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Re: [CubaNews] access to purchasing construction materials by Cuba

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  • Walter Lippmann
    Please forgive my delayed response to Emile s query. It s my recollection that Cuba may purchase agricultural commodities on the same
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2012
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      Please forgive my delayed response to Emile's query.

      It's my recollection that Cuba may purchase agricultural
      commodities on the same "cash-in-advance-of-delivery"
      basis as it buys chickens, tomato paste and sour orange
      sauce (a condiment, especially good when cooking pork)
      from US companies.

      Some years ago I attended the annual trade fair here and
      found, along with the US Rice Council and assorted other
      food producers, a company trying to market construction-
      grade lumber here because wood is an agricultural product,
      of course. I don't know if they scored any contracts that
      year or since, but I don't imagine such regulations have
      changed. Wood is also good for telephone and electrical
      poles, many of which were blown away by Hurricane Sandy.

      Someone should research this and I'll try to find out if
      any lumber/wood companies are participating here in the
      trade fair.

      One very exciting and positive outcome in the aftermath
      of Hurrcane Sandy is how well the Petrocasas performed.
      There's a GRANMA story about that will go out shortly.

      Walter Lippmanna
      Havana, Cub
      =========================================================
      To all:

      Following up on the idea of demanding no restrictions on purchasing construction
      materials by Cuba, my question is do any of you know about what these
      restrictions might actually be? Since I haven't heard otherwise, I assume that
      Cuba can not buy construction materials in the United States at all, right? This
      must be costing them money and delays, big time.

      Also, could the federal government waive this under some clause of the
      Helms-Burton, Toricelli and Trading with the Enemy laws? If so, this should be
      a MAJOR DEMAND by the Cuba solidarity movement right now.

      I was somewhat alarmed to read that materials containing asbestos are being
      distributed for repair purposes. This is potentially a major health hazard, but
      maybe the Cubans don't have access to anything else. I have great confidence in
      the Cuban public health system, of course, and don't know the details.

      The asbestos thing is a long story, but where it currently is is that the
      Russian asbestos industry, which I think is now privatized, has organized a
      major international "chrysotile asbestos is safe" campaign. Evidently they have
      won over a number of countries to this point of view. But chrysotile asbestos is
      NOT safe. In its mining, in its use in manufacturing or in situations in which
      asbestos containing items are damaged or cut into. The fibers in chrysotile
      asbestos are longer than those in other forms of asbestos, but they, too, can
      break down and create major health hazards, especially if some inexperienced
      person cuts into them with a saw. So if Cuba could access other types of
      construction materials, it could have public and occupational health benefits
      too.


      =========================================
      WALTER LIPPMANN
      Havana, Cuba
      Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/
      "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"
      =========================================
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