The Mysterious Work at Paseo Avenue

A large house in Vedado is remodeled at a speed that generates suspicion among the neighbors. (14y medio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Marcelo Hernandez, Havana, 10 January 2019 – In the midst of the critical housing situation in the country, where there is a deficit of close to one million homes, a pharaonic work of remodeling has been undertaken in Havana in a little over a month in a building in El Vedado that for years belonged to the Ministry of the Interior and whose destiny is unknown.

The block between Paseo Avenue and A Street and bounded by 11th and 13th streets has been fenced in. In the garden of the house trees have been cut and gigantic scaffolding erected. An army of bricklayers, plumbers and electricians undertake the total remodeling of the building while the crews of the electric company bury underground the installations for the lights that will surround the facility.

The streets and sidewalks have been converted into huge excavations where the telephone company and the gas and water suppliers seem to have agreed to have everything ready in record time. Near the construction site, the parked equipment features all types of machinery, those that right now are lacking in the construction of residential buildings and in the repair of the streets.

In several spots on the perimeter fence there are warnings that restrict passage and prohibit the taking of photographs.

When the workers are asked what will be the result of so much effort, they shrug their shoulders and put on the «I can’t say it» face. Is it true that a five-star hotel is being built here? The man looks over his shoulder before murmuring: «No, I heard that they are going to put a museum dedicated to honoring the memory of Fidel Castro» and with a voice almost inaudible, he adds: «With the need for one…»

Translated by Wilfredo Díaz Echevarria

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