14ymedio, Miguel García, Havana, 15 January 2024 — Not even the Cuban military are saved from the mountains of garbage that are seen everywhere on the Island. The neighborhoods of Villanueva 2 and Villanueva 3, in the city of Holguín, where hundreds of workers of the Ministry of the Interior reside, is about to be swallowed up by the mountains of waste that accumulate around it. Despite the fact that a few days ago the Comunales [Communal Services] company collected part of the waste, the accumulated volume is such that it would take several days of work and countless trucks to clean it up completely.
Bags flying in the wind, several vehicle beds full of waste and a rotten smell that floods the air is the panorama facing the neighbors in the morning when they leave their homes. “You can’t even have the windows open because the flies get everywhere,” complained a resident in the area, located behind the Pedro del Toro Polyclinic of the Pueblo Nuevo People’s Council. “This started as a little bit of garbage but now it already occupies the space of several buildings.”
The nearby buildings, most of them five floors erected by residents, are of recent construction, and in them, in addition to members of the Ministry of the Interior, live some doctors and people from Holguin who lost their homes during the passage of Hurricane Ike in 2008 and had to wait more than ten years for a new home. “This is a very politically integrated neighborhood, and people are fuming because we have been abandoned,” a neighbor explained to 14ymedio.
“When we moved here, this was supposed to be a neighborhood that was going to have special attention but everything has deteriorated,” claims the holguinera. A few meters from the garbage dump, the facilities of an organoponic nursery languish due to the lack of supplies and the absence of personnel interested in working there due to the low salary.
In March 2021, a report on official television boasted of the resurgence of the organoponics system in the province. The report attributed the revival to the new economic measures, which allowed wages to go above 2,000 pesos and, in addition, the division of profits resulting from the sale of products. In the images disseminated there was no shortage of lettuce, radishes and chives, all freshly grown and available to customers.
Two years later, an entourage led by Ernesto Santiesteban Velázquez, first secretary of the Communist Party in Holguín, visited the surroundings of Villa Nueva 3 where an organoponic nursery was built that would be baptized with the optimistic name of “New Dawn.” The official inspected the areas for the cultivation of vegetables and fruits.
However, this January, instead of the promised cucumbers and kidney beans, the most common product on the lands adjacent to Villa Nueva 2 and 3 was garbage. The harvest of filth is the only one that seems to grow stronger and over-fulfill the plans for this neighborhood.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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