Arches of Defeat / Yoani Sánchez

Chunks of concrete, fragments of roads leading nowhere, bridges that don’t link to any shore. Monuments to urban paralysis located along the national highway, unfinished structures that dream of feeling the weight of trucks and motorcycles. People crowd under these unfinished overpasses waiting for transport to take them to some other side, taking advantage of the shade from these arches of defeat, these enormous structures that serve only as umbrellas, the most expensive in the world. With railings that have never felt the warmth of a hand, the unfinished bridges in my country make a face and stick out their tongues, reminding us of the atrophy of our urban development, our ramshackle roads.

Whenever I pass under their deteriorated masses I wonder: What good are these truncated roads without cars? What is the reason for being of these incomplete giants that go nowhere? Were they built when the plan was to fill this Island with highways, like a living backbone branching out in all directions? Several decades later, they are still disconnected from the traffic network, accessible only from above, ironic hosts to vultures and lizards warming themselves on their columns. Monoliths to the immobility of people who, instead of new highways, arterials, roundabouts and avenues, have seen their truncated bridges deteriorate and begin to crack without ever having felt the rolling of a tire.