Cuba: The Revolution’s Forgotten

In the busy streets of Central Havana, it is increasingly common to see homeless people selling objects collected in the garbage. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, 26 January 2022 — With threadbare and dirty clothes, grubby and smelly, a woman was rummaging through the garbage this Wednesday in a dumpster on Neptuno street at the corner of Infanta, in Central Havana. She is not the only destitute person in the place, where by day and by night, slow figures prowl, dragging their feet, in search of alms or crumbs.

Some of them sleep in a doorway in front of the Carlos III veterinary clinic, others outside the church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen. “No one does anything for them, they should pick them up and take them to a home or health institution where they can be seen to,” says the person in charge of cleaning the portal of the church, who says that the beggars relieve themselves right there. “Every day in the morning, what I have to clean up is a lot of urine and excrement,” he laments.

At the same time, the man feels sorry, especially these days, when meteorologists announce a marked drop in the temperatures starting on January 29: “What are they going to cover themselves with?”

It is increasingly common to see beggars sleeping on a sidewalk or on a park bench, selling objects collected in the garbage on the busy streets of Central Havana, or cleaning windshields at traffic lights and begging for alms.

For more than 60 years, the Cuban regime has boasted that “the Revolution leaves no one defenseless.” These citizens, cut off from society due to alcoholism, mental illness or extreme poverty, are victims of the indifference of the authorities.


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