Sandy “The Matador” / Rebeca Monzo

The dreaded Sandy arrived on our shores after having caused severe damage in Jamaica and Haiti. In her strong and organized path she left a trail of destruction and desolation in many eastern provinces, the most affected being Santiago de Cuba. After seeing the dreadful images of the damage caused, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the majority of the affected homes are in very precarious conditions, that many of them would have easily succumbed to a strong gust of wind. Some were simply turned into piles of rubble. Many roofs, ripped off of buildings, revealed their poor condition and fragility, the result of a decades-long history of neglect.

For the vast majority of the population it is almost impossible to maintain their homes, much less prepare for a climatic event of this type, principally because articles of hardware are sold in convertible currency and at very high prices. I also believe that I am not mistaken when I say that almost no one was able to protect his house in time because he did not have access to items needed to do so, such as hammers, nails, wooden stakes, plywood, candles, etc. Such items can only be purchased in hard-currency stores, and rarely with the other currency, which many people refer to as “throw-away pesos.”

The damage has been actually incalculable, the loss of human lives irreparable. Now, the only thing that remains to learn is the bitter lesson and to see the way that those of us who fortunately didn’t experience damage can share what we have with this part of our suffering population. For that the alternative blogosphere has provided homes for receiving help. In these we sort, pack up, and label the articles received, with the goal of facilitating their subsequent distribution. The help, logically, we extend in coordination with the church, being the most trustworthy and safe route.

From my point of view, Hurricane Sandy, has been with regards to Santiago, “The Matador,” — The Killer — who has come to give the final mortal blow to a bull already greatly injured by stabs and thrusts, received during these gray decades.

October 31 2012