The number of repairs apartments built by the Revolution need is enormous…
HAVANA TIMES – When an ordinary Cuban wants to sell or trade their home, they specify that it is a “capitalist build”, if they can, in order to give their property more value. Cuba may be the only place in the entire world where buildings over 62 years old are preferred to new-ones. It’s a given that these old relics continue to be better than any home built by Fidel Castro’s Ministry of Construction (MICONS).
It’s not a question of Cuban architects and bricklayers suddenly forgetting how to build a proper building after January 1959, but rather about the Castro State’s monopoly system hoarding everything, and it can’t do anything but offer a poorly finished product for a sky-high cost.
Standardizing materials led to standardized buildings, and Socialist rationalism and realism exported from the USSR, built overwhelming, maze-like and depressing neighborhoods that are vertical tenements with sadistic designs, such as Alamar or Mulgoba, which are cut off from basic services and poorly communicate with the rest of the city, and residents are only those who still haven’t managed to escape yet.
The indisputable poor quality of “MICONS achievements” is in everyone’s sight; however, we’ll never know the price of manufacturing so much junk – which will have to be demolished at some point – because public accounts are secret in Cuba.
However, the obvious cost has been that the Castro family has monopolized everything related to construction, very few interesting things have been built or to the same quality to what “the evil people” built before the Revolution.
MICONS is one of these ministries – such as the Ministries of Agriculture or Culture – that solely exist to control and hinder the free development of society. The current director of MICONS, Rene Mesa Villafaña, recently appeared on national TV to explain the institution’s strategies so as “not” to make building materials priced too expensive after the Reforms Process (Tarea Ordenamiento).
Mesa admitted that authorities are cutting down on “indirect” staff and “restructuring business models” – which is what Castrismo calls “neoliberalism” when other people do it. Readjustments that are being implemented throughout the entire state economy, although the Government is only offering information about the people they hire and have said nothing about the people they are laying off, or about the many self-employed and cooperative members they’ve canceled contracts with.
Plus, “building material stores will be reorganized with production centers so they can reduce transport distances considerably, whenever they can,” according to Mesa Villafaña’s words, who says that they are “searching for a way to get sales points as close to production centers as possible, and stock these and reduce transport costs.”
It is expected that a Cuban minister of Construction would know that factories manufacturing materials don’t dispatch these to stores, but rather to construction sites where these materials will effectively be used. Right now, every one of these stores has to hire transport to go and look for materials at stores nearest the manufacturer, but these are further away from the final client.
Does the minister understand that every transport cost that MICONS is saving, will have to come out of the population’s pocket, or from other institutions transporting these materials to their final destination, and so there is no such saving, and fuel prices will probably go up? Does Diaz-Canel understand this?
The bureaucratic mindset is innate to Castrismo. While it allows this to exist, it also stops it from advancing, and is an unsolvable contradiction within every totalitarian system.
Even with all of the minister’s “great” anti-inflation strategies, Cuban state-led stores are still empty, and a sack of cement (if you can find it) doesn’t sell for less than 1200 pesos on the illicit market, one piece of rebar exceeds 800 pesos and a wooden door with frame and security lock sells for 17,500 pesos. A door costs more than three months of a surgeon’s hard work.
The number of repairs apartments built by the Revolution need is outrageous. They are new-builds, yes, but as long as the “lucky” owner steps foot in them, they need to start being repaired, they are like trees that are born bent.
But, while high-ranking Communist bureaucrats can be called dim, nobody can every doubt their good intentions… They are so kind that they sacrifice themselves and live in bourgeois neighborhoods such as Siboney, Atabey, Kholy or Miramar. None of them live in a building built by MICONS. They leave these for the general population, with all of their love.