The population and its concerns: a cardinal issue on any agenda

In times that are complex for the world, and also for Cuba, everything that is discussed about how to strengthen the Revolution, inside the island – the one whose main desire is to achieve all possible justice – will have urgency and value.

Of unquestionable relevance, for example, were the issues on which – from the Havana Convention Center – the meeting of the country’s leadership with governors of the provinces, and with the mayor of the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, was discussed this Friday.

The verification of compliance with the Housing Program was the first point on the agenda, in a meeting that was headed by the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, as well as by the first Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, and by the Vice President of the Republic, Salvador Valdés Mesa; both members of the Political Bureau.

In these days when the Fifth Extraordinary Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power is taking place -in the Convention Center of the capital-, and when the issue of housing construction motivates multiple reflections by the deputies, the meeting of the country’s leadership with those who govern in each territory throughout the Island reviewed the indicators of compliance with a strategic program.

Among other realities, it was learned during the exchange that the technical documentation, so important to put in order each property that is built, is pending in numerous cases. It was also pointed out that a constructive front such as the one assumed through subsidies –aimed at responding to those who find themselves in situations of vulnerability– presents delays. And in a similar situation is the activity of rehabilitation of the housing fund.

In the case of the local production of construction materials, emphasis was placed on the need to increase the capacities installed in each territory, based on the demands of each place; and in allusion to the commercialization of these materials, it was clear that their destination, par excellence, must be the sale to advance in the program of building houses.

An update of the Housing Program is being carried out, from the perspective of the needs of each municipality, according to what the Minister of Construction, René Mesa Villafaña, reported at the meeting. The work, which, according to the owner, should be ready in the course of this month, seeks precise and more rational analyzes in an activity that is decisive for the development of society.

The deputy prime minister, Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, emphasized the importance of working for the recovery of the housing fund. He also reasoned that if the productive capacities to obtain construction materials are not created, then the houses outlined in the Program cannot be built.

The Hero of the Republic of Cuba also spoke of seeking paths, based on local materials, and that reflection gave way to other analyses, whose common factor was the relevance of holding comprehensive debates, territory by territory, and always in accordance with the resources of each particular scenario.

On the subject – which concentrates the most recurrent dissatisfactions of the population – the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, advocated carrying out an “in-depth” analysis, from goals and objective indicators, by territory, based on the real capacities of each place. The fulfillment of the plan, he said, must be measured based on the resources assigned and the real possibilities of each local scenario.

“The hard problem here is housing,” recalled the Head of Government, and for this reason he also argued that, if there must be a well-organized and well-thought-out system for any task, it is precisely for the construction of houses. “This has a different proposal,” he stressed, “to carry out a check on much more objective bases.”

ALERT WITH PRICES NOT SUPPORTED BY COST CHIPS

The results of the inspections carried out at the prices established in each territory, and how the confrontation with the implementation of these prices has been behaving, was another matter analyzed at the meeting.

Among other concepts, and as the starting point of a report shared by the Minister of Finance and Prices, Meisi Bolaños Weiss, emphasis was placed on being alert to prices that are not supported by cost sheets and other essential indicators of the economy. Likewise, reference was made to the importance of increasing control actions, as well as promoting price agreements between the different economic actors.

In this regard, Manuel Marrero Cruz recognized that, although many actions have been carried out with a view to controlling prices, “we have to continue insisting.” Regarding the new economic actors, he valued that it is a very good reality, in the sense that it enriches the scenarios and offers multiple possibilities –although undoubtedly, he said, they constitute a “new challenge”–. And with regard to the state sector, he pointed out that some put very high prices, which forces them to maintain and execute constant control.

President Díaz-Canel warned about those who, from the state sector, seek to be profitable, while putting high prices on their products or services. Those who act in this way harm, as he pointed out, the population. If the state companies do that, commented the president, what then to expect from other actors in the economy?

The third item on the agenda dealt with experiences in the implementation of the policy for the improvement of community services. By way of introduction, the deputy prime minister and head of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil Fernández, explained that the heart of this improvement is that, instead of providing such an important service from budgeted entities, the work is done from a system of greater business autonomy and at the municipal level.

At the end of the first quarter of this year, affirmed the Vice Prime Minister, the groups that functioned as companies closed with profits, which shows that the transformation is viable; and that is why, he stated, that the “transfer” of a set of activities has been considered that includes public lighting, the administration of generator sets, and the supply of water in pipes: “It is a complex process, Gil pointed out Fernández, who demands a change of mentality so that the business structure that is proposed by each territory is profitable.

We will have to see – he reasoned – what other services can be incorporated as part of said transformation.

Towards the end of the meeting, the head of government, Manuel Marrero Cruz, highlighted the importance of strengthening the municipality, and within that space, each governance structure, and each leader.

“We don’t do anything now with our structures -said the Prime Minister- if they are not accompanied by good cadres”.

To the governors, Marrero Cruz commented on the importance of improving living conditions in the mountainous areas of the country; to work so that this year Cubans can have the best possible summer, “even knowing that we have very few resources,” but without losing sight of the fact that there are things that can be done with little money, and from which vital ingredient of culture.

Finally, Marrero Cruz addressed the delicate and decisive issue of attending, from each space, where there is a public servant, the approaches of the population. He recalled the responsibility of everyone, from the highest level, to each place where the concerns, complaints or denunciations of the people are received.

«The least we can do, stressed the Prime Minister, is to attend to the proposals of the population, as public servants; and more so in a Revolution like ours, which is based on social justice».

Photo: Revolution Studies

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