14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 13 January 2020 — Although it is less than two months since the reopening of the Cuatro Caminos market, it has already suffered two temporary closures. This Saturday, the establishment reopened completely after five days with the food area closed.
The state corporation Cimex confirmed to this newspaper that the market suffered breakdowns that made it difficult to provide services, so on January 6, a partial closure was carried out to perform “maintenance work, troubleshooting, refueling and inventory.”
In a note spread through its main communication channels, Cimex had already explained that the main actions of the maintenance process were in the areas of freezing and refrigeration and that, in addition to polishing floors, the entrance door had to be repaired by Arroyo Street, plus other electrical arrangements.
A neighbor of the central market, which has a private cafe in front of its entrance, confirmed to this newspaper that “it was only five days that that part of the food market was closed” and it “never” closed completely.
However, little has been noted of the alleged resupply promised by Cimex.
Walking this Saturday through some of the departments, with their polished, bright and spacious corridors, resembled walking through a museum of modern art.
“I do not know why so money was spent on this super-space. Look at some of the agricultural products right now, there are only cabbages, tomatoes, pineapples, pumpkins and papayas,” said an employee of that section to 14ymedio.
To enter the mall you had to wait in line for at least 25 or 30 minutes, all to not find on the shelves the products you wanted, such as butter, chicken breasts, and eggs. The cleaning and household tools department also exhibited great poverty in its supplies.
“Inside the market is a shame. I have sometimes seen the empty windows, or the same product repeated to infinity. Today there is not a quarter of everything that the leaders of the country showed proudly on television on the day of its reopening for the [celebration of] Havana’s 500 years,” another neighbor of the property told this newspaper.
Around the market there is a large police presence and a large number of surveillance cameras. In each building entrance you can see between two and four officers controlling the passage of customers, who let in ten at a time to prevent a large number of people from entering in the same period of time.
The installation, reopened on November 16 after years of total repair, closed its doors on the same day of its official opening due to the incidents that occurred as a result of the crowds. Several unfortunate incidents were baptized by Internet users in social networks such as the Battle of Cuatro Caminos, and the situation caused great economic losses and managers were forced to decide to close their doors to repair the damage caused.
Presented before the national television cameras as a modern market and the high point so far of this century, the space ultimately proved unable to escape the same problems that any other store in the country is experiencing.
Recently, during some rains in the capital, images of floods that partially affected the market circulated on Facebook. A neighbor who also saw his house under water last week summed up the situation: “Many invested in the building but the surrounding infrastructure is still the same.”
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