Government Reponse to an “Occupier” / Cuban Law Association

Amaury, Iris and 5 of their (now) 6 children. FotosCubaHoy

By Yaremis Flores.

On Tuesday, March 6, Iris Ruiz, wife of the Omni-Zona Franca cultural project coordinator Amaury Pacheco, received the response of local government of Alamar, a neighborhood located in Havana del Este, which confirms their status as an illegal occupier and warns her to “leave the premises of her own will.”

Iris, her husband, and their 6 children under 12, were living in appalling conditions and so, 4 months ago, took over an apartment in Building E-83, Zone 9 of Alamar, that is “Cuban state-owned” according to Rita Hernandez Batista , President of the Government of the municipality.

Iris Ruiz knew from the neighbors that the officials of the Municipal Housing Office (DMV) of Habana del Este, showed the apartment to prospective buyers when such a procedure was not yet authorized because there was no paperwork, which left the apartment in legal limbo. “This ‘property of the State’” allowed them to destroy her plans and the sale was illegal. However it is Iris whom they recommended to “mediate on the consequences of your improper proceeding.”

Iris confesses to feeling punished by the State institutions for having so many children. “On one occasion the Director of the DMV questions me about having so many,” she said. She said this contradicts the concern that the birthrate has fallen from 12.18 in 2004 to 9.99 in 2011 (births per 1,000 people), which is exacerbating the aging of the population.

Although the birth rate depends largely on the level of fertility, in our country a decisive factor in the decision to have children is the economic instability and the homelessness, causal determinants for various forms of birth control.

According to Rita Hernandez, Iris’s family “is not a ‘social case’ and its remaining in the building contributes to the worsening health status of children.”

Iris thinks the possibility of their being “extracted” (by force) from the property, along with their 6 children, is high. “Maybe after the Pope’s visit and taking advantage that my husband is traveling abroad.” But the president of the Government of Alamar said in response: “In our society no one is left to die, especially children.”

25 April 2012