Cuba admits popular dissatisfaction with housing policy

June 8th, 2008 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Havana, June 8 (IANS) The Cuban government has admitted “a high level of dissatisfaction” exists among the public over its failure on the housing policy, EFE news agency reported Sunday quoting the Communist Party daily Granma. “Despite all that has been done, given the needs that have accumulated, there remains a high level of dissatisfaction among the people,” the daily quoted Vice President Carlos Lage as telling a meeting of government and municipal officials.

According to Lage, popular discontent is due to the slow pace of construction, the lack of response for critical social cases and the moving of state construction brigades to “other less important tasks.”

The Raul Castro government in February announced the construction of 50,000 new homes in 2008, compared with the almost 70,000 programmed for 2007 and the 150,000 promised by the authorities for the period between September 2005 and December 2006.

Since taking over earlier this year from his ailing older brother Fidel, 77-year-old Raul Castro has acknowledged that the Cuban society is confronted with problems like insufficient wages and spoke of the need for serious economic reform.

His government has relaxed the restrictions on Cuban people like authorizing the sale of consumer goods such as computers, mobile phones and DVD players and launched an agriculture policy to overhaul Cuban farm sector.

But he also has made it clear that the reforms would be carried out within the framework and under the political power of the Communist Party of Cuba.

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