Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Urban Predators

Urban Predators / Fernando Damaso
Posted on September 23, 2013

For some time, concerned and alarmed by the rampant deterioration of the
buildings in the city, I have dedicated some time to exploring its
municipalities: Central Havana, Cerro, Diez de Octubre and the
neighborhood of El Vedado, in Plaza. The ruinous state of what were once
were magnificent examples of the different types of architecture is a
source of pain and sadness, but even more so are the jewels demolished,
mutilated, damaged and transformed for the worse, both by the
authorities and the population, in a display of ignorance,
irresponsibility, indifference and disinterest for the urban richness,
violating all established norms and regulations.

Here, as in other cases, the laws, decrees and regulations have been
"wet paper" — worthless — ignored by those who had the duty to uphold
and enforce: the constituted authorities at different levels, from the
municipality to the nation. The damage is done and is irreversible and,
worst of all, it has not yet been halted, despite recent and too late
attempts to do so, more formal than real, which are usually objects of
propaganda by the official press.

Like many citizens, I ask myself: Who will pay for all these crimes
committed against city's patrimony? Will those responsible ever be tried
and punished, both those directly responsible (the administrators,
company directors, etc.) and those ultimately responsible, which were
those who were in charge over the last fifty-four years? It is right and
just to punish citizens who violate the laws and regulations regarding
the decoration and buildings, but it would be even more right and just,
to also punish those who ordered or allowed (and who still are)
demolitions, mistreatments, mutilations and transformations of valuable
buildings and similar atrocities.

When a country, the government in power is the first to not value or
respect the main components of national identity, including the
architecture, it is highly unlikely that the majority of citizens will
do so. There's good fishing in troubled waters! In order to demand, you
have to start by setting a good example.

23 September 2013

Source: "Urban Predators / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba" -

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