HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 5 (acn) -- “We must create the industrial base to further develop the housing industry, building houses that resist hurricanes, and to do so we need to increase the production of cement, sand and gravel,” said Cuban President Raul Castro during a visit Saturday to a complex of 100 prefab Petro-Houses being built in the La Risueña neighborhood of eastern Santiago de Cuba province.
Raul spoke about the need to find ways to involve the population in reinvigorating housing, providing those who are willing to build their own houses the necessary infrastructure and support, Granma newspaper reported.
So far 95 of the La Risueña petro-houses, a Venezuelan design using oil-based byproducts, are nearly finished and the rest are being assembled. Also pending is finishing the streets, electricity and telephone lines, water and sewage and a center with stores and services.
Joining Raul in his visit to the project was First Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura; Vice President Juan Almeida Bosque; Gen. Ramon Espinosa Martin, chief of the Eastern Army; and Misael Enamorado Dager, first secretary of the Communist Party for the province of Santiago de Cuba.
Awaiting the visit at La Risueña was Rolando Yero, president of the provincial legislature and Hugo Perez, representative of the Ministry of Construction for Santiago. Odalys Guerrero, an engineer in charge of the construction project, explained that the design takes into account the seismic activity in the region and the experiences from the recent hurricanes.
Raul inspected one the new houses asking detailed questions. He emphasized the need to plant shade and fruit trees with the participation of the residents, as well as to determine each homeowner’s responsibilities. He also recalled the commitment to guarantee water on a daily basis to the population of Santiago de Cuba and asked the state of the waterworks projects.
At nightfall, Raul and his delegation visited Rancho Club, an installation administered by the Cadena Isla Azul, where the late Vilma Espin and Raul were married on January 26, 1959 and where he had never previously returned. He inquired about the services provided there and recalled that in those days shortly after the victory of the Revolution, a journalist of radio CMKC asked him about the guests to the wedding to which he responded: “Whoever wants to come,” and thus a large number of Santiago residents attended.