Initially the Trust will operate by supporting active Cuban based projects, links have been formed with Swiss based Trusts which have carried out projects over many years and have staff resident in Cuba. The following approaches have been agreed:
Office of the City Historian, Havana (OHCH)
For a typical project the OHCH or its subsidiaries will provide all scaffolding, labour construction skills and locally produced products and materials. The effects of the US trade embargo are to restrict credit flow and greatly increase the cost of imported manufactured items and skills, the currency contribution from the Trust will be used to fund imports.
Swiss charities have successfully completed several projects with the OHCH and have experienced staff resident in Cuba to inspect their projects. The Trust plans to use such experienced staff where possible in addition to inspections by Trust directors.
Ministry of Culture, the Republic of Cuba
The Foreign Liaison representative of the Ministry has visited Edinburgh to see restored cultural projects around the city. The quality of reconstruction work and the incorporation of modern requirements such as wheelchair access and modern lighting into traditional buildings were studied. On a more general level the concept of the creative economy was explored to see how Cuban cities could expand their cultural festivals. Essential to this strategy is a wide range of well located and equipped halls and places of assembly.
The Ministry has a staff of design and construction professionals and acknowledge that in some areas they lack necessary expertise. The Ministry owns and manages many of Cuba’s historic cultural and educational buildings, many of which are at risk.