Two Days in Havana Without Washing Up or Eating Anything Hot

The almácigo tree (bursera simaruba) at the entrance to the parking lot of our building that did not withstand the winds of Hurricane Ian has been lying there since Tuesday. (Yoani Sanchez)

14ymedio bigger 14ymedio, Yoani Sánchez, Havana, 29 September 2022 — Soon we will complete 48 hours without electricity in our neighborhood. The problem is not only the lack of power, but also that this area has many tall buildings and the water tanks — normally filled with pumped water — in people’s apartments have already been emptied. Carrying the water up the stairs 10, 12, 14 or 18 floors is very difficult, especially for the elderly.

The few food reserves that people had been able to store are also gone and I know families with convalescent elderly people who have not been able to wash or eat something hot for several hours. Meanwhile, the hum of the Ministry of Agriculture’s generator floods the neighborhood and one wonders why an entity that can’t even make Cuban fields produce food needs an electric plant to provide us with fruits, tubers and vegetables at a price in line with wages.

A friend has called me to ask if the freely convertible currency markets will auction off merchandise that needs refrigeration before it spoils, or if they will deliver free food to those families who have been left with an empty refrigerator, or the food spoiled by heat. I think my friend is watching a lot of foreign documentaries.


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