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A Cuba-Venezuela agreement to build houses in Venezuela was modified last October, which forced the Venezuelan Ministry of Housing and Habitat to accelerate purchase of machinery and equipment to fulfill this special program.

Purchase of equipment is provided for under an emergency decree issued in March, according to which the body in charge of the so-called Axis Plan, the Urban Development Fund (Fondur) will be allowed to make direct purchases, without bidding.

Last April, the Venezuelan Ministry of Housing and Habitat and the Cuban Ministry of Construction initialed an agreement the purposes of which was construction of 5,700 houses in Petare-Guarenas axis (north-east Caracas) and other 800 houses in Caracas-La Guaira axis (south Caracas). However, last October 13th, this pact was modified.

The original investment of USD 231 million was cut to USD 104.9 million, as a portion (USD 126 million) was earmarked for Cuban-supported healthcare program Barrio Adentro. Further, a provision was incorporated with a view "to purchase heavy-duty machinery and equipment allowing materialization of housing developments."

On October 26th, Fondur board of liquidation began steps to purchase equipment and authorized purchase of a plot of land of 39,815 square meters at USD 558,139 "for preservation and custody of the equipment to be used in housing developments." Fondur okayed the purchase of equipment for USD 32.9 million, which funds come from the National Development Fund, which in turn is fed by Venezuelan excess oil revenues.

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