Dispute Over the Satellite Dish Market in Havana Ends With a Murder

Young Andy Rencurrel was 30 years old. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana , 15 February 2022 — Another murder behind the backs of the official media happened in Havana. This time, it is Andy Rencurrel, 30, stabbed last Friday in the Luyanó neighborhood of the Diez de Octubre municipality.

According to the neighbors, the young man was dedicated to installing the cables for the service of illegal satellite dishes, very frequent in the Cuban capital and used to watch foreign channels. In the same area, Rencurrel “competed” with two other individuals, who on February 11 grabbed the young man in the street and “stabbed him” in the back.

“One of the stab wounds hit him in the lung and killed him,” a friend of the victim told 14ymedio, while avoiding giving details about the attackers’ motives, although other sources also point to the possibility of an assault to to take away his belongings which ended in homicide. Rencurrel was an only child and his mother works at the H. Upmann tobacco factory.

The event occurred on Calle Justicia, between Rodríguez and Pérez. “The boy ran two blocks and fell dead and they fled,” says a witness to the events who saw Rencurrel trying to get away and walk a few meters towards the Miguel Enríquez Hospital (La Benéfica).

The two alleged aggressors have already been arrested and are under investigation at the Luyanó police station, according to residents of the area. Although the events occurred in the municipality of Diez de Octubre, Rencurrel lived in Los Sitios, Centro Habana.

The homicide occurred just three days after the stabbing of Malcolm Álvarez Espinosa, at the doors of his house in Centro Habana, for “a debt” that, according to close friends told this newspaper, Malcolm’s brother had with the aggressors.

Illegal satellite dishes have been a widespread source of news and audiovisual consumption for more than two decades in the Cuban capital. As a general rule, the owner of the antenna and the set-top box installs cables to several nearby houses and charges a monthly fee to customers who connect their television to the device.

The price ranges between 250 and 500 Cuban pesos per month, depending on the number of channels and the autonomy that each client has to configure the programming they want to see. Although the police make frequent raids to detect the satellite dishes and coaxial cables that carry the service, the “antenna business” has never been dismantled.

Hidden inside a false water tank, behind a clothesline placed to cover the device and with cables that run inside water pipes, under the asphalt of the streets or from balcony to balcony, the signal from these satellite dishes weaves a very extensive network in municipalities such as Centro Habana, Cerro, Diez de Octubre and Old Havana.

In these areas, it is common for residents not to consume the official television schedule and for young people to have grown up watching US channels such as Telemundo 51, América TeVé, ESPN and Univision.


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