Cuban Family Shares its House with the Rubble of a Building Collapse

A month ago, the roof of one of the rooms in their home fell on them. (Courtesy)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 28 July 2020 — Doing things well in Cuba is not just a matter of willpower. Daniel Llera’s family has been living with a mountain of rubble for more than a month in the garden of their house, on Calle 114 in Marianao, due to the lack of diligence of the local authorities. Since the roof of one of the rooms in their house fell on them in June, they have not been able to find a legal solution to get rid of the rubble.

“When the Comunales* director came, he explained to me that I couldn’t get a trash bin because this was a busy road. He told me that I had to find a person who would authorize it,” Daniel’s mother, Raiza Llera, tells 14ymedio, who also lives in the affected house.

“On several occasions I have spoken with the mayor’s advisor, and the last thing he has told me is that the director of Housing has to come, but I do not know what Housing has to do with this,” she laments.

She also asked the municipal section of the Party for an appointment with the secretary, but did not find a solution there either. “We are at the same point as we were a month ago when the director of Comunales came and the rubble is still at my house and without any response from the Marianao government,” regrets Raiza Llera, who has had her garden full of rubble since June 20.

The rubble remains lying in the garden without any way to remove it. (Courtesy)

The woman explains that when part of the house collapsed, the local People’s Power gave her a very quick response: “They were very correct, they immediately sent a technician, who issued an opinion, and the next day they put us on a Housing List to receive a subsidy.” However, she is surprised and angry that they have not given her an answer about the container she requested. “In my block there is a colleague who is a civil servant and three times a week they placed a trash bin in front of her house when she was making repairs. Why is it so difficult for me to put one out there?”

It is “a very old house” that needs repair, explains Daniel. “That moment when a room collapses you feel desolate and more, because my grandmother also lives here. If I put the rubble on the street, they will fine me, and if I throw it away in the wrong place they will do the same.”

“I have been in this situation for a month or so and they have not given me any answer. The only thing the director of Comunales suggested was to knock down the wall and take the rubble out onto the street, a very crazy and pointless thing,” he explains.

In the absence of a response from the authorities, Raiza Llera turned to Facebook to point out that “the laws in Cuba are for everyone equally.” Daniel, meanwhile, regrets that it is “impossible to carry out the procedures as the law dictates” and hopes that by making this complaint the “superior” authorities will find out about the situation and help him solve the problem, so that he does not have to resort to illegal methods.

*Translator’s note: Servicios Comunales is the state entity responsible for trash collection and other public services.


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