Public Protest in Punta Brava Over the Lack of Water / Silvio Benítez Márquez

Punta Brava, Havana, 11 January 2011

In the afternoon on January 6 a group of residents on Avenue 249 between 46the and 48th in the Havana province town of Punta Brava engaged in a spontaneous public protest in front of their houses, with buckets, tanks and various containers, against the prolonged lack of water in their homes.

This coupled with the degree of laziness and cynicism of the local authorities, leads to an atmosphere of anxiety and instability in the neighborhood. The limits of blind obedience had been exceeded. The angry neighbors had gone 17 days without the precious liquid filling the pipes to their homes. To add to the helplessness, from December 31 these families were deprived of water service with no alternative of where to get it, said one of the neighbors.

“Nobody gives us a detailed explanation, not the Executive nor the Chairman of the People’s Council, no one knows for sure what the reason is for our being without water, and the days pass and the problem becomes more and more chaotic. And if you talk too much about the subject you fire up the restless boys of State Security (DG2) who are on the hunt for their victims wherever they like, to the point of ideologically challenging a group of residents who, at the end of the year, were humming the lyrics of a popular song. In reality, this is not a situation we can put up with,” said Norma, one of those affected.

The news of the protest was so noteworthy that it flew from mouth to mouth through the whole community of Punta Brava, reaching the ears of the incompetent delegates who, at dawn the next day, sent a water truck to the protest site in order to calm the excited mood of the residents of Avenue 249.

*Promoter of the Project of Neighborhood Voices.

Avenue 249, # 4614 between 46 y 48 Punta Brava, Havana.

Cell phone: 052541300

January 13 2011