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Involving everyone in the commemoration of Havana’s 500 years

Habana aniversarioInvolving everyone, the population as well as national, provincial, and municipal entities, in efforts to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Havana is a challenge, but the key to a better realization of the project.

This perspective was reconfirmed recently during a meeting led by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, during which issues of vital importance to the capital of all Cubans were reviewed.

Reynaldo García Zapata, president of the city’s Provincial Assembly of People’s Power detailed progress in implementing agreements reached in previous meetings of the Government Support Group working with Havana authorities.

In this context, he explained a series of inspections being conducted in the province. During the month of August, with the vacation period underway, efforts were focused on places where services are provided for the population, such as beaches east of the city, amusement parks, plazas and markets, bus terminals, as well as the Coppelia ice cream parlor, the restaurant complex at Zapata and 12th Streets, and other food service sites.

In terms of passenger transportation, it was reported that a deficit of busses has hindered the meeting of scheduling objectives, falling short by some 227,000 passenger trips a day. Also contributing to this situation were organizational problems, labor and technological indiscipline, as well as a shortage of drivers, managers, and technicians at several terminals.

García reported that all of the sites where problems were detected have been visited again by the highest leadership of the Party and government, to confirm that appropriate disciplinary and organizational measures have been taken, to ensure better quality services.

On another issue, he reiterated the appeal to central state administration agencies and state enterprises located in Havana – affiliated with a national management group or not – to intensify efforts to repair their facilities, repaint facades, improve their image and services offered to the population, as fundamental to the commercial, cultural, and social revitalization of the city’s main arteries.

Likewise presented was an update on the city’s solid waste management situation and different alternatives being put into practice, with greater participation and responsibility at the municipal level.

On the meeting’s agenda, as well, was the housing program and planned investments for the year. Of note was a report indicating that families living in temporary housing or in critical conditions were the primary recipients of apartments finished in the month of July.

Also analyzed was progress on the annual plan for maintenance, preservation, and repairs of housing, which has benefitted some 2,700 installations, and that for demolitions, repairs, and maintenance of multi-story buildings. The latter’s greatest challenge is in the reinforcement sub-program, since metal beams are in short supply. Alternatives are being sought to continue the projected work.

Likewise, the local production of building materials program was examined, with 29 areas within different People’s Councils identified to serve as production sites or mini-industrial plants, primarily in outlying municipalities, which will be responsible for supplying municipalities in the center of the city.

President Díaz-Canel described this program as fundamental, while emphasizing the importance of developing all possible productive capacity in the city’s municipalities, to support not only current repair and construction initiatives, but those of the future, as well.

Later in the meeting, as is customary in meetings of the Havana Government Support Group, on the agenda was a report on work underway for the city’s 500th anniversary in a specific municipality. On this occasion, Adalberto González Arce, president of the Municipal Assembly of People’s Power in La Lisa, highlighted the principal lines of work projected, including repairs of some facilities and the construction of others.

He reported on the remodeling of 25 neighborhood family doctor’s offices, a maternal home, six community centers for older adults, a blood bank, six childcare centers, two special and eight middle schools, nine basic food stores, 13 butchers shops, five supermarkets, four cafes, and three family attention centers.

Also cited were the comprehensive repair of 19 multi-family buildings and the same number of apartment complexes; the replacement of 16 sewer networks; the allocation of 109 vacant lots to low income families for the construction of homes; 802 subsidized constructions completed; the eradication of unhealthy settlements like El Palenque, with residents provided the newly built La Victoria complex; 23 bus stops repaired; rehabilitation of storm sewers and drainage in the San Agustín People’s Council; the installation of 27 water services; street repair and paving; the repair of five bridges; dredging of the Quibú and Jaimanitas Rivers, that flow through four People’s Councils; and the repair of seven septic tanks.

Thus transformations include almost every corner of the city, encouraging all inhabitants to join in and be part of the broad movement that is currently underway.


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