Friday, September 29, 2006

Transport Fair opens in Cuba

Thursday September 28, 02:32 AM

Transport Fair opens in Cuba

HAVANA (AFX) - Cuba's International Transport Fair opened Wednesday with
the goal of improving the island's ailing transport sector with the
purchase of buses from Belarus and China and a new railroad deal with
Venezuela, state-run media reported.
Representatives from 40 countries have exhibitions at the event, which
runs through Saturday. Venezuela, China and Russia rented out entire
pavilions, and Iran is attending for the first time, according to
Transportation Minister Carlos Manuel Pazo.
Pazo told the government's business weekly Opciones that the event will
try to ease transportation woes on the island but warned Cubans not to
have 'false hopes.'
Cuba's internal transport system steadily deteriorated after the
crushing economic crisis of the early to mid-1990s caused by the
collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba's longtime backer. Cubans often spend
hours waiting for buses that never come, or are already full when they
The government stepped up recovery efforts early last year, importing 80
buses from China. It also repaired some 60 locomotives and 1,800 railway
cars for transport across the island.
The transportation minister said Cuba will sign an agreement with
Venezuela this week to form a joint-enterprise company to deal with
railway development. A plan to purchase 100 buses from Belarus will also
be announced, he said.
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