14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 6 March 2023 — The outer wall of an old building on Calle Zapata, between calles Infanta and Basarrate, is just one of countless structures in the capital which is threatening to collapse. Each day local residents nervously check on its dangerous angle of inclination.
“Does anyone think that these old wooden poles they’ve put up are going to keep this wall standing upright?”, murmured a passer-by this morning. “It’s tremendously irresponsible. They should just demolish it as soon as possible”, a bread vendor replied. “In Monte a wall just like this one collapsed and killed a colleague of mine”.
Zapata, which starts in the middle of Calle Infanta, is a mainly circulatory route, and although some while ago the line/queue outside the H. Upmann store disappeared on this street, there are still cars and pedestrians travelling through here daily, unaware of the danger.
Several years ago, the now disappeared Pyramids Kiosk stood on this spot, where they sold goods in CUC (convertible pesos) before the Tarea Ordenamiento* law came into force.
Today all that remains is this troubling facade, which seems certain to cause an accident. It’s yet another one in a city whose buildings keep falling down without the authorities doing anything about it.
*Translator’s note: The “Ordering Task” [Tarea Ordenamiento] is a collection of measures that include eliminating the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), leaving the Cuban peso as the only national currency, raising prices, raising salaries (but not as much as prices), opening stores that take payment only in hard currency which must be in the form of specially issued pre-paid debit cards, and a broad range of other measures targeted to different elements of the Cuban economy.
Translated by Ricardo Recluso
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