Premeditated Eviction / Luis Felipe Rojas

Photo/Luis Felipe Rojas

His name is Rubisner Utria Gomez, he resided in La Cuarteria neighborhood of San German, in the province of Holguin. On the 8th of July he was evicted from his workers’ housing which he occupied along with two other families, due to the overcrowding and precariousness with which he previously lived. When, on that Sunday, a special operation from the Ministry of the Interior and State Security arrived to kick him out of the place, they first dropped by my house to detain me so that I wouldn’t inform the outside media about the imminent eviction. Thank God, I had left my house the night before, apparently guided by pure instinct. If I hadn’t, I would have ended up in one of the dungeons of the thousand demons.

That Sunday, they evicted him and took him, his wife, and their youngest daughter three kilometers outside of San German, to a place known as the “Rabbit Hole,” an uninhabited farm where they once raised these furry creatures, but which is now completely abandoned. But upon arriving there, not even the soldiers had the courage to drop them off in those roofed cages.

They immediately took them towards some huts which serve as summer resting spots for distinguished sugar plantation workers. A few days later they moved them again to a half of a rented house, “until we build you a room in a run down building”, he says they have told him. Two weeks have passed and they still have not even marked his land and he and his family are under strict vigilance.

Fifteen days later I was informed of more bad news, which was expected. Rubisner Utria Gomez, the night guard of the “Urbano Noris” Sugar Plantation, was fired from his Security and Protection position. His crime was to become a non-comformist, like those Spaniards which they put on Cuban television each night, as a slap in the face to capitalism. The only difference is that in the case of Rubisner no one supported him, except for some relatives and opponents of the regime. The latter, the dissidents, were classified as opportunists and manipulators.

Rubisner Utria Gomez has a small daughter who suffers from congenital brain problems and he has spent all of his money in tending to her and taking her from place to place whenever her convulsions kick in. He has spent his entire “socialist worker” salary on this, like he told a local police official who is known for his coarseness and violent treatment of detainees.

Now he must embark on an infinite journey between citizen processing offices, writing letters to the Central Government of the nation, and complaints on all sides. It is an ordeal that doesn’t know the hope without which one crosses oneself and prays to God for another Cuban family thrown into the inferno.

August 4 2011