who were
organized into minibrigades which, because of the characteristics of our
country, represent the principal method of increasing the plan for the
construction of homes and social projects, as well as for the repair and
reconstruction of apartment buildings.

In summary, a free market was created for housing as one more type of
merchandise that generated speculative operations.  This was done for
lucrative reasons and enrichment thus making unnatural the social role of
housing and its reason for existing as a personal item for the use of the
family.  It also gave the properties plenty of opportunities to force
anyone out of the home, with the single exception of the [words indistinct]
and descendants which created sociopolitical problems in its application.

The home is a personal property item which is a right guaranteed to the
citizen by the Constitution and the law, including the inheritance law.
However, in socialism, during the specific conditions of our country, homes
fulfill a social function and one cannot lose sight in any regulation on
this matter the aspects that make this function unnatural or affect the
interest of the [words indistinct].

After analyzing the negative tendencies confronted in the application of
the general housing law, a study was conducted to present solutions to
those aspects related to the application of this law which have originated
or can originate lucrative operations or certain political-social problems.
Of all the aspects evaluated, a group of these factors have at least been
provisionally resolved through steps taken by the institution itself.  This
had been done.

Another group of factors requires a higher standard of legal action because
they deal with modifications to the current law.  With this purpose, based
on a draft presented by the National Housing Institute, a commission was
created that evaluated the observations made in the draft circulated to the
organizations of the central administration of the state, people's
government, and mass organizations.  Th draft described the plan that was
recently presented to the Politburo of the PCC Central Committee, which
approved it for presentation to the ANPP for consideration, with the new
observations made by this organ.

This has led to a process of discussion and analysis of the current law
during which successive versions of the draft were made and circulated to
the organizations and local organs of the people's government incorporating
a considerable number of observations made.

The draft that we are presenting, taking into account the experiences
gained from the application of the law during these past 4 years and
seeking solutions to the errors and negative tendencies that we have
stated, contains new goals, substantial modifications, and ordinance
changes in reference to the current law.  Thus, this makes the draft
presented to the assembly a new draft law and not a modification.

The principal changes are:

Beginning with the chapter pertaining to the construction and repair of
homes, minibrigades have been added as the primary means of increasing the
construction of homes thus replacing the section in the current law
referring to the temporary cooperatives.  This assures the right of the
workers to have the priority to construct and maintain their homes.

The regulations on the transfer of occupied housing property are moved to
the Transitory Dispositions sections once the General Housing Law is
approved.  This is due to two fundamental reasons:  First of all, that
process is practically concluded.  Secondly, this allows the reorganization
of the content of the law in accordance with its new objectives.

Two main rules on the occupation of housing have been established.  The
current one pertains to personal property which is intended to transfer the
property once the contract is signed.  The rule on renting, when it is of
interest to the state, has been added. This will allow greater flexibility
in transferring homes that are state property.  It allows for the prior
approval of all transfers of undeveloped lots giving the state the right of
priority to acquire it.  It fixes a more adequate price on lots per square
meter and gives the proprietors of undeveloped lots in areas of urban
restrictions the opportunity to request an exchange for another state-owned
lot or allows the proprietor to sell his lot to the state for its legal

The proprietors right to freely decide who will live with him in the house
remains a characteristic of the property as stated in article 64.
Nevertheless, there is no reason for the state to have to confront the
consequences of that free determination.  When it comes to terminating that
cohabitation, the state offers the proprietor a legal route and economic
measures can be applied without the need to make a commitment on the
renter's physical removal except when it deals with individuals who clearly
display antisocial conduct.  Also exempt are those cases of individuals
with possible rights to occupy the home and others who necessarily have to
be protected by society or whose removal would appear to be an act of
injustice or an inhumane act.

This law maintains that the exchange between proprietors is independent but
allows for the possibility of having this challenged in the tribunals by
those affected or by the municipal housing administration. It also allows
for mandatory exchanges as a form of liquidating joint property.

The law incorporates the special rule which will affect houses located in
areas highly significant to national or international tourism in the
interest of preserving these zones for the enjoyment of our people and to
increase the amount of income for the country's economic and social
development.  A chapter has been created on the homes affected by this
special rule.  This includes homes in rural areas as a matter of state
priority for the purpose of increasing the standard of living of the
agricultural workers and peasants and to stabilize the work force that
guarantees the development of agricultural-livestock production.

Disciplinary measures have been established against those who violate the
law and those who engage in antisocial conduct while at the same time
protecting the right of the working people to their homes.

In addition to resolving the problems previously mentioned, the draft law
has attempted to make compatible the rights of the housing proprietors with
the social role these fulfill.  That is why, in addition to the normal
regulations, other regulations have been included in an ethical and moral
nature which conform the principles of the revolution and our people on the
matter of the occupation of a home and its use.

[Castro] What we propose here with regard to the draft law is [rephrases]..
and I use as an example point No 3 which talks about Article No 44. I
would like to know what this change consists of and convince me that it is
correct.  It says that should the second paragraph of Article No 44 not
(?modified) it would be written like this:  Should the corresponding
payments not be made within a 3-month period because of chargeable reasons,
the occupant will loose the right to acquire the home and then he will
become a tenant.  This is a procedure in accordance with the current law.
while in the draft law it reads:  In No 44, it says that should the
corresponding payments not be made 3 months after renting for chargeable
reasons, the occupant can be declared illegal at the request of the savings
bank in accordance with article 112 of this paper.

Could someone from housing explain what this change means?  What does this
mean--that the occupant will become a renter and not an illegal occupant?
What does this change consist of?  Where is [words indistinct]?

[Several unidentified speakers respond] Here.

[Castro] Explain that.  It is in report No 3 which is to modify Article No.

[Unidentified speaker No. 2] The essence of the change is to not declare
an occupant illegal for nonpayment, instead to seize his goods. [Words
indistinct] the essence of the change.

[Castro] [Words indistinct] the individual?

[Unidentified speak No 2] yes.

[Castro] Why so much kindness?  Why do we slacken the law in favor of
seizing?  We are not talking about (?he) who cannot pay but he who does not
want to pay. [Video shows Castro pounding on table] Why did the commission
do this? Tell me?

[Unidentified speaker No 3] Commander, our commission examined this.  We
made that proposal for the following reasons.  First of all, the citizen
who doesn't pay in charge with a violation.  The first violation is that
the citizen who was paying to acquire the property loses the right to
become a proprietor when he disobeys this for reasons chargeable to him.
When he loses the right to become a proprietor, he continues paying as a
renter without having the possibility of acquiring property [passage

We noticed that the way it was written in the [words indistinct] draft law.
(?he) was declared illegal.  When looking into what declaring an occupant
illegal meant, we noted that the state by declaring an occupant illegal
had to give him a solution. One of the solutions was [passage indistinct]
For example, a citizen who occupies a home, before the law of 1985 was in
effect, he would have to be [passage indistinct] or exchange it for a good
house but with lesser conditions.  However, if we are dealing with an
occupation after 1985, the relocation of that citizen to his place of origin
was immediate.  In other words, when he was declared an illegal occupant,
the municipal housing directorate, and in this case the state, was forced
to provide a solution--as discussed in articles 111 and 112 which deal
with the handling of illegal occupation.

I agree with you in that, to a certain extent, the citizen will be allowed
to continue living in the home, and that he will continue being there
without anything being done to him.

[Castro] What about if he is a bum or a [words indistinct] who doesn't
work?  What about if he is one of those who is running around stealing,
making deals, and standing in lines at stores to earn his living?  What
kind of resources can the state get from an individual like that?

[Unidentified speaker No. 3] Commander, that type of case is dealt
differently.  What you are talking about...

[Castro interrupting] [Words indistinct] a bum and doesn't work.  How are
you going to get anything from him?

[Unidentified speaker No 3]  Commander, allow me to refer to article...
[turned and asks someone else for the article number] Well, from what I can
recall by memory, when a citizen does not have financial income in a
situation such as this one, the goods he has are seized.

[Castro] What kind of good would a person like this have?

[Unidentified speaker No 3] Well, he does have the home and something
inside of it to live with.

[Castro] What are you going to take?  Are you going to take the kitchen,
furniture or what?

[Unidentified speak No 3] That is what the law establishes.

[Castro] What if he is declared an illegal occupant?

[Unidentified speaker No 3] Well, if he is an illegal occupant, he is dealt
with differently.  As I was telling you, it is in Articles 111 and 115
[corrects himself] Articles 111 and 112.  He is treated differently as an
illegal occupant.  At that time, the administration has to begin taking
action and find a solution.  It reads: Article 111, page 33--According to
this law, occupants are considered illegal, and the will be declared as
such by the corresponding municipal housing directorate, whether those
persons have or have not [as heard] previously been declared illegal, and
whether or not they are paying for the occupation of the home, and the
nonpayment has occurred prior to 1 January 1985.

Then it shows the cases under which a person is declared an illegal
occupant.  Article 112 says:

The corresponding municipal housing directorate will resolve the situation
of the illegal occupants referred to in the previous article with one of
the following measures:

A - The reintegration of the illegal occupants to their home of origin.

B - Should the above not be feasible, the relocation of the illegal
occupants to another state home or room which is available.

C - Should options A and B not be feasible, the home occupied illegally can
be assigned, in accordance with the established policy and order of
priority, to another person who legitimately occupies a home or room and is
willing to move to the one which was illegally occupied, thus giving his
home or room to the state in which the illegal occupant will be placed.

[Castro] That is correct.  A declaration of illegal is more severe.  So the
individual has [words indistinct] he is sent elsewhere. If the room is a
poorly made one, there is nothing that can be done about it.  But if he has
a home in good condition, it is best to ask someone who has a room or move
to the home.  Then you can send the other individual to the room.  I think
that this is a slackening of the legal treatment of individuals who do not
comply and who do not want to comply with the law, because they have no
shame.  I do not think this is beneficial to us. [passage indistinct] I
don't know if there is anyone who can show us that the treatment proposed
by the commission is better than the other.  At least, if it provided an
option, or a [words indistinct], or one thing or another which included the
two ideas. [passage indistinct] If it said... [shifts thought] Article 44,
[words indistinct]... the occupant will remain in the same as a renter, and
will proceed in accordance with the [words indistinct] of the current law.
I see this as the case of the shameless person--the bum.  These are the
ones who make a mess of things and complicate everyone's lives. Therefore,
he will be able to remain [words indistinct].  What is the (?theory) behind

[Unidentified speak No 4] I wanted to say that these drastic measures are
taken with an individual who is able to pay but does not pay. For the
person who is declared without an income for any reason, such as illness,
there are other solutions.  We are talking about an individual who has the
money and does not want to meet his obligations to the state.

So why should we allow him to occupy a home when there are other workers,
people in the country who would pay but do not have access to that home?
Like you said, I think a solution could be found.  The People's Assembly
could look at the problem and give him a period of time in which to pay.
It he doesn't pay within that period of time, then he can be declared an
illegal occupant.  This solution--which modified this article and has been
proposed here--legalizes nonpayment by the individual.  When he stops
paying, he can stay as a renter.  As a renter, will he pay if he is already
not paying as a proprietor?

[Castro] [Words indistinct] the measure is applied to a few, the problem is

[Unidentified speak No 4] Of course, because this is not the case of a
person who has become sick and can not longer pay.  The law has solutions
for that kind of problem. This is simply the case of the individual who is
able to pay and does not want to pay.

[Castro] Have the people from housing come across a lot of those cases?

[Unidentified speak No 5] Well, there are approximately 9,000 (?reported)
cases in which they have not payed the...

[Castro, interrupting] And what is done about it?

[Unidentified speak No 5] Seizure of goods.

[Castro] What do you seize?

[Unidentified speak No 5] Seizure with a 10 percent surcharge.

[Castro] But what do you seize?

[Unidentified speak No 5] His salary.  The work center...

[Castro, interrupting] What if he doesn't work? [repeats himself]

[Unidentified speak No 5] Well, we can take legal proceedings for
collection, which as you have said, have not been applied.  We have not
applied them. It is difficult when they do not have a work center, and
they constantly change places.  That is a reality.

[Castro] The cases which make up this phenomenon are a minority.

[Unidentified speak No 5][[ I think that 6 months... [rephrases] or 3
months after nonpayment, he should be declared a renter.  Then, as is
stated here, he can be declared an illegal occupant for the unjustified
nonoccupation of the home in excess of 6 months, or for the nonpayment for
which the renter is responsible.  In other words, it would be possible for
us to have two levels.

[Castro] Couldn't you (?add): One measure or another will be applied?  You
could even declare... [rephrases] consider him a renter and take legal
proceedings for collection; or he could additionally be declared illegal.
The two alternatives should be established.

[Unidentified speak No 5] That is right.

[Castro] But not the way it is here; the way this is written is too kind. I
proposed [words indistinct] more options. However, these options should
include one which is more drastic for the cases of the individuals who are
not paying and do not have any resources.  I propose that both of these
measures be included on this vague point [passage indistinct]

[Unidentified speak No  6] [Words indistinct] Comrade Fidel. What does the
commission say about that?

[Unidentified speak No 7] I think it is possible, because that gives up the
option to evaluate [words indistinct] cases, because not all cases are
alike.  I think that three are cases in which by taking away the right of
proprietorship and leaving an individual as a renter for life is in fact
sanctioning the person.  However, there are cases which need more drastic
measures because they are truly individuals who do not deserve any kind of
concessions from society.  I think that this will work.  On the one hand,
the individual is sanctioned in one way.  On the other, if the case is more
serious, it allows the state organization responsible for the case to
evaluate the problem.  I think this will work. I think that by evaluating
the two things, it will give a broader frame in which to evaluate the case
in question. [Camera turns to reporter for this meeting]

[Reporter] The 480 deputies who are attending this meeting at the Palace of
Conventions approved a greeting to educators. Severo Aguirre del Criso,
ANNPP acting president, requested a moment of silence as a posthumous
hommage to a deputy of [passage indistinct] Efigenio Ameijeira, and that
Luis Mendez Morejon, current ANPP secretary will carry out other

After the approval of this document and of the draft law for the day,
Diocles Torralba began reading the Ministry of Transportation [Mintrans]
progress report.

[Diocles Torralba] All the work carried out until now was aimed at turning
the activities for the progress report to the assembly into a powerful mass
movement.  It is with great satisfaction that we can inform you today that
these objectives were fulfilled thanks to the enthusiastic participation of
the majority of [words indistinct] ($200,000) technical workers and
leaders [words indistinct] transportation, along with the work carried out
by the two national unions for our field.  [Camera turns to another report
for this meeting]

[Reporter No 2] The progress report given by the Mintrans to the ANPP
covered important subjects.  The report included the ministry's
achievements and problems, as well as the efforts that have been made to
improve passenger and cargo transportation.  It also emphasizes that the
gross production of its enterprise system exceeds 850 million pesos this
year.  The Minstrans contributed 64 million pesos this year in [words
indistinct] earnings, that is to say, 15 million more than last year.

[Torralba] And finally we believe that the decision for our ministry to
give a progress report was a wise decision, and that it has given great
results.  We are certain that with the contribution of the assembly, we
will be able to work on, with greater efficiency, the (?difficult) tasks
which the revolution has put in our hands.

[Castro] How much more expensive is it to transport a citizen on an omnibus
than on a train?

[Unidentified speak No 8] Well, you see Commander, once you have the road,
the omnibus is infinitely cheaper.  Because the [words indistinct] the
road; the depreciation is charged to the railroads which is the only user.
However, the depreciation and costs of the roads in the country (?are
charged) to the buses, cars, and omnibuses.  That is why the railroad is
not cost-effective.

[Castro] Then, what I understand is that it is much more economical to
transport cargo and passengers by [words indistinct] railroad.  [Camera
goes to reporter No. 1]

[Reporter No 1] The morning session began with the reading of a message
sent to Comrade Fidel.

[Unidentified speak reads message] We have received with satisfaction in
the Soviet Union the signing at the UN Headquarters in New York the
agreements for the solution of the southwest Africa conflict which resulted
from the intense negotiations between Angola and Cuba with the Republic of
South Africa.

I congratulate you for this event which is the first but very important
step toward peace and security in the southern Africa region.  It became
possible due to Cuba's year-long and heroic assistance in Angolas' struggle
for independence and freedom.

I would like to highlight the dynamic diplomatic activity of the Republic
of Cuba and your personal effort Comrade Fidel, which have allowed a
political solution to the most acute regional conflict.

As a result, a prospect a peaceful development and of a strengthening of
the political and economic independence of the states situated in the
region is opening up before southwest Africa.
Mikhail Gorbachev [applause] [Camera returns to report No 1]

[Reporter No 1] A good part of the day was dedicated to the progress report
of the ministry of [passage indistinct].

[Castro] [Words indistinct] the specific handling of problems.  So, that
point has been clarified.  Why don't we ask someone to tell us about the
problems of the roads in the capital?  What are the problems?  There has
been talk about that for a long time now.

[Unidentified speak No 9] In the capital we have 2,649 km of road.
However, when we refer to the problems we have, they have been worsening in
the past few months.  The problem lies in a certain contradiction we have
been talking about.  The El Gato acqueduct was built to improve the
benefits of water supply to the capital, and above all for it to reach
areas in San Miguel del Padron and Guanabacoa which had problems with the
water once every 4 days, and now they get it daily.  However, that which is
a benefit for the population, creates potholes and even causes problems
with the (?sewers).

[Reporter No 1] During the discussion on transportation, a delegate
expressed his concern over the state of some omnibus terminals in Granma
province which have been under construction for 10 years.  Delegate Fidel
Castro gave his opinion on this.

[Castro] Everytime I see one of those construction projects with a few
columns set up and grass underneath, I suffer.  They give a bad impression.
This is a problem that everyone should be concerned above.  [Words
indistinct] the ministry. A minister (?should) do everything he can to
resolve a problem like that. [passage indistinct]

[Unidentified speak No 10] [Words indistinct] investments [words
indistinct] are also planned to be executed by the enterprise itself, with
the will of the municipality and the province.  In other words, aside from
what the Ministry of Construction is going to do, we are also going to
expand the current terminals.  In addition to that, we are also going to
rebuild 18 old terminals which the city had and now are being used for
something else.  This is the solution we are proposing.  With the receipt
of the omnibuses which will be assigned to use, the buses which are going
to build in Guanajay, and the buses which we are also scheduled to arrive
from Yugoslavia in 1989's plan, all these buses will help, especially
during rush hours.  Based on the experience we have gained, especially with
the aid of small omnibuses, the Giron 6 (?from) the work centers which have
helped, especially during the rush hour in the city, we can see they have
made a difference and above all have contributed to transportation during
rush hours.

[Castro] [Words indistinct] is the most expensive in the worlds because
these buses, which are using up fuel, are a headache.  Now, I hear that you
have established a route, also a [words indistinct], and a route to taxis.

[Unidentified speak No 10] Yes, a taxi with route.

[Castro] So, what is a taxi with route? It is also a [words indistinct]

[Unidentified speak No 10] Not it is not.

[Castro] Tell me, what is a taxi with route?

[Unidentified speak No 10] We have 11 routes and [passage indistinct].
They go from one destination point to another, commander.

[Castro] They come and go?

[Unidentified speak No 10] Yes, they come and go on the same route.

[Castro] Well, if you decide on a taxi for 3 or 4 people, from one
destination point to another, wouldn't it be more reasonable to use some
kind of minibus for [number indistinct] passengers? [Passage indistinct]
with a Roman engine.  I wonder if this is possible? It if was, we could
designate a number of buses for this.  At the exposition, I saw some good
and economical Roman engines which could be used on a (SIL-130) or on a
Giron 6.  What really concerns me about the Giron 6 is [words indistinct]
gas, 8km, 9km, 10km. Now, if this works, or if it is considered useful, a
man in a taxi [passage indistinct].  Couldn't we combine the use of rigid
and articulated buses with the use of other smaller or express buses?  They
would even stop (?if) there are seats available and people are on the road
waiting to take it.  The cost of the fair would even be different.
Couldn't the Giron 6 with petroleum engines be helpful to transportation?

[Reporter No 1] The individual and collective responsibility for the
payment of the omnibus fair has been a main topic during this ANPP.

[Unidentified speak No 11] I also use this opportunity to bring up another
matter and say that we know that 25 percent of the population, in other
words approximately 1 million passengers, do not pay the omnibus fair.
This happens because of the problems which occur during rush hour.
However, sometimes even outside of rush hour, people do not pay.  I think
this is a matter for which the level of control and requirements must be
raised by the drivers.  We must also appeal to the conscience of the
people's social duty who must contribute with the payment of the omnibus
fair.  Furthermore, according to the information we have, this is the
cheapest transportation fair in the world.  It continues to be the cheapest
transportation for everyone, and it is not being payed.

[Castro] That is a problem which must be solved one way or another.  I am
convinced of this.  There are tens of thousands of pesos lost.  Let's see
what kind of measures are taken, direct or indirect.  This simply cannot be
allowed.  But what measured must we take?

I am certain that the state can find the measures.  However, we cannot
allow for tens of millions [as heard] of pesos being circulated without the
state using them for what it needs, for its obligations.  We must look at
this problem thoroughly, and we must find a solution.  We are talking about
tens of millions of pesos which are not being paid.

[Unidentified speak No 12] There are several opinions on this, commander.
There is even an experiment which is going to be carried out in Cienfuegos

[Castro] No, they have been experimenting with that (?idea) of the ticket
for along time now. But who says that that ticket idea is going to work? If
you have to put the ticket in a little machine, who will have the
discipline to put that ticket in the machine?  They (?call) it an
experiment, but it is a theory.  But the revolution must find a solution
to that problem.  We will see what happens, or we will not invest another
single cent.  We either do away with several (?gratuities) here, or
increase some prices, but we cannot leave this unpunished.  We must put
some order to the law, (?even) if we have to put a man there. [repeats
himself] [applause] [Camera goes to unidentified speak outside of assembly
room; it does not show whom speak is addressing]

[Unidentified speak No 13] We are satisfied with the report. We understand
that the ministry had been very critical and very objective.  It has truly
analyzed, evaluated the situation which exists in our country with regards
to the deficiencies and achievements in transportation.

[Reporter No 2] What do you think of the future of Cuba's transportation?

[Unidentified speak No 14, outside assembly room] I think that the report
and the discussion which followed during the assembly give an idea of the
great effort that is being made by out party's leadership in ensuring the
necessary resources, despite the limitations we have, to attain what we
need for the solutions to the transportation problems.  The action of the
workers has had an impact. I think these workers have shown that they are
committed and ready to solve the problems and face them with the
determination asked for by our people, our government, and our party.

[Reporter No 2] What conclusions did you reach after the debate?

[Unidentified speak No 15] I think that the emphasis, both by the delegates
as well as the commander in chief, has permitted a solid evaluation of the
complexity of transportation.  It has been shown that the solutions to
transportation are not simple.  The solutions require an integration of
policy and (?technology).  They require a serious effort toward the
solution of material problems, although the problems may be often plagued
by (?subjective) aspects.  In each one of the situations, we have actually
seen how there has been a technical emphasis which underlined the fact that
each of the steps taken should be very well studied and analyzed.  The
emphasis has been very realistic.  I think that this debate opens a
perspective for transportation with an emphasis on progress.