The Government seeks ‘alliances with foreign companies’

El Gobierno buscar 'alianzas con empresas extranjeras'

HAVANA, Sept. 7. The Government of Havana has created VelaHabana S.A, a commercial company whose objectives are to create alliances with foreign companies.As reported this Tuesday by the state newspaper Tribuna de La Habana, the company is financed “with 100% Cuban capital” and it is “the first of its kind” in the government of the capital.

This new company has as “shareholders” four other companies in the name of Cuban officials: Yanelis Lazara Fresneda Bueno (Havana Provincial Lodging Company), Abdelin González Mesa (Provincial Food Industry Company), Blanca Nieves Toymil Figueredo (Provincial Optical Services) and Yusimy Maceo Yero (Provincial Company of Local Industries).

Present at the act of establishing VelaHabana were Luis Torres Iribar, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), and first secretary of the PCC in Havana; Yanet Hernández Pérez, member of the central committee of the PCC and governor of the capital. Also part of the guests were, among others, Luis Carlos Góngora Domínguez, director of foreign trade, cooperation and international relations of the Government of Havana.

Góngora was in charge of reading out the goals that the company has within its “social purpose” and assured that VelaHabana “is the dream of a new era” in the work of the Government of the capital.

“It is an adaptation to the problems and opportunities of this different moment that the country is experiencing, it is the need to seek alliances with foreign companies, new opportunities to develop basic services to our population with greater efficiency, it is the door to a business world unknown to us, but full of possibilities,” he added.

For Góngora, this new company “is also light in the midst of darkness” and a “hope to work for a better managed city, for a smarter city, for a city that absorbs the best experiences of the modern business world.” In his words, he also mentioned the issue of “managing” waste in Havana.

In the comments of the article published in Tribuna de La Habana, netizens dedicate various criticisms to this particular issue: “And who does Communal Services merge with, who does it join, who or who can be claimed on the filthy streets, dirty, etc.?

The user who made that comment illustrates the mismanagement in garbage collection with a critical situation on Nápoles Fajardo Street, corner of Cisneros, in the La Esperanza neighborhood, of the Párraga council, in the Arroyo Naranjo municipality.

The Internet user explains that in that area they have not collected garbage for 25 days: “We return to the same thing, this seems to be out of anger, one day someone says that all organizations have to support the collection of waste because they all generate waste and first days everything is fine but after a week no one does it”.

A reader of the newspaper who identifies herself as Paloma wrote: “I am concerned about the situation of lack of hygiene in the capital and I do not see sustained action to solve it.

Today is a day that the neighbors near the corner of 52 and 33, in Playa, are closed tightly. The flies and the bad smell of the giant garbage can is unbearable.

The same happens with the corner of 50 and 35, right where the store and the place where they sell bread are. It really is unbearable, it is urgent to do something now.”

Another group of comments wonders about what will be the source of financing for this new company and what is its corporate purpose. On this subject, Internet user Ángel Mendoza affirms: “I really do not understand or better not imagine the functions of this Public Limited Company, and why it has to be anonymous.”

For its part, the company limits itself to saying, through the mouth of Góngora, that VelaHabana has among its objectives “to act as a shareholder in the constitution of mixed companies and commercial companies” between companies subordinate to the Provincial and municipal governments and other foreign companies that are interested in “promoting the conduct of businesses that contribute to the economic and social development of the province and municipalities, thus providing a solution to deficit situations faced by the territories”.

It is also one of the company’s objectives to “provide advisory and consultancy services for the arrangement of business with foreign capital” to companies subordinate to the Provincial Government of People’s Power of Havana, during any stage of the process.

VelaHabana will also serve as an “exporter to local producers, whether state or non-state”, and as an “importer to government entities and other non-state actors in the territory.”

Currently, in Cuba, some 8,000 MSMEs operate, which the regime has wanted to offer as an opening to private property, when it comes to entities controlled to a large extent by people close to the Government, or companies is.