A City Invaded / Fernando Dámaso

Sign: Prohibited to throw garbage here

Fernando Damaso, 26 February 2017 — The lack of hygiene has taken over the city: poorly maintained and filthy streets and sidewalks, garbage everywhere, nauseating streams of sewage, grimy floors and walls in state establishments, widespread environmental contamination, and even dead animals rotting in squares and courtyards, in full sun under the laziness of passersby and the authorities.

Today’s Havana has no resemblance to the Havana of the Republic: it has lost all the cleanliness and hygiene that characterized it, the pride of the people of Havana and the admiration of those who visited it.

The authorities can blame numerous factors, but the key one has been their inability to organize and operate an effective cleaning system. Faced with chaos and prolonged inefficiency, social discipline was lost and today everyone contributes, with their citizen irresponsibility, to make the so-called “capital of all Cubans” dirtier, which is not the case in other cities and towns in the country, where the sense of belonging to the place where you were born has not been lost.

Unfortunately for Havana, the majority of those born here, the original Havanans, abandoned it, and their place was occupied by emigrants from other provinces, without any affectionate bond with it, becoming a city invaded, with all the evils that such a situation entails. In Havana they did and do what in their places of origin they did not nor would they dare to do.

The Havana of “dudes,” “bros,” “homies,” “uncles and aunties,” “chicks,” “moms,” “pals,” and others in that vein, is not my city.

 Translated by Jim