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Castro on Manufacturing of Road Repair Equipment
Havana Tele Rebelde Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000013102
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL2507140090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-145          Report Date:    27 Jul 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     18
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       21
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       24 Jul 90
Report Volume:       Friday Vol VI No 145


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro on Manufacturing of Road Repair Equipment

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party
of Cuba , on the occasion of the inspection of road repair
equipment in Havana ; date not given--recorded]

Source Line:   FL2507140090 Havana Tele Rebelde Network in Spanish 1159 GMT 24
Jul 90

Subslug:   [Remarks by President Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the
Communist Party of Cuba, on the occasion of the inspection of road
repair equipment in Havana; date not given--recorded]

1.  [Remarks by President Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist
Party of Cuba, on the occasion of the inspection of road repair equipment in
Havana; date not given--recorded]

2.  [Text] It is important to think about this machinery. We are all doing what
is necessary at this time. Here we can see all this equipment, the progress we
have made and the possibilities for the country to fulfill its needs. This
equipment was not manufactured at steel and iron mills.  It was assembled at
the Ministry of Construction [Mincon] shops. This comrade said one by one.
Where did they fix the trucks? I think at Andres Lujan shops, right?

3.  I think the compressor was manufactured in Cienfuegos and the minicompactor
in a factory nearby, in Havana.  [Workers answer Castro's remarks]. In the
(Unitec)? It is a shop, no? Well, we call it a factory. Where was the dump
truck made? In the same place where the minicompactor was made?  Yes, correct.
The electric plant? In Matanzas. Each one did his part here. That converter was
built in Pinar del Rio, no? It is called a recycler? The tractor-loader was
build in Holguin, right? With help from people from Cienfuegos? No? The
concrete pumps were built.... where? In the Leonildo Sierra in Havana. 
Finally, was the crane manufactured here? [answer not heard].

4.  In barely a few months, we can say a few weeks, a decision was made to
manufacture these trucks needed to fix our roads. That was not explained here.
What is a truck for pavement repair? [words indistinct]. The most important
things in the transport sector, buses, trucks, cars, etc. depend on road
conditions. You spend a lot more in spare parts, tires, and breakdowns when the
road is in a bad condition. You waste more time. It is something very

5.  The comrades of the Minfar [Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces]
made the proposal. They were looking for ways to repair potholes in range
roads. The idea for this type of truck was in answer to that need.  Then--and
because of the good results--we had the idea of using these trucks to fix the
streets as well. Why not?  In order to repair streets you need a compressor, a
roller, an asphalt mixer, and I do not know how much more equipment. And how
many people are needed for the job? This solution that was used in the hills is
very practical. A truck carries the mixture, the compressor fixed to the bed, a
minicompactor, and a vibrator. It does not need to be too large because
vibrations multiply the compacting capacity.

6.  We studied the possibility of using this equipment here in the city due to
the savings in time, resources, and manpower--because often they use a large
compactor, one of those used to fix highways--to fix the streets. In other
cases they use very good compactors such as the (Fomaques). Chavez, [not
further identified] how many of those compactors do we have in Havana? [Chavez
answers: ``We have two provincial brigades.''] How many rollers do they handle?
[Chavez answers: ``They have four rollers.''] Is that all? Four rollers each?
[Chavez answers: ``Yes.''] It is a pity we cannot borrow a few from you to
build embankments.... because they are so good.  Well, this is just a joke.

7.  I mean that one roller like the one we have there compacting is used here
to fix the streets. They are fast.  But just think of their capacity when we
use them in earthwork together with pneumatic compactors. These embankments are
roads built into the sea. Here you can understand the need for compacting. Now,
we have the same equipment here compacting and fixing potholes in city streets.

8.  Well, I have to look each way because guests are here and workers there.

9.  Potholes can now be fixed with that minicompactor. It would be a good thing
if we could estimate the impact the work of these 120 comrades is going to have
in terms of savings. Since you have a reserve of equipment you will not need
the entire crew. I hope that you are given good attention and that you are paid
in line with the service you are going to give the city, according to the hours
you work. We have asked for workers to carry out multiple tasks to save forces.
The city has problems with its labor force, and even greater problems with this
kind of work. The city needs highly-trained, dedicated, and disciplined
personnel. I believe they can do a lot.

10.  Therefore, this means that from now on the city....  [changes thought]
They will begin to be used in the next few weeks. I think it is going to take a
few days. Two of these vehicles are being used as a pilot. The city will have
30 trucks to fix potholes. This is something that it did not use to have.
Nobody knows the number of potholes that can be repaired with this equipment
and how it can help the capital's transportation.

11.  We were talking with some comrades yesterday and they explained that some
of these vehicles could cover up to 50 meters despite the fact that they had to
go to the plant twice. They made two trips per day. These are the ones that are
at the pilot plant. The comrades are thinking about other possible future
solutions. They are deciding if it is convenient to take the mix to them or
have some places close by to pick up the mix so that they do not have to make a
long trip. Some said some trucks had to make the round trip to get the mix
anyway. Others suggested that perhaps the compactors could go first and used
for that exclusively.

12.  In sum, they are analyzing possible new formulas to find the maximum
productivity for these trucks. In other words, it is a new idea, a totally new
idea regarding the way to face the pothole problem. As you can see we have used
two types of trucks, the Kama and Kras truck. You may ask yourselves why there
are 10 Kras and 20 Kama trucks. The reality is that the first ones that were
built were built in Kras. I asked if the Kama could be used because we did not
have many trucks of this type, Kras 2-50. However, we had more of these Kama
trucks. We have a good opinion of the Kama trucks. The workers who are building
causeways have a good opinion of the Kama trucks. There they use the Kama and
Kras dump trucks with reinforced beds, of course. The beds need to be
reinforced in the Kras and Kama dump trucks because they can have problems
carrying rocks. They do not have to go up hills but have to carry heavy loads. 
They have to carry large rocks to build those causeways.

13.  We then decided to give 10 Kama trucks, which is what we had available.
[sentence as heard] Now the comrades think that the Kama truck is going to be
more useful for smaller and narrower streets. They are going to send the Kras
to the surrounding areas and are going to leave the Kamas for the other
municipalities in the center of the city.

14.  They are going to use one truck per municipality. This is what the
People's Government has proposed. With the exception of two
municipalities--Boyeros and Diez de Octubre--which are going to have two
trucks. They are going to have nine trucks for the main bus routes. This is
another criteria. Four trucks are going to be left as backup.

15.  We approve this. Equipment is going to be distributed when maintenance is
needed at a given time or if support or reinforcement is needed.

16.  As you can see, we have been using Soviet trucks to make this equipment.
We did not have to spend convertible currency. The trucks and beds had to be
adapted. We did have to spend convertible currency with this equipment.  I am
referring to the compactors. We cannot make all the parts for compactors here
yet. We also had to spend an amount in convertible currency with the vibrating
roller.  We have saved over half of the value in convertible currency with that
equipment. I want you to know that if we were to buy that equipment it would be
very expensive. That miniroller is expensive. The compactors are also

17.  We have saved a lot of money thanks to the efforts made by the workers who
have produced this equipment with minimum imports. As you saw, over 50 percent
of the parts are produced domestically. Over 50 percent. In other words, if a
piece of equipment costs $12,000 it has costs us less than $6,000. The matter
is to produce it here. We have bought 20 with what would have bought 10. Of
course, we had to compare it to how much the equipment costs abroad, how much
the equipment costs abroad. [repeats]

18.  If you were going to look for any of those pieces of equipment on the
market you would have to spend over twice as much as what it cost us in
convertible currency.  We understand that they are of good quality.

19.  We have for example the dump trucks. They used to be imported. We now make
dump trucks for less than half the money. I believe it was mentioned that some
250 have been made. All of them are being used here. Some of them were going to
be reexported. There was some sort of agreement with our associates who supply
us the components. There was such a need in the country that we decided to
leave it here, we decided to keep it. We decided not to reexport.

20.  There are many plans which require a labor force, especially the large
tourism projects. There is not enough personnel. Homero [Crabb, construction
minister], the work of how many will be done by one of these pieces of
equipment? [Crabb answers: Well, almost 20, 25, or 30 men] Yes, no one knows
how much a dump truck such as these saves in a project. You know this. You have
seen construction workers carrying material with a wheelbarrow. What does 200
pieces of this equipment save? At least 4,000 men. There are many places in
which there is a shortage of personnel, of labor force. These are very useful
pieces of equipment.

21.  Who knows how much that pump is worth. If we were going to buy it it would
cost over $80,000. They are very sophisticated engines and equipment. We have
built these stationary pumps spending some $40,000. We have made some of them
with booms and cranes. Of course, those are much more expensive. Two are being
completed. We have built several. We reached agreements with some factory
representatives at an equipment fair in Havana.

22.  Those pumps save a lot. You don't know the number of men that they save,
the equipment they save. They can lift concrete 60 meters high and can move it
as far as 300 meters. They can lift 50 cubic meters per hour. You know how much
those pieces of equipment mean in terms of increase of work productivity. If we
do not build them they would cost us twice as much.

23.  A nation progresses by manufacturing equipment, by producing machinery.
That is how people learn about this industry. We will participate in equipment
manufacturing in increasingly larger percentages. Each time we will participate
with a larger percentage. Today we use imported engines. In the electric plant
we used mainly Soviet engines. In the future we will use our own engines in
accordance with the development of our industry. The percentage that we have to
import will, therefore, decrease. This is the way to develop an industry. That
frontal dump truck was built over a Soviet truck. The SIME [Steelworking
Industry] is also working on a 0.8 cubic meter frontal shovel. You cannot
imagine how much we need that equipment. The other one, the one we built here
on a smaller tractor has a capacity of 0.25 cubic meters.... [changes thought]
Better than 0.5 cubic meters. The backhoe has a 0.25 cubic meter capacity. They
are not enough but they are useful for many things.

24.  We have one of 0.5 cubic meter capacity and one of 2.0--the imported one,
the big one. We have already begun to manufacture them here. But there are many
works that require a shovel of 1.0 or 0.8. It is a crime to use a $60,000
front-loader for that kind of work when it is better used in dam or highway
construction to move large volumes of fill. This is why we need those shovels
so much. We have just asked the SIME to build 60 smaller units. They have
already begun the production of the first 10 units. We want them for use by the
irrigation brigades so they can dig channels and do what is necessary to
irrigate 100 caballerias a year. We have already organized 20 brigades for that
purpose this year. We are planning to organize at least another 20.

25.  We have asked the SIME to build 60 pieces of equipment. Sometimes we use
Soviet equipment instead--the TO-18, for instance-- but we have very few of
them, not enough of them. That is why we had to build the shovels on Soviet
tractors. They are very useful. This afternoon we have seen parts of what we
can call a national fair of construction equipment of the Construction
Ministry.  We are happy. You should try to make your own equipment too, no
matter if the SIME is manufacturing something similar.

26.  We also have concrete mixers. I do not know if you can make concrete
mixers. The SIME makes concrete mixers and the microbrigades have a factory for
construction equipment. We will advise you to choose one or the other whenever
possible because many times an organization cannot solve a problem by itself.
The Havana City microbrigade has a successful industry. They manufacture
concrete mixers, cranes--they have already manufactured hundreds of
cranes--besides other equipment and tools. They do not manufacture too many
dump trucks but they manufacture wheelbarrows. We have to work with everything,
dump trucks, wheelbarrows, buckets, shovels, with all we have. But it is
important progress.

27.  This is how we have to work, even more so during these times. Of course,
we did not use to have as many technicians, engineers, and planners as we do
now.  Thanks to them we can now see all this and, in addition, see it in a
short period of time. Work has been done quickly. As you heard here, the
comrades from a factory, I believe from Cienfuegos, were left with the pain of
not being able to bring their bulldozer here. [someone corrects Castro and
says: Villa Clara] I mean the comrades from Villa Clara.

28.  They say that if they can they will finish a drag within the next few
hours. They are very sad because they were not able to be present. We
congratulate them anyway. They say they have made almost all of the parts for
one type of bulldozer. I imagine that they used someone else's experience but
that they also used their own imagination.  They used a Soviet tractor with a
140-horse power engine.

29.  We are making larger engines for the front loader, the one for the
vibrating roller we are building at the Metallurgical Research Center [CIME].
They are using 220- or 240-horse power Taino engines. They are making progress
in the engine building plant. They have already completed the engine block
foundry plant. They are also making good progress. They have created a good
engine with the cooperation of some foreign specialists. We are going to have
engines for trucks, buses, loaders, and possibly for power plants, bulldozers,
and front loaders--the ones built in the production lines in Guira de Melena
--for hydraulic irrigation pumps. We are going to need those engines for
irrigation machines. We are going to need those engines for Fregat irrigation
systems, the ones that are circular.

30.  So, we have made progress in engines. Perhaps the comrades from Villa
Clara can one day build that tractor with engines of 140 or 160 horse power. A
little more power would be better for that bulldozer.

31.  We asked the CIME to submit each piece of equipment they build to a
steel-stress test and test them many times to determine their quality. You have
to be very careful in the steel-working industry. You cannot even change one
type of screw for another one. I remember that some machines were produced and
later lost their reputation for quality. This steel-stress rule was implemented
some time ago. The equipment has to be of high quality. The equipment has to
stand any test.

32.  This is how our Taino front loaders are. They have turned out to be of
very good quality. Nevertheless, there were some problems. There were delays in
the supply of some screws and others were used instead. Problems began in much
of that equipment. All the lots have to be done the same. When a new component
is produced domestically it has to be tested every time it is modified.  It has
to be tested one, two, three times. If a new front end is produced the
equipment needs to be tested with this front end produced domestically. If the
back end is added, the equipment has to be tested with the two ends.  They have
to be tested under difficult conditions.

33.  We test construction equipment here at the Blas Roca Calderio Contingent.
We tested the loader and the vibrating roller. We are testing the first
bulldozers that were produced in Guira. They go through a difficult test
working 13 and 14 hours every day. We also test some pieces of foreign
equipment that are recommended to us such as diggers, cranes, and bulldozers.
We submit the equipment we make to difficult tests. The idea is not to make any
type of equipment to replace imports but to truly produce quality equipment.

34.  I need to say that those compactors are going to be part of another Havana
City program, the program to solve the drainage problem. This is one of the
other big headaches. When we were studying the pothole problem it was
discovered that many potholes were caused by drainage. A large amount of water
is lost through the drains. In some municipalities this water loss is enormous.
We agreed on an idea and a system to prevent the drainage problem by zones. We
are going to create 65 drainage brigades, one per zone. I believe there are 65
zones. I believe there will be nothing left as a reserve.

35.  They will have a compactor, two hammers--it is not a 10 meter compactor.
Another thing is that an enormous 10-meter compactor is often used to solve a
drainage problem. The appropriate compactor for that is the five-meter
compactor. As the comrade was explaining, this results in five cubic meters per
minute. I imagine we are talking about air. [Unidentified speaker says: Air]
Nobody knows how useful those compactors are. There are going to be 65 drainage
brigades. The municipalities did not have those resources. Each brigade is
going to have two vehicles to pull the compactor, to transport the personnel,
and for other things. We are talking about other components. Some want the
brigades to have one of those small 05-meter shovels. They were asking for them
at the zone level. I am defending the view that this may be an excess. We
should have begun to conduct tests weeks ago. [Unidentified speaker says: We
begin tomorrow] We begin tomorrow to see what is really needed so that no
equipment is underutilized. It is not easy to find 65 of those loaders. Those
loaders are built by the steel-working industry. We use them in many tasks,
especially in the plot drainage brigades and in the irrigation brigades as
well. This equipment is smaller and we do not have to use large diggers in
small projects.

36.  We are discussing whether this equipment is going to be assigned per
municipality. We could not assign 65 small cranes or front-shovels on trucks to
each one of the brigades this year. Perhaps it might be possible to give one
per municipality and two to some municipalities.  Therefore, this is another
concept, another system that is going to be implemented to solve another one of
the city's great headaches--the drains. They are one of the great sources of
the waste of water and resources.

37.  I believe that we all, not only the workers.... [changes thought] I don't
know to what degree they know about the overall idea that needs to be carried
out since they are from various factories. I believe this also helps reporters
and guests to understand the objectives these pothole repair vehicles have, how
useful they are, the number of men that are saved, the productivity level they
can reach. I also believe they will be happy to hear the idea that the drainage
system is going to be worked on once and for all. These are the ones people
have complained about so much.

38.  If this is not well organized and is not worked on systematically, they
become clogged and enormous amounts of water are wasted. These are the two main
programs that were designed. How many months ago, Chavez? This is July. [Chavez
answers: That was in January] In January? February, March, April, June, July.

39.  These programs were adopted only six months ago. The equipment has been
built during this period of time. We asked the Micons to help us by building
them in their plants. Of course, they have taken advantage of the presentation
of the equipment to bring many more things. They are also delivering the last
25 dump trucks.  Other programs will have to be created. They exhibited other
things. They are completing four stations. One of them may be sent to the
swimming pools being built for the Pan-American Games, another one to Antillana
de Acero steel plant. We will have six as backup. We will have to complete the
top priority projects and, above all, the ones of greatest possible economic
importance. In addition to the six that will remain--we have four now plus
these four there will be eight and two that are going to be handed over, six;
and one or two of these with derricks--we will have eight for projects of great
strategic importance.

40.  They already delivered two to the Cohiba Hotel. You see how the Cohiba
Hotel is progressing. I believe progress will be faster from now on. I believe
that the day the carnivals began the Cohiba Hotel construction workers were
there. They did not let themselves be tempted by the music or wishes to take a
stroll. I believe they worked until 0600. They met at 0600 because I went
around there the following day. They met with the almost 400 members of the
Blas Roca Contingent who began to work at that time. I believe that was on a
Saturday.  [Unidentified speaker says: ``Sunday, Sunday before dawn.''] On
Sunday. Yes, Sunday before dawn.

41.  So, you can see it there. In construction we have to aim at achieving
higher productivity. There are so many things that we have to do and so many
things we are doing that the men we have would not be enough, at least under
normal conditions. If circumstances continue to get more complicated, then it
would be a different story.  We will always be interested in productivity. If
you are building hotels on a key, the fewer men there the better.  It is better
for them to be more productive under any circumstances. So, these machines will
always be extremely useful.

42.  This is why comrades, as we are approaching the 37th anniversary [of the
Moncada Barracks attack] as it was said here, I congratulate you, I
congratulate the technicians, the builders of this equipment, and the men who
are going to be in charge of this equipment. Socialism or death, fatherland or
death, we will win! [crowd joins is saying: We will win!] [applause]