SOS from Rita and Bola / Laritza Diversent

How neglected and abandoned! In Guanabacoa, the houses where masters of Cuban art and music, Rita Montaner and Bola de Nieve, were born are about to fall down.

Neighbours from this area in La Habana have told to Rafael Egües Velázquez, from the Web of Community Communicators, who could not take photos because State Security confiscated his camera.

Magalys Loza Rodríguez showed Egües the state in of the house where she lives and in which Rita Montaner came into the world in 1900, on Cruz Verde number 18, between Amargura Street and Duarte Street, Guanabacoa.

“The household is shored up, the roof is in danger of falling in. I wrote to the City Historian Eusebio Leal and he has not had courtesy to send someone to evaluate the damage. Even though this house is our National Heritage.”

“No one at the Ministry of Culture is interested. Nor is anyone at the Assembly of Peoples Power. And I am not going to waste my time proposing it. It seems to be a lie that they will pay attention to the site where one of the glories of the Cuban culture was born. They’re waiting for it to collapse and then they’ll whine about it later.”

For her part, Odalis Fonseca Jiménez, went to the ombudsman to confirm the heavy damage to her abode in which Bola de Nieve was born in 1911, in Máximo Gómez Street number 101 between Enrique Valenzuela Street and Quintín Banderas Street, Guanacabacoa.

“It is in danger of collapse and nobody in the town office has paid it the attention it deserves. Ten months ago I wrote to Eusebio leal and he has not responded to me. The town historian wanted to put a plaque on the house and I refused. The architects from the district have presented themselves, warning me it is not habitable and proposing I go to a shelter, I’ve also refused that.”

“They should give materials to repair the house little by little Office of the City Historian should undertake the restoration, because Bola de Nieve meant a lot to the music and culture of this country.”

Via this blog, we send out SOS to all Cuban artists and musicians, living outside or inside Cuba, to save the two houses and turn them into the museums Rita and Bola deserve.

Iván García, Laritza Diversent and Tania Quintero

Translated by Ivana Recmanova

Originally posted: January 7 2011