Saturday, December 17, 2011

In Cuba Property Thaw, New Hope For A Decayed Icon

In Cuba Property Thaw, New Hope For A Decayed Icon

HAVANA -- Along Havana's northern coastline, storms that roll down from
the north send waves crashing against the concrete seawall, drenching
vintage cars and kids playing games of chicken with the salty spray.

Fisherman toss their lines into the warm waters, shirtless men play
dominoes on card tables, and throngs of young people gather on weekend
nights to laugh, flirt and sip cheap rum.

This is the achingly beautiful and most instantly recognizable part of
Havana's cityscape: the Malecon seafront boulevard, with its curlicue
lampposts and pastel buildings rising into an azure sky.

Just about anywhere else in the world, it would be a playground for the
wealthy, diners in four-star restaurants and tourists willing to spend
hundreds of dollars a night for a million-dollar view.

But along the Malecon, many buildings are dank, labyrinthine tenements
bursting beyond capacity, plagued by mold and reeking of backed-up sewer
drains. Paint peels away from plaster, and the saline air rusts iron
bars to dust. Some buildings have collapsed entirely, their propped-up
facades testimony to a more dignified architectural era.

Now, for the first time since the 1959 revolution, a new law that
permits the sale of real estate has transformed these buildings into
extremely valuable properties. Another new law that allows more people
to go into business for themselves has entrepreneurs setting up shop and
talking up the future. And a multimillion-dollar revitalization project
is marching down the street improving lighting, sidewalks and drainage.

The year has seen some remarkable first steps toward a new Cuban
economic model, including the sacrificing of a number of Marxism's
sacred cows. The state is still firmly in control of all key sectors,
from energy and manufacturing to health care and education, but
increasingly people are allowed to engage in a small measure of private
enterprise. Officials say the changes are irreversible, and this is the
last chance to save the economy.

Yet Cubans will tell you that change comes slowly on the island. Strict
controls on foreign investment and property ownership mean there's
precious little money to bankroll a capitalist revival. Even some
Malecon denizens who embrace the reforms see a long haul ahead.

"It's not that I see the future as black, more like I'm seeing a little
spark from someone 3 kilometers away who lit a match," said Jose Luis
Leal Ordonez, the proprietor of a modest snack shop."But it's a match,
not a lantern."

Leal's block, the first one along the promenade, has offered a front row
seat to five decades of Cuba under Fidel Castro. The residents of
Malecon 1 to 33 have watched the powerful forces of revolution play out
beneath their balconies, and today they're bracing for yet another act
as Castro's younger brother Raul turns a half-century of Communist dogma
on its ear.


Given that Cuba's national identity has been inextricably bound up with
its powerful neighbor 150 kilometers (90 miles) to the north, it is
perhaps fitting that the Malecon is the legacy of a "Yanqui."

The year was 1900 and the country was under U.S. control following the
Spanish-American War. Governor General Leonard Wood, who commanded the
Rough Riders during the war with friend Teddy Roosevelt as his No. 2,
launched a public works program to clean up unsanitary conditions and
stimulate the economy. A key element was the Malecon.

At that time Havana ended about a block from the sea, separated from the
waves by craggy rock. Raw sewage seeped into the bay nearby, so
fishermen and bathers avoided this part of the waterfront. Only later
would high-rise hotels and casinos spring up to make the Malecon a
world-famous tourism draw.

For those early American occupiers, "The idea was to create a maritime
drive so the city, which until now had its back to the sea, would begin
to face the ocean," said architect Abel Esquivel. Since 1994, he has
been working with the City Historian's office to restore the crumbling

As the boulevard and promenade took shape, buildings sprang up on this
block. One of the first was a three-story boarding house for singles and
childless couples who occupied 12 apartments.

Today those have been subdivided horizontally and vertically, again and
again, to take advantage of every last inch of space, and some 70
families live crammed into every nook and cranny.

Leal runs his cafeteria in the home where he was born 46 years ago, at
the dark crux of an interior passageway. It caters mostly to neighbors
and goes unnoticed by tourists on the sun-drenched walk outside.

A lifelong supporter of the revolution, Leal is grateful for the
opportunity to live rent-free and earn two master's degrees on the
state's dime. Still, after years of frustration working for
dysfunctional government bureacracies, he quit his state job. He opened
his snack shop May 1, and already it brings more income than before,
enough even for his daughter's upcoming "quinceanera," her coming-of-age
15th birthday party.

He is one of the people on this block who is buying into Castro's
entrepreneurial challenge.

Another is Omar Torres, who operates a private restaurant known as a
"paladar" on a second-story terrace with sea and skyline views. He
praised the government for lifting a ban on the serving of lobster and
steak and allowing him to more than quadruple the number of diners he
can seat.

Downstairs, an artist runs an independent gallery selling paintings of
"Che" Guevara and cityscapes to tourists. Although he doesn't own the
house, he's so confident in the future that he's using the income to
remodel his rental.

Elsewhere folks are letting out rooms to travelers, and newly licensed
street vendors are now legally peddling peanuts in tightly wrapped paper

"Cubans dream of truly feeling like masters of their own destiny, for
the state not to interfere in personal matters," Leal said. "Until now
the state told you that you couldn't even sell your home."


From its early days, the Malecon was a place to see and be seen, to
celebrate a success, drown a sorrow or woo a sweetheart. By the 1920s it
was a favorite strip for middle-class Cubans who motored up and down to
show off their vehicles.

Havana developed without a strong central plan or dominant core, and the
Malecon became one of its most important communal spaces, said historian
Daniel Rodriguez, a Cuban-American researcher at New York University.

"I think the closest thing Havana has to an urban center is this long
seawall," Rodriguez said. "It's a long, ribbony main square."

Today the concrete promenade stretches 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the
harbor to the Almendares River, the last section completed in 1958 under
strongman Fulgencio Batista.

Those were heady times, when the city's nightclubs pulsed with a mambo
beat and mafia casinos on the Malecon drew planeloads of American
tourists. But their days were numbered.

The following January, the young rebel Fidel Castro marched triumphantly
into Havana and in short order began seizing mansions and apartment
buildings and redistributing them to the poor, triggering a tectonic
shift in housing as well as the rest of the economy and society.

Castro declared private real estate incompatible with the revolution's
ideals. "For the bourgeoisie," he said, things like "country, society,
liberty, family and humanity have always been tied to a single concept:
private property."


In a country where everyone is guaranteed a place to live, millions are
jammed into dilapidated, multigenerational homes. The government is
landlord to vast ranks of tenants who pay nothing or a nominal rent of
around $2 a month. Sapped of any sense of ownership, some cannibalized
the old buildings, ripping out wood, cinderblocks and decorative tiles
to use or sell. That, combined with the punishing climate, has stifled
upkeep and hastened decay in the buildings on the Malecon.

One of them, the Hotel Surf, was a beauty when Griselia Valdes arrived
here as an 18-year-old newlywed in 1963. The entryway was tiled in pink
and black with white benches and a restaurant on the ground floor. The
rooms even had air-conditioning.

The glass bricks that lined the front wall are long gone, demolished by
big storms. A drainpipe dumps over a spider web of electrical wires
hanging at eye level in a passageway, while rainwater filters through
the walls and spills into the lobby. The elevator was taken out years
ago, but with the motor left rusting at the top of the shaft, people
fear it could come crashing down any day.

"Mostly it is us who have abused the building with the subdivisions,
with the banging and the crashing," Valdes said. "From neglecting it,
from indolence."

Jan Ochoa Barzaga, who lives in the hotel's basement, is pessimistic
about how much Raul Castro's reforms can change things. The factory
worker finds it very frustrating that his girlfriend, like many others
in Cuba, received a free university education from a generous
government, but is languishing in a low-paid job.

Ochoa Barzaga tried to make the sea passage off the island in 2009, but
was caught and returned home. If he had another opportunity to leave, he
wouldn't think long.

"If they opened it up again," said the 32-year-old. "I'd be out of here."


The Malecon continued to serve as center-stage throughout Fidel Castro's
rule, with the military conducting war games along the seawall during
the 1960s after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. In 2000 a flag-waving
Castro personally led marches along the seawall to demand Cuban raft-boy
Elian Gonzalez's return from the United States.

Four years earlier, with Cuba buckling under a severe economic crisis
following the collapse of the Soviet Union, thousands marched through
the streets with makeshift plywood and inner-tube rafts and set off from
the Malecon in a desperate gamble to reach Florida. Many failed.

On Aug. 5 of that year, riotous protests erupted on the boulevard and
surrounding streets that were likely the biggest challenge to Castro
since he took power. Amid looting and dozens of arrests, Castro
addressed the crowd from atop a military vehicle.

"We were witnesses to all that," said Torres, the private restaurant
owner, who saw the multitudes from his balcony. "You began to reconsider
the meaning that Fidel has for Cubans, because in a moment of chaos and
uncertainty, his presence was something else. Even the rioters began
shouting, 'Fidel! Fidel!'"

That image of a robust, charismatic father figure faded when illness
forced him from power five years ago.

The future is left to Raul, who at 80, is five years younger than his
brother. He has dropped one bombshell after another with his economic
reforms. None caused more of a stir than the measure legalizing the real
estate market.

There's no sign of an imminent gold rush along this block of the
Malecon, or anywhere else. Few individuals hold title to these homes;
most rent from the government. Meanwhile the new law contains
protections against individual accumulation of property or wealth, and
officials insist this is no wholesale embrace of capitalism.

"All these changes, necessary to update the economic model, aim to
preserve socialism, strengthen it and make it truly irrevocable," Raul
Castro said in December 2010.

There's also the question of money: Cuba has only a tiny middle class
with the kind of coin to not only buy a seafront home but afford the
maintenance needed to keep the corrosive air at bay. The new law bars
anyone not a permanent resident from buying property, including exiles
who still imagine a day when they might return.

For Jorge Sanguinetty, who grew up a few blocks from the Malecon and was
an economist for central planning under Fidel Castro before fleeing in
1967, the history of the seawalk is personal.

"I was like Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn. I used to go fishing there, walking
through the rocks. We could see the salt from the waves on our windows
during the storms," Sanguinetty recalled, saying he still dreams about
it more than 40 years later. "You have to see a sunset (on the) Malecon.
They are absolutely sensational."

Sanguinetty, founder of the international development group DevTech
Systems, is writing a book about potential redevelopment in Cuba and has
followed the issue closely over the years. He said the same forces that
caused the Malecon's decay also added to its charm.

"The stagnation of Havana had this unintended consequence: Even though
many things have fallen apart and are no longer salvageable, Havana will
remain very desirable because uncontrolled development didn't take
place," he said by phone from his office in Miami. "So there are many
jewels there architecturally, and the Malecon is one of the most
beautiful jewels in the crown."


When it comes to the Malecon, the City Historian's Office wields
near-total control. A largely autonomous institution, it collects
undisclosed millions of dollars each year from the hotels and tourist
restaurants it runs in restored buildings, and plows a big chunk of that
back into rehabilitating more. The office recently said it has more than
180 projects, on top of the hundreds already completed.

The result has been an architectural rebirth that's on display in the
gleaming Spanish-American cultural center, a rescued former tenement
next door to Leal's building. A few doors away is a near-total rehab
with brand-new apartments upstairs from a state-run restaurant, a
mixed-use model that could be repeated.

There are also reminders that money is tight. Residents here remember
how in the early 2000s, at the site of the collapsed Hotel Miramar, a
fancy hotel from 1902 where tuxedoed waiters once attended to a
fashionable clientele, Fidel Castro and Chinese President Jiang Zemin
laid the cornerstone for a $24 million hotel to be built with help from

Construction mysteriously froze after just a few weeks. Today, bricks
form a single uncompleted first story and a faded artistic rendering
tacked to a fence depicts the glassy, hyper-modern structure that never
got built.

Despite the decay and unfulfilled hopes, the residents say they live in
a magical place that creates a sense of community that doesn't exist
even one block inland.

"I'm right on what we call the balcony of the city," said Leal, the
cafeteria owner. "For me there's no place more sacred than where I live."


Associated Press writer Laura Wides-Munoz in Miami contributed to this

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Happens in Cuba When Your House Caves In

What Happens in Cuba When Your House Caves In
December 15, 2011
Yusimi Rodriguez

Irina Pino.

HAVANA TIMES, Dec 15 — This past November 11, part of the house
collapsed where the family of 46-year-old Irina Pino lived. But this is
not the typical story of a Cuban house that collapses because the
construction is too old and has not been repaired for many years.

Irina Pino: The downstairs neighbors started fixing up their unit,
making repairs. Out on the front porch they removed the cornice of a
load-bearing column. First the ceiling started to crack, but then there
was this tremendous crash – the balcony and two out of the three
bedrooms of our apartment just caved in.

HT: Was the downstairs unit damaged too?

Irina: The porch had some damage, but that was all; their place is OK.

HT: You said that your house was built between 1919 and 1920, which
means it's nearly a century old. What condition was it in?

Iriana's Parent's House

Irina: It hadn't been repaired in a long while. Out front, a very large
bay tree covers the entire front of the house, which is why there was
always so much moisture on the balcony. But if the neighbors hadn't
started all that hammering, nothing would have happened.

HT: How can you be so sure that it wouldn't have collapsed when you say
it was built around 1920 and that it hadn't been maintained for many years?

Irina: That's what the architect who made the report said. Perhaps, it
would have had problems at some point in time, but much later. What just
happened was because of the hammering by the neighbors. The load-bearing
column was what held up the whole façade.

HT: So the downstairs residents should compensate you.

Irina: Of course, but lawsuits don't work here. What's more, these
people have a child who's mentally disabled, in addition to being
physically handicapped. They are a social services case. They don't own
any property, not a car, nothing that could be used to offset the
damage. We could file a claim, I suppose, but we wouldn't get anything
out of it.

Though Irina was born in this house, located in Vedado, she has not
lived there since she married. Now she lives in Miramar with her husband
and her twelve-year-old son. Her parents, her sister and her brother in
law are the ones who now live in the Vedado house.

But a little more than one year ago, Irina's mother fractured her hip
and the father suffered a stroke. Moreover, they can't be separated.
They've been married for more than sixty years. Since then, they both
have been living with Irina, in Miramar, but they hope to move back to
their Vedado house.

Irina: I haven't said anything about what happened to the house because
they're too old. My mother is 80 and my father is 82. My fear is that
all of this might upset them too much and affect their health.

Reinforcement struts have been put up throughout the interior of Irina's
house. The reality is there is no assurance that the house will be
habitable when the final building assessment report is issued after the
demolition work.

HT: What solution are you pursuing for your sister and her husband?
Where are they staying now?

Irina: They're looking for a lawyer, to see if this can be solved as a
housing case, because if my parents decide to return, there's only one
room in the house – if it even turns out to be habitable. There's not
space for all four people. But that's something that's going to take a
long time. And if they have to move into a shelter…who knows. I have a
friend who spent ten years in a one, after which time they finally
assigned her an apartment. During those ten years, she was miserable,
because shelters are not good places to live.

HT: How have your sister and her husband taken all of this?

Irina: My sister has taken it very badly. She's always had a nervous
condition, so it only worsened when the collapse occurred. The noise was
thunderous, almost staggering. We had to admit her into the hospital.
Now she's like a nomad, moving from one place to another. A person in
her condition should own their home. They're the ones getting the worst
end of all of this.

HT: Where are they staying? I suppose they are not staying at the
damaged home?

Irina: Sometimes they do stay there… but they come and go. They can't
stay there all the time because it's dangerous. Sometimes they stay over
at the husband's family's place, which is tiny and also in poor
condition with a lot of people living there.

HT: What struck me is that in the midst of all this, you had the
composure to take photos of the disaster.

Irina: I saw that everybody passing by was taking pictures. It became a
kind of tourist attraction with people taking photographs, filming. So I
decided to take pictures because that was the house where I was born.

People passing by wondered why I took so many pictures, and I told them
that it was my home. They were shocked; they were amazed at how calmly I
was taking all of this. It has indeed affected me, but not outwardly.
I'm not going around crying about it all the time, like some people who
don't even live there but spend their time whining about it and
wondering what will happen.

People know of the hardships that follow the loss of a home. Irina is
not alien to that reality, but she tries to take it with optimism and

Irina: I hope there's some solution to all of this. My parents won't
wind up homeless. They are with me, at least. That's what concerns me
most. A house is a house, it doesn't last forever. Everything has its
birth and its death. Nothing is forever and neither are we.

Days after Irina told me this part of the story: the demolition work of
the house was completed. The house, in which Irina was born is not
habitable anymore. The furniture had to be taken to her house in
Miramar, because she feared people would steal them.

Two doors had already been stolen. Even the workers carrying out the
demolition works were stealing things. She had to tell her parents that
their house in Vedado was being repaired. She doesn't know when and how
she will tell them the truth.

Her sister and her brother-in-law have been left only with the option of
going to a shelter. But there is no capacity for more people in the
place. The sister has been at the hospital for twenty days now.

Cuando se cae la casa en Cuba

Cuando se cae la casa en Cuba
diciembre 15, 2011
Yusimi Rodríguez

HAVANA TIMES, 15 dic — El pasado 11 de noviembre, parte de la casa natal
de Irina Pino, de 46 años de edad, se derrumbó. Pero este no es el
típico caso de una vivienda cubana que se derrumba por el mal estado de
la construcción y los años sin recibir mantenimiento.

Irina Pino: Los vecinos de los bajos empezaron a hacer arreglos dentro
de su casa. En el portal, quitaron un capitel de la columna de carga.
Primero cayó un cernido del techo, y luego ocurrió el gran derrumbe. Se
cayó el balcón y dos de los tres cuartos que tenía el apartamento.

HT: ¿La casa de esos vecinos también se dañó?

Irina: El techo del portal se dañó un poco, la casa está intacta.

HT: Me dijiste que tu casa fue construida entre 1919 y 1920, o sea,
tiene casi un siglo de existencia. ¿En qué condiciones se encontraba?

Irina: No había sido reparada en mucho tiempo. Delante, hay un árbol muy
grande de laurel que cubría todo el frente de la casa y por tanto había
mucha humedad en el balcón. Pero si los vecinos no se hubieran puesto a
dar golpes, no habría sucedido nada.

HT: ¿Cómo puedes estar tan segura de eso cuando hablamos de una
construcción de 1920, aproximadamente, que además no había sido reparada
en mucho tiempo?

Irina: Fue lo que dijo la arquitecta que hizo el dictamen. Tal vez,
habría tenido problemas en algún momento, mucho más adelante. Pero lo
que sucedió ahora, fue a causa de los golpes que dieron los vecinos. La
columna de carga era lo que sostenía toda esa fachada.

HT: Entonces, los vecinos de los bajos deberían indemnizarlos a ustedes.

Irina: Por supuesto, pero aquí las demandas no funcionan. Además, estas
personas tienen un hijo con retraso mental, y además inválido. Son un
caso social. No poseen bienes, un carro, nada con qué responder a la
demanda. Podríamos hacer la demanda, supongo, pero no sacaríamos nada.

Aunque Irina nació en esta casa, ubicada en el Vedado, no ha vivido aquí
desde que se casó. Vive ahora en Miramar con su esposo y su hijo de doce
años. En esta casa vivían ahora sus padres, su hermana y el esposo.

Pero hace poco más de un año, la madre de Irina se fracturó la cadera y
el padre sufrió una isquemia. Además, no pueden estar separados. Han
estado casados por más de sesenta años. Desde entonces, ambos han vivido
con ella en Miramar, pero tienen la aspiración de regresar a su casa.

Irina: No les he contado lo que sucedió con su casa porque son muy
mayores. Ella tiene ochenta años y él, ochenta y dos. Tengo miedo de que
el disgusto perjudique su salud.

En estos momentos, el interior de la casa está totalmente apuntalado. No
se sabe si será habitable cuando termine la demolición.

HT: ¿Qué solución están buscando tu hermana y su esposo?

Irina: Están buscando un abogado, para ver si se puede resolver una
vivienda. Si mis padres deciden regresar, la casa solo tendrá un cuarto,
si finalmente es habitable. No habrá espacio para cuatro personas. Pero
eso es algo que también demora mucho. Y si tienen que ir para un
albergue… Tengo una amiga que estuvo diez años en un uno, al cabo de ese
tiempo le dieron, por fin, un apartamento. Durante esos diez años vivió
mal, porque los albergues no están en buenas condiciones para vivir.

HT: ¿Cómo lo han tomado tu hermana y su esposo?

Irina: Mi hermana lo ha tomado muy mal. Es una persona enferma de los
nervios. Cuando ocurrió el derrumbe, empeoró. El estruendo fue muy
fuerte, algo impresionante. Hubo que ingresarla. Ahora está como una
nómada, de un lugar a otro. Una persona en la condición de ella debe
tener su casa. Ellos son los que peor la están pasando.

HT: ¿Dónde se están quedando? Supongo que no continúan en la casa.

Irina: A veces duermen allí, pero vienen y van. No pueden quedarse todo
el tiempo, porque es peligroso. A veces se quedan en un cuarto de la
casa de la familia de él. Es una casa pequeña donde viven varias
personas. El cuarto tampoco está en buenas condiciones.

HT: Me llama la atención que en medio de todo esto, tuviste la sangre
fría de tomar fotos del desastre.

Irina: Vi que todo el que pasaba, tomaba fotos. Aquello se convirtió en
una especie de zona turística, la gente fotografiaba, filmaba. Entonces,
yo también decidí tomar fotos porque esa fue la casa donde nací.

La gente que pasaba me preguntaba por qué tomaba tantas fotos y les
decía que esa era mi casa. Se quedaban impactados, les asombraba la
tranquilidad con que lo tomé. Me ha afectado, pero no lo exteriorizo ni
estoy lamentándome todo el tiempo, como personas que ni siquiera vivían
allí y se pasan el tiempo lamentando, preguntándose qué va a pasar.

La gente sabe todas las penurias que siguen a la pérdida de una casa.
Irina no está ajena a la realidad, pero intenta asumirla con optimismo y

Irina: Espero que haya una solución. Por lo menos, mis padres están
conmigo, tienen un techo. Es lo que más me preocupa. La casa es una
casa, no es para siempre. Todo tiene su nacimiento y su muerte. Nada es
para siempre y nosotros tampoco.

Días después de conversar con Irina, terminó la demolición de su casa
natal. La declararon inhabitable. Hubo que trasladar los muebles para su
casa, por miedo a que se los robaran. Ya se habían llevado dos puertas.
Los propios trabajadores de la demolición estaban sustrayendo cosas. A
sus padres, tuvo que decirles que la casa la estaban reparando. No sabe
cuándo, ni cómo les contará la verdad.

A su hermana y al esposo solo les ha quedado la opción de ir a un
albergue. Pero a la vez, en el lugar no hay capacidad para más personas.
La hermana continúa ingresada, ya lleva veinte días en el hospital.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Amenazan con desalojar a coordinador de OMNI Zona Franca y su familia

Amenazan con desalojar a coordinador de OMNI Zona Franca y su familia
Martes, Diciembre 13, 2011 | Por Laritza Diversent

LA HABANA, Cuba, 13 de diciembre (Laritza Diversent, )
-La Dirección Municipal de la Vivienda de Habana del Este dio un
ultimatum al coordinador del Proyecto OMNI Zona Franca, Amaury Pacheco
del Monte, para que abandone la casa que ocupa con su esposa y seis
hijos menores, cuyas edades oscilan entre los 12 años y 2 meses de vida.

El pasado 5 de diciembre, la referida autoridad, por medio de resolución
administrativa, declaró a la familia "ocupantes ilegales", supuesto que
les permite extraerlos del inmueble con auxilio de la policía, sin la
obligación de reubicarlos.

Pacheco del Monte, de 42 años, hace tres meses ocupó ilegalmente un
apartamento desocupado, de un edificio de la Zona 9 de Alamar, en esta
capital. Anteriormente vivía hacinado y en precarias condiciones, junto
a los familiares de su esposa.

No obstante, en el nuevo local, viven sin agua y electricidad. La vecina
de los altos se niega abrir la llave de paso que abastecería el inmueble
con el líquido, hasta que alguna autoridad se pronuncie. Amaury expresó
a esta reportera que no pretende convertirse en propietario. Solicita
que el Estado le arriende el local para vivir dignamente con su familia.

La Ley General de la Vivienda establece que la decisión administrativa
no puede ser recurrible en la vía administrativa ni en la judicial. No
obstante, el Instituto Nacional de la Vivienda, en el Reglamento
complementario de esta ley, prevé la posibilidad de asignar el inmueble
en arrendamiento al núcleo familiar declarado ocupante ilegal.

Pacheco del Monte fue citado por funcionarios de la Dirección Municipal
de la Vivienda, donde se le notificó la decisión. En la entrevista
estuvieron presentes dos agentes de la Seguridad del Estado. Omni Zona
Franca es un proyecto cultural alternativo marginado por el gobierno
cubano, por su forma peculiar de hacer música, poesía, audiovisuales y
el arte en general.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Presidenta y vigilante del CDR se resisten a desalojo

Presidenta y vigilante del CDR se resisten a desalojo
Lunes, Diciembre 12, 2011 | Por Ana Aguililla Saladrigas

LA HABANA, Cuba, 12 de diciembre (Ana Aguililla, Cambio Debate/ ) -El pasado día 3, funcionarios del gobierno y la
Dirección Municipal de la Vivienda, se personaron en la casa de Vivian
Domínguez Rodríguez, en la calle Flores, entre Serafín y Tamarindo, en
el barrio habanero del Cerro, con intenciones de desalojar a la familia.

Según Maritza Castro Martínez, fuente de esta información, Vivian
Domínguez Rodríguez fabricó esta casa en un terreno que colinda con la
vivienda de su madre, Gloria Rodríguez, el cual dice haber heredado.
Sin embargo los funcionarios gubernamentales aseguran que la parcela es
propiedad del Estado y por ello pretenden desalojar a los que consideran
ocupantes ilegales.

Tanto Vivian, como su madre Gloria, son reconocidas revolucionarias,
encargadas, respectivamente, de las tareas de vigilancia y presidencia
del Comité de Defensa de la Revolución en su cuadra. En la casa
también reside Efraín Guerra, esposo de Vivian Domínguez, un ex
trabajador de Seguridad del Estado.

La familia se resistió a ser desalojada y hasta los dos hijos menores
del matrimonio se amarraron dentro del domicilio sumándose a la
resistencia, mientras los vecinos observaban el espontáneo acto de
desobediencia civil de esta familia fervientemente revolucionaria. El
desalojo de la familia fue pospuesto.