Cuban president Raul Castro criticized the attitudes of national and provincial leaders who he said “lacked the moral courage to admit their shortcomings”. The remarks follow on an article from the official newspaper Granma referred to the still non concluded rehabilitation of Santiago de Cuba’s aqueduct, which Raul Castro said reveals “the lack of planning to carry out effective work that is every Cuban’s duty to the community and the revolution”.
The Cuban president recalled that the lack of quality and compromise of various officials delayed the construction of the important public work which has a great impact and benefit for the people of Santiago de Cuba helping the city to be “the first in solving the water supply issue”.
“Radical changes in work methods of the designers, suppliers and builders are needed in order to impregnate the working masses with fighting spirit and sense of urgency in solving problems”, he added, which can only be attained -he stressed- when each and every one of us is capable of strictly fulfilling our duty”.
According to Granma, Raul Castro after reading the article on the delayed aqueduct included a postscript to express his disagreement with certain approaches, and he asked for the omission of the names of the national and provincial leaders interviewed, except for those of Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés and Inés Chapman, given that the majority indicated the errors that exist, “but were not self-critical, even though they are the ones responsible for those shortcomings in the implementation of the Santiago de Cuba aqueduct project”.
I reiterate the criticism of the Santiago de Cuba province Administrative Council for the lack of foresight in carrying out the effective work as in the project. If they had fulfilled that obligation, they would have been able to prevent the delays and lack of quality that have strained that project, added Raul Casto.
Government cadres at all levels and the construction companies are familiar -he continued- with the letter that I sent to Army Corps General Julio Casas Regueiro on July 15, 1999 (within a few days it will have been eleven years), in which I said:
Reflecting on the shortcomings of our investment process, I have come to the conclusion that methods and styles of work must radically change on the part of investors, developers, builders, and suppliers. We have become accustomed to being 'experts' in holding meetings and assemblies, shouting slogans, making promises to complete projects as a 'salute' to historic dates, which are almost never met, and the few times they are, it has been to the detriment of quality”
He emphasized that there is abundance of examples all over the country and the builders know that better than anybody else. Personally, I have always thought this is pure, meaningless fanfare. In the end, we become used to living with lies, regrets, and looking for explanations for the continuous postponements of the dates agreed upon in contracts, instead of instilling in our cadres and in the working masses a spirit of combat and a sense of urgency in solving problems, which can only be attained when each and every one of us are able to strictly fulfil our duty.
However the Cuban president praises the people of Santiago de Cuba for their cooperation and support in the project's implementation, and “their contribution has been outstanding”.
Similarly with the press: ”recognition also goes out to the Santiago journalist José Antonio Torres, for his consistency in following this project”.
Finally Raul Castro said he considered this to be the spirit that should characterize the Party's press in its reporting: “to be transparent, critical and self-critical, because that is the way that we can extract the only useful lesson that a sincere analysis of errors has: to learn from experience. If not, we will continue to hide them and repeat them over and over, as has been the case”.