Every Corner in Havana Where Buildings Collapse Becomes a Garbage Dump

The corner of Belascoaín and San Miguel, in Centro Habana, which suffered a partial collapse two years ago where a Community Services worker lost his life. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 9 May 2022 — A stench spreads through the streets of Havana.

It is not only around the Saratoga hotel, destroyed by Friday’s explosion, whose rubble still covers more than a dozen bodies.

A few blocks away, in Centro Habana, the corners become makeshift garbage dumps, filling the environment with an odor that permeates clothing and skin.

One of them is around the corner from the Hermanos Ameijeiras hospital, where a construction container, overflowing with material, is now used to throw bags and bags of garbage into it, some of them full of rotten food.

But perhaps the most impressive is the one located on the corner of San Miguel and Belascoaín, an abandoned corner since the building partially collapsed on 18 July 2020.

There are no flowers or cleaning to honor the memory of the Community Services worker who died there that day as a result of the collapse, instead there is a mountain of garbage that no one seems to care about for decades.

Improvised garbage dump around the corner from the Hermanos Ameijeiras hospital, in Centro Habana. (14ymedio)

The building, one of the tallest in that area, is still in oblivion, as it has been for the last forty years. Already in the 1980s, passers-by avoided passing near it, with several collapsed balconies and its broken façade with cracks, and stepped off the sidewalk on that stretch of street.

Now, the danger of a new collapse is joined by the unbearable effluvia of waste.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.