Clarifying Some Opinions

Photo: Rebeca

Some readers, some annoying, who disagree with what I posted on 1.1.13, raising the issue of the marginalization of the city of Havana. I do not try to please everyone with my opinions, since I reject unanimity and, in addition, welcome the differences and different opinions.

I simply had reflected on a daily reality which, even if it hurts, is a visible and tangible reality, for anyone walking through Central Havana, Cerro, Diez de Octubre, and even most of the streets of Old Havana, leaving aside the tourist streets, to mention only to some municipalities. In addition to the collapse from the architectural point of view, the city also is breaking down because of these evils I have mentioned.

Photo Peter Deel

Speaking of ruralization, nobody is trying to be contemptuous of the rural, but simply to note that it has very little to do with the urban. It’s not the same to sell roots and vegetables full of dirt, and meats without refrigeration on a rustic flooring at the entry or exit of a batey or village, as to do so in Galiano, at 12th and 17th or 17th and K, to name just a few visible examples. This is not only rural but also medieval. So it is upsetting.

Havana was not like this, nor were Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Camaguey, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, Matanzas and Pinar del Rio, to name but a few major cities. If you add the destroyed streets turned into trash dumps, the lack of hygiene, the widespread destruction of banks and green areas in parks, and cooking with firewood in the planting strip, the spectacle is downright chaotic.

With all due respect, this was not the general situation, regardless of what that might exist in some other marginal settlement.

Regarding those who migrate to the capital, which is quite a massive number despite prohibitions, mainly due to the difficult economic conditions within the country, no one is suggesting any type of discrimination, but only to respect the customs and social discipline, to have an awareness of identity, along the lines of: when in Rome do as the Romans.

Undoubtedly, Cuba is one nation, and all its citizens, wherever they live, are Cuban. That no one disputes. What happens is that, as in all countries, there are people educated and badly educated, respectful and disrespectful, responsible and irresponsible, decent and indecent, peaceful and violent, etc. and here, unfortunately, the latter are too concentrated and reproduced.

January 10 2013

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