14ymedio, Havana, 12 November 2021 — Residents in the former Latin American Solidarity School of Las Guásimas, Havana, protested this Friday over the poor conditions of the premises and the lack of food. The families, relocated to the building converted into a shelter to house those who had lived in buildings that collapsed in Old Havana and Central Havana, complained with their children about not having milk or food.
“They are very poor people who, in the past, have already starred in some protests and who today placed their children holding hands outside the building complaining that they have no milk or food,” the independent journalist Amarilis Cortina explained to 14ymedio; Cortina lives in Managua, near Las Guásimas.
Some 60 families live in the three-story building, including more than 20 children, and they now inhabit what were previously the classrooms and common areas of the school, located in the Arroyo Naranjo municipality. Poor conditions at the site have sparked similar protests in the past due to problems with the water supply problems and leaks in the roof.
The families share the bathrooms that are for collective use and in the past they have reported hygienic problems that caused illnesses in the children, such as scabies and asthma, due to the dirt in the premises and excess humidity. This Friday’s protest takes place three days before the Civic March, called for November 15 by the Archipelago platform, which has caused nervousness among the forces of order.
Sources close to the capital’s Government told 14ymedio that several troops were sent to the area as soon as the protest was made public. “Being aware that people took to the streets in Managua, it seems that they anticipate it [in allusion to the Civic March],” was the message that was received at a command post of the Ministry of Public Health.
“They told my dad, who is off work today, to be aware because in the event of a riot, he has to go take care of his workplace,” a young man from Havana tells this newspaper. The state employee was informed a few minutes after the protest that was taking place in Las Guásimas became known.
Several parents with children who study at the Adolfo del Castillo elementary school, in nearby Managua, confirmed that the students are summoned to an act of revolutionary reaffirmation at three in the afternoon today in response to the protest this morning.
“My child came home for lunch and told me that he had to go back to school, although he had been told before that he had the afternoon off,” explains a mother from the area. “No one can be absent because they announced that it is necessary to give ’a forceful answer to the ungrateful and the counterrevolutionaries’, but I am not going to let him go.”
Arroyo Naranjo was one of the municipalities of the capital where the population, on July 11, threw themselves into the streets with great force shouting for freedom and down with the dictatorship. Among the neighborhoods that demonstrated that day is the La Lira cast , as evidenced by several videos posted on social networks. It was in La Güinera that Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, the only deceased recognized by the ruling party so far during those days, was killed by police shots.
The protest on Monday, July 12, in La Güinera, one of the most depressed areas of the capital, was also broadcast in several videos through social networks, despite the fact that the Government kept the internet connection cut off for several days.
Last April, a group of mothers held a protest with which they prevented traffic on a street in the Trébol district, in the Havana municipality of Boyeros. For more than two hours, the protesters complained about the poor conditions of the shelter where they live.
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