Requiem for Havana / Fernando Damaso

Fernando Damaso, 19 March 2019 — That Havana is falling apart stopped being news a long time ago. The institutional abandonment, the widespread apathy and irresponsibility, during the six decades that the city has been affected by the “tornado” that hit down in January 1959, have totally destroyed it.

In November will be Havana’s 500th anniversary of its foundation and, for this reason, the authorities have foreseen to beautify it a little, that is, to give it some rouge, so that it looks a little better and is somewhat more presentable, at least for the foreign guests who will surely attend the celebration.

As usual, this involves many more words than actions and, everywhere, the date is announced with the slogan “For Havana the Greatest.”

However, the work that is being done, except in a few cases, is quite sloppy, of low quality and over it by those responsible. Examples of bad work can be seen on Línea Calle in Havana’s El Vedado neighborhood, full of cuts that hinder vehicular and pedestrian traffic, which has been going on for months and, most of the time, without anyone working on it.

Meanwhile, in Nuevo Vedado’s Acapulco Park they have demolished some of its areas, rebuilt and demolished then again, thanks to the bad quality of the work undertaken, also for months. If this is the case in these two examples, I think that very little can be done for the celebration.

We all know that, a situation that represents the deterioration accumulated over decades can not be solved in a few months, but, at least, what is done should be done with quality.