HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 27 (ACN) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel held video conference with the governors and the mayor of the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud to discuss the complex situation the country is going through.
We have overcome a hard year, where the main recognition has to be for the people, who, led by the Party, have faced the intensification of the blockade, of all the threats, the pressures and the restrictions that we have had as a result of the measures that the Government of the United States has been applying, in a growing manner, he said.
On the other hand, he said, it has been a year in which we have faced COVID-19, with all its implications in the economic and also in the social order. Now we are preparing to begin a year that will also be complex and very challenging, he said.
It will be the year of the 8th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party and also the year in which we are going to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the physical disappearance of the Commander in Chief and the 95th anniversary of his birth, motivations that, according to the president, are enough, from the political point of view, to reactivate and renew our commitments in everything we have to do.
In this sense, he referred to how we must continue to advance in the fulfillment of what was approved in the VII Congress of the Party and the fundamental programs of the Government. Similarly, he insisted on the priority that must be given in all instances of government to the Economic and Social Strategy and the task of regulation, to which the new challenges in the confrontation with COVID-19 inevitably add.
Topics such as compliance with the national housing construction plan, the effects of Tropical Storm Eta, local self-sufficiency, the concerns of the population in light of the excessive increase in the prices of various products and the new epidemiological situation in the country were the focus of the analysis at the meeting led by the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, which was also attended by the Second Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party, José Ramón Machado Ventura, the Vice President, Salvador Valdés Mesa, as well as Deputy Prime Ministers and several Ministers.
Housing building is moving at a favorable pace
Even though at the end of October of this year, the second month of the application of the Housing Policy, the compliance with the National Plan for the construction of real estate has a favorable behavior and is at 98% of execution, it is still a challenge for the country to increase the rates, both in the buildings by own effort and in the state buildings or those that are carried out through the use of subsidies.
It is precisely these last two aspects that are the most behind in general, in which, President Díaz-Canel emphasized, progress must be made more quickly. From this moment on, we have to prepare the guarantee that we can start 2021 with a continuity of the Plan and also create the basis for its fulfillment in the next calendar.
Likewise, he highlighted the purpose of moving forward in the creation of pleasant and functional living conditions, especially in the agricultural communities, that will allow us to have better living conditions to be able to attract and motivate the influx of labor force towards the production of food, which is today the task that in the economic field decides.
During the exchange, where aspects such as the production of cement, the recovery of damages caused by weather events and the state of the technical documentation of the properties were also evaluated, the Prime Minister underlined the rigor with which the subject of the urbanistic illegalities must be attended, a matter that is not going well and must be assumed with total responsibility in all the scenarios, in the first place from the state entities, where the problem has not been solved yet.
He emphasized that not all places are acting in order to comply with what is indicated and restore legality, and this is not only a matter for the Institute of Physical Planning, the main responsibility lies with the territories and as such it must be addressed.
Prices and monetary ordering
Considering that one of the main causes of discontent that the population has been expressing in recent weeks is associated with the excessive increase in prices, especially of agricultural products, this was also a topic that focused the attention of the agenda of the videoconference.
After the explanation given by the Minister of Finance and Prices, Meisi Bolaños Weiss, about the actions being undertaken and others that will be put into effect to deal with this situation, the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, valued that this is an aspect in which we have to act with coherence and rigor, and to which we must be able to add the people to denounce the facts and be part of the struggle.
The issue of price, clarified the President of the Republic, is a very important government issue, which has an impact on the retail trade circulation, on the financial balance and sanitation, and also on the population, which is added now that it constitutes one of the most complex challenges we have in the Ordering Task.
The battle with prices is so that there are no illegalities, so that they are adequate and there is no imbalance, he stressed. "The premise is that you cannot allow abusive and speculative prices, and the first thing you have to go out and discuss with those who are currently raising prices, is why they are doing it.
Here we have not raised taxes on anyone, we continue to offer free health and education for all and we have had tremendous social spending to protect the population in the midst of the COVID-19; so, under what concept does a self-employed person or even a state entity appear now that they are raising prices," questioned the head of state.
The confrontation with this phenomenon must be rigorous, acting correctly, in an agile and professional manner, without allowing for compromise or corruption, and with sanctions that are severe and exemplary, he insisted.
He also called for transparency in the management of prices and for them to be made known through all the media, so that the population knows what they are and can take action against their violation.
Associated to this issue, the President of the Republic referred in a particular way to the Ordering Task, a complex issue but inevitable in the current scenario, of which everyone has to be responsible and feel part of, because it is something we are doing to order the country's economy in function of everyone.
This is a problem of all of us, of the state and non-state sectors; it is a problem of the people, of the country, and to defend it is to think as a country, he said. Hence his insistence that it requires attention to and assurance of detail.