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Castro Comments on MICONS Report at ANPP

FL1807023489 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 2306 GMT 17 Jul 89

[Report by Marta Bares on ANPP session held at Havana's Palace of
Conventions, during "Exclusivo" program hosted by Daniel Torres--live]

[Text] [Bares] Good evening, Daniel.  Good evening, Cuba.  As you have
said, the exchange of opinions on the Ministry of Construction's [MICONS]
report to the National Assembly  of People's Government [ANPP] took up the
main part of the Cuban parliament's 1st day of discussions.

Over 40 reports were given by various delegates in this session, these do
not include the statements given by Deputy Fidel Castro.  Now we will offer
our listeners some of the opinions given by the commander in chief on the
population's needs and the best way so solve them.

[Begin Castro recording] Once again, I come back to the concept of Santa
Claus and the three kings.  People have this view of the Revolution.  I
have spoken about this more than once; people ask, and ask, and ask, and
ask, and ask, and they want, want, want, and want.  The people want
hospitals, polyclinics, housing, schools, sewers, they want everything.
This is true.  However, I remind you of the reality that all of the
nation's social development programs require serious development of
economic programs and serious development of industrial programs.  Not only
do we have to attend to the needs of the people, we have to attend to the
needs of agriculture, [repeats himself] the needs of agriculture, the need
to supply the people, and the needs of industry.

This is not an easy task, it requires much work.  Just the same, when
someone says:  Build me a sewer [chuckles], we need many things.  We do not
just use one worker and one machine; we also need materials to build that
sewer.  I can assure all the deputies that we are concerned about all of
these things and we are doing whatever is possible.

We are trying to work the miracles that are needed to solve many of our
historical problems.  We are trying to work miracles that are only possible
through work, miracles that are being shown by some of our construction
workers.  [end recording]

[Bares] Here is the commander in chief on the forming of contingents that
will finish building the (Isca) and (Cujay), which have been under
construction for the past 20 years.

[Begin Castro recording] In my search for disgraces--I have had to dedicate
a part of my life to looking for disgraces--I said:  Well, we have made
advances in the construction of this and the other thing, in hundreds of
things.  What do we have now?  I said:  We have the (Isca) and we have the
(Cujay).  We should promise to finish them, but then, we should not promise
anything to anyone.  This is not a matter of promising, it is a matter of
doing.  I spoke with [Estaban] Lazo and I said:  [Word indistinct] we have
to do something.  I think the only way to finish this shamelessness is to
create two contingents.

I do not want many people in the contingent, only 150 or 200 people, but I
want them organized like a contingent.  I then gave him the structure,
salary system, and work system of the contingents.  This is now the last
two contingents we established in the nation [words indistinct] which is
already working there as a contingent.  I am sure now, that the (Isca) is
finally going to be finished.  I have no doubt about this.

We then organized another contingent with the same workers.  We said:
Those of you who want to continue as volunteers--these have to be
volunteers, to be a contingent you have to be a volunteer and to belong to
a contingent you have to volunteer--it is not the same thing to organize a
new contingent as to get a group of old construction workers who have built
500,000 [word indistinct] and organize a contingent.  So then, we are
organizing a contingent.  They are already working, in both places.  I
think that finally, with the magic formula of the contingents, an evil that
has lasted for almost 100 years [as heard] has been solved with a
constructive and revolutionary formula.

I said:  Let's put our contingents on the budget.   This is not a matter of
materials, because we are constantly lacking materials.  There is not a
single day that goes by that we do not try to increase production of
materials.  There is not a single day that we do not build a cement factory
or something.  While we increase production, there is not a single day that
we do not discuss saving.  In cement we have been saving [words indistinct]

We have that here in the Construction Ministry's report.  Close to this is
a bigger disgrace, the glass house.  This is a university institution that
has been under construction for over 20 years.  We have decided to finish
it.  I do not know if [words indistinct] more or less when it will be
finished.  I do not know how long we propose to finish it in, I think it is
3 years.  In about 3 years we will also finish the (Cujay).  That is also a
great disgrace.  [end recording]

[Bares] Here is what the commander in chief has to say about repairing
teaching centers:

[Begin Castro recording] Talking about schools, we need to make a brigade
corp to finish the secondary school plans.  With respect to maintenance,
one of the most serious problems we have is the secondary schools.  Well,
the problem is the secondary schools and rural pre-university schools.
Every year a certain amount of money, a budget, is assigned to this.  There
are no organized groups to carry out what I proposed at the meeting I had
with the youth leaders.  At this meeting I said there was a need to
organize the brigades.  I think we could [[words indistinct] Ministry of
Education's petition that is gigantic.  Their petition deals with I do not
know how many brigades.  The Ministry of Education has a habit of asking
for things in large quantities.  But well, I asked how many brigades we had
to organize, especially since it [words indistinct] in main plans.  For
example, in Jaguey Grande there are 50 or 60 schools.

What I was proposing was to organizing maintenance brigades.  These
brigades should then have the material resources directly assigned to them,
instead of having them assigned through the ANPP.  Otherwise, they will
never get them.  If the material resources are assigned through the ANPP,
they are usually assigned to something else. [end recording]

[Bares] Finally, here are some of Construction Minister Homero Crabb
Valdes' opinions, given especially to "Exclusivo".

[Begin Crabb Valdes recording] I think that the entire discussion on the
MICONS report to the ANPP has been very productive.  In this discussion, we
have talked about the fundamental problems in the construction sector.
These opinions are a result of having analyzed the report, as well as the
introductory document.  Also, the commission's opinion was very good.  We
truly value their opinion and find it very just and very objective.  The
commission covered the fundamental problems faced by the MICONS.  We have
to continue to work on solving certain aspects that have not yet been

I believe that the deputies have been at a level that is in keeping with
this high-level state organ.  They have pointed out the main problems and
the fundamental problems.  I think that the commander in chief's opinions
on construction, as always, were very enlightening.  His views have helped
the deputies, as well as the MICONS, to understand certain matters.  I also
believe his opinions will help the construction workers to continue
laboring with renewed efforts.

I think that regardless future endeavors, the report by the deputies and
the MICONS initial report indicate what path we should take.  We should
make intense efforts to solve quality problems, to promote
scientific-technical developments in construction, and at the same time, we
should not forget the essential task of saving resources such as cement,
steel, and wood.  As the commander in chief has said, especially in the
case of wood, these resources could become a limiting factor to the entire
construction effort being carried out by our country.

I think that regarding these fundamental aspects, we have to organize the
construction workers in the brigades, contingents, and enterprises.  We
should organize all of the nation's construction workers so that we can all
produce at the level that is being asked of us by the people, the Communist
Party of Cuba, and Fidel.  [end recording]

[Bares] The MICONS report to the ANPP was unanimously approved.