Dozens of Police Patrols Roam Havana but the Buses Don’t Appear

A group of people in the Cuban capital struggling to try to get on a bus this August 16, 2021. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Natalia López Moya, Havana, 16 August 2021– “There is fuel for the patrol cars, but not for public transport,” a woman shouted indignantly. Like like dozens of other Havanans, she was waiting for a bus at the Ayestarán and 19 de Mayo under the suffocating August sun.

The capital woke up with serious problems in public transport. Delays on several routes, crowds of people at stops, struggles and arguments to get on the buses, are the most common scenes at the beginning of each day.

After an hour, the bus arrived and was surrounded by dozens of people who forgot about Covid-19. Others, seeing the huge crowds, decided to continue waiting in the shade of a tree, in the doorways of several houses or under the roof of the bus stop.

“There were many of us waiting to board, but there was a tremendous fight to get into the bus,” another woman said to a man who arrived shortly after the uproar and asked who was the last in line.

“People in the street are losing their fear of speaking,” said a young man who was also waiting on the central corner, near the Plaza de la Revolución, after listening to the woman who complained about the regime giving priority attention and resources to police patrols.

Like her, thousands of Cubans wonder the same thing, after seeing the repression that the Government has unleashed against the protesters of the July 11 demonstrations. The authorities took advantage of the days after the demonstrations to display their military and police vehicle fleet.

Since that date, they have militarized several cities, making constant tours of the neighborhoods and mobilizing in caravans in the main squares and streets. They use trucks, patrol cars, minibuses, sometimes accompanied by a deployment of the motorcycle police that makes the presence of the forces of order more visible.

On the other hand, State Security and the Police keep activists, opponents, artists and independent journalists under siege, always watched by a patro car to prevent them from leaving their homes.

On the other hand, the country has few ambulances in the Healthcare system and many of those that are still in operation are in poor condition, to the point that they have had to go to the private sector to transport Covid-19 patients. In the province of Guantánamo, they had to use two Etecsa (phone company) vans and two cargo trucks to transport corpses. while in Holguín they have hired several horse-drawn carriages to transport positive patients.

This Monday, according to the report of the Ministry of Public Health, the capital reported 1,072 new cases of Covid-19, and remains among the provinces that register the most infections, only surpassed by Pinar del Río (1,412) and followed by Cienfuegos (1,044).


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