service of Radio Progreso Alternativa’s Havana Bureau
Leonardo Martínez, chairman of the Cuban National Assembly’s (parliament)
Commission for Productive Activities, submitted to legislators a report on the
housing construction program for 2006.
report criticizes the program, whose plan was to construct 150,000 new homes for
the period from September 2005 to December 2006.
According to the report, the year will end with 110,000 new constructions, a
figure that includes refurbishing and repairs. But according to sources, the
real figure of new homes, completed from the ground up, is only 30,000.
Construction plans for 2007 are to build 100,000 new houses and apartments.
Experts believe that compliance will depend mainly on the capacity of the
construction materials industry and its capacity to transport these materials.
That factor played a significant role in the failure of the present year’s plan.
Italian technology in pasta plants
According to the National Information Agency, pasta producing plants in Santiago
de Cuba, Camagüey and Cienfuegos are being updated with Italian technology.
one at Santiago de Cuba, on the eastern region of the island, already has an
output of 150 kilograms an hour of spaghetti, noodles and other pasta products.
According to Roberto Pisonero, who heads the investment project, Italian experts
are advising the plant in the use of the new equipment which cost more than
three million pesos.
national food plan contemplates close to a dozen new pasta producing plants.
Venezuela and Cuba: Oil, steel and pharmaceutical products
governments of Venezuela and Cuba have taken new steps to foster relations even
further. In a speech last Friday at the Teresa Carreño Theater in Caracas,
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced that the government’s oil giant,
PDVSA, will begin to search for oil in the Cuban section of the Gulf of Mexico.
For its part, Cuba’s CUPET will do the same in the Venezuelan Orinoco Basin.
the moment, Cuba had given exploration franchises in the Gulf to Sherri of
Canada, Petronas from Malasia, as well as to Spain’ Repsol-YPF, the latter
partnered with ONGC Videsh Limited of India and Norsk Hydro of from Norway. U.S.
companies are watching from the sidelines waiting for the chance to jump in when
and if the new Congress finds a way around the embargo.
joint venture partnership, which will produce stainless steel from Cuban nickel
and Venezuelan iron, was recently brokered by the Cuban and Venezuelan
who announced the plans after receiving a telephone call from Cuban President
Fidel Castro, also said that both countries are studying possibilities of
cooperation in the area of biotechnology, where Cuba is very well developed.
Venezuelan president used the opportunity to categorically deny that Castro has
cancer or a terminal illness, as several press agencies have said, quoting
declarations by top U.S. officials.