Round-up of “Indigents” Begins Prior to CELAC Summit / Pablo Pascual Méndez Piña

One of the old "camel" buses in Cuba.

One of the old “camel” buses in Cuba.

Given that there are only a few days left before the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is going to be held in Havana, as is usual in these cases, they are rounding up the indigents.

The sites where the largest concentrations of homeless people spend the night in the capital are in the areas near the waiting room of the interprovincial bus terminal, located on the Avenida del Puerto, opposite La Coubre pier (formerly the Calvary pier), and behind the segment of the wall at Egido and Leonor Pérez Streets, adjacent to the main railway terminal.

Luis Alberto Blanco, 49, a resident of Henequén Viejo neighborhood, in the municipality of Mariel in Artemisa province, said that from the beginning of the year they had an orientation for the municipal Communist Party for the appropriate agencies for the “evacuation” of the destitute before 28 January, given that it is expected that the leaders participating in the summit area with visit the port development zone that the Government is building on the bay.

According to testimony from the victims themselves, for the nights they are forced to board a bus known as “The Colony,” a nickname derived from the name of the property to which they are transferred, located in the municipality of Boyeros, 15 kilometers south of the capital.

They say that is they resist the transfer, the repressors turn off the lights in the bus and beat them.

The bus is identifiable by body structure, similar to the old “camels” that circulated during the so-called Special Period, although a little smaller.

“The Colony is the terror of the homeless,” said one of the victims in an interview months ago.

The Summit of CELAC’s, an organization currently chair by Raúl Castro, will be held on 28 and 29 January.