August 25, 1999


FROM CUBA

Water Diverted from City for Hotel

Reinaldo Cosano Allén

HAVANA, August 23 - The water from wells supplying drinking water to the city of Morón, in northern Ciego de Ávila province, is being diverted to be used in the swimming pools of a tourism industry training facility nearby.

It was not immediately clear how much of Morón's water came from the affected wells, which had been shared by the city and a teacher training school. That school is being converted to a hotel where hospitality industry workers will be trained for Cuba's burgeoning tourism industry, the country's primary earner of hard currency.

The new hotel's management stated that the government bills them for the water in hard currency and that they cannot afford the additional cost of the town's water.

The hotel, to be managed by Formatur, occupies two four-story buildings erected fifteen years ago as a teacher training school. According to the Teachers' Association of Morón, the school trained teachers for the northern zone of the province.

A Havana resident who asked not to be identified, commented that the "José Martí Pioneer City," a multimillion dollar camp for 20 thousand children, east of Havana, also made way recently for tourist villas as the country scrambles for hard currency.

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