Thursday, March 27, 2008

Promises, promises

This will come as no surprise to those of us who follow Cuban affairs but I thought I'd share the news with you regardless.

You may or may not recall that back in 2005 Fidel Castro made another one of his (many) grandiose promises – the same type of grandiose promises he has been making to his 11 million subjects for the past half century. Most of which inevitably failed to become reality.

This time around, the ageing dictator promised that the regime would build 150,000 new homes during 2005 and 100,000 new homes in subsequent years.

That’s 100,000 new homes built every year by the State until the well-documented housing "crisis" on the island was finally solved, a "crisis" that incidentally, has lasted for at least four decades, which must be a record of sorts.

Well, the dictator's stated target was met in 2005, which is as you'd expect. At least according to the regime’s own statistics, which are always inflated.
And the target was met again in 2006.

But guess what? The 100,000 target was not met last year when only 52,600 new homes were built. And there is news today in the official media that the number of new homes expected to be built in 2008 will be only 50,000 – half of Castro's promised total.

And just so you don't get your hopes too high, the Communist Party apparatchik who heads the National Housing Institute, Victor Ramirez, told reporters that this new, more modest target would be met only "if conditions are right".


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