Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Omen / Cuban Law Association, Wilfredo Vallín Almeida
Cuban Law Association, Translator: Maria Montoto, Wilfredo Vallin Almeida

By Wilfredo Vallin Almeida

The multifamily building lies in ruins. A mountain of rubble rises now
in its place occupying a part of Monte, a very central street of Havana.
Passers-by run, there is noise from sirens of patrol cars and
firefighter equipment since there are most probably dead and injured.

Within the drama all of this implies the most serious thing, however, is
not the collapse of the building but that occurrences of this nature are
being repeated with a lot of frequency in the whole country.

It is very sad and at the same time unpleasant to see images as
these…just because it rains a bit.

And it is that during more than fifty years those facilities were not
repaired, were never subjected to maintenance of any nature neither on
behalf of the State nor of its inhabitants since, in the case of the
latter, they did not have the necessary resources at their disposal to
do so.

Another circumstance that would bring about laughter if the problem were
not so dramatic (it is unknown what will become of the persons who were
left homeless, where they will go and if they will remain during many
years in shelters crammed with others who suffered the same fate), is
that one is not permitted to take photos of the collapse.

Those who dare to do so may be detained.

The image of a Cuba where buildings collapse only because nature
fulfills her duty of making it rain, should not circulate around the
world. It would be a discredit to the genuine representation of the

But not only the buildings and streets are cracking.

The credit of the authorities splinters (constant cases of corruption at
that level, admitted failure of the programs of the Party, promises of
recovery that we do not see, changes that don't get to the bottom of the

Each day the peso and CUC are more devalued by the continuous increase
in prices.

Thousands of Cubans continue, especially the young, trying to abandon
the country by whatever means.

And this list could also continue ad infinitum.

The real lifeline, perhaps the only ones that we see, are the Pacts with
the UN which the government of the island signed in 2008 but does not
ratify and of which not a single word is spoken.

If tomorrow there appeared in the official press that the current
authorities have ratified those most important documents, many of us
would think the real changes have begun to arrive to our country and
that it is the start of speaking and acting seriously for a transition
that is real, peaceful and controlled in order to avoid disorder and
violence that is unwanted by the great majority of us.

While that is not the attitude, this building in ruins, one more of the
many I have already seen, aside from being the disaster that it
represents for those who once lived in it, constitutes an inevitable and
dangerous OMEN.

Translated by: Maria Montoto

June 25 2012

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