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Gladys Linares

Cubanet, Gladys Linares, Havana, 5 December 2016 — I don’t remember exactly how much time had passed since I’d seen Cristina, but it must have been more than three years, because today, when I saw her at the home of a mutual friend and asked about her daughter, who had caused her so many headaches, she … Continue reading "The Golden Dream of A Prostitute / Cubanet, Gladys Linares" Continue reading
“If water and electricity have the same owner, why do they turn off my power when I need it most?”, Gladys Linares, Havana, 28 April 2015 – The word “blackout” was eliminated by the Electric Company.  Nevertheless, blackouts continue, … Continue reading Continue reading
[1] For the environmental project, "A Rose-Colored Planet," children would be responsible for beautifying the green spaces of the capital. Dilapidated Havana requires much more than a community gardening project: sanitizing the city is the urgent business. [2]Cubanet, Gladys Linares, Havana, February 27 2015 -- Now it turns out that children have the responsibility for creating green spaces for the enjoyment of the public, and ending more than fifty years of governmental neglect. This is unheard of! In the article, "They celebrate the work day in order to promote the beauty of gardens," the newspaper Juventud Rebelde describes the environmental project, "A Rose-Colored Planet," and an interest group composed of 500 children that would be responsible for beautifying the green spaces of the capital. Will children be able to solve the problem created by the public services that go around collecting the large garbage and debris heaps that proliferate in the city, with 14-ton front-end loaders that destroy the sidewalks, curbs and gardens, and leave craters that become breeding grounds for mosquitos, rats, and other carriers of disease? Any idiot knows that the complexity of this task requires much more than a community project, because the duty of maintaining green spaces in good condition -- as well as of implementing public health and sanitation projects -- falls to the public administration. Will children be able to solve the shortage of wheeled bins needed to collect the 20-thousand cubic meters of waste that our city generates? This dearth of bins is often the result of mishandling by Comunales * workers (who are not held accountable for their actions), or acts of "social indiscipline" such as wheels being removed, junk being discarded in the bins, the bins being set on fire, etc. Such actions convert densely-populated neighborhoods such as Diez de Octubre, Centro Habana, Arroyo Naranjo and San Miguel del Padrón into sites for those large garbage heaps referenced above. Will our children be able to require that the workers who are currently installing the water meters in Marianao [3] not leave behind debris, trenches and water leaks upon completing these projects? But it is not only Aguas de La Habana [4] which leave behind their mark of shoddiness. The gas company does it, too, when they complete some road "repair" project. They claim that covering-up and fixing the sidewalks is the Comunales’* responsibility, and despite efforts often made by area residents, these projects are not finished adequately. All this negligence on the part of the State has provoke an exacerbation of acts of "social indiscipline."  In the absence of parks and recreational areas, the children play in the streets, annoying the neighbors. In the absence of containers, the public alleges (rightfully) that garbage cannot be kept inside the house, so they throw it in the street. Perhaps it is no coincidence that we hear so often of neighbors and relatives of friends dying of leptospirosis [5], as happened last week to a young man and his dog, who lived less than 100 meters from one of those garbage heaps. "A Rose-Colored Planet" includes among its objectives the creation of gardens for the enjoyment of hospitalized children and residents of elder-care facilities, applying the methods employed in French gardening -- a fine and noble task. Starting at early ages, this community project develops civic consciousness, which we so need today. But much more than children’s projects is needed to return Havana to its green lushness. Translated by Alicia Barraqué Ellison, and others Translator’s Note: * Comunales is the state-run waste management company in Cuba. For other articles in Translating Cuba about related issues, click here [6]. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba – Very often we hear the officials of the Ministry of Education stress our country´s successes in this field from 1959 onwards, and we ask ourselves how can they possibly talk about this without the slightest shame, ignoring … Continue reading Continue reading
Many Havana streets barely have any pavement. The drains are clogged. With the rains the overflowing sewers allow sewage out. They try to justify these difficulties with the Special Period, everyone knows that the neglect began in 1959. Cubanet, HAVANA, … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba. – Some “fighters” have done as Fernando, who when he decided to retire, began to think about how to increase his pension without courting trouble, because he was tired of “resolving” to feed his family.  One day, on … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba. — In 2010, Elvira was dismissed from her workplace. She had no option other than to get a license and open a snack-bar in her home in order to support her mother and son. She started selling coffee, … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, January, — For the majority of us, January generally is a month of privations. For decades people often have been heard lamenting in the first days of the year about how difficult their situation is, but never … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, January, — With the change of domestic appliances in the so-called energy revolution devised by Fidel Castro, there began for us a series of problems that each day gets worse. We were warned to exchange old Russian … Continue reading Continue reading
Havana, Cuba, November, – The Cuban Constitution, in Article 48 says: “The State protects through social assistance the elderly without resources and any other person unfit for work who lacks family members in a condition to lend them help.” … Continue reading Continue reading
“The transition now is taking place in the most important place, that is, in the soul and mind of Cubans, frustrated and disillusioned by so many broken promises.” Oscar Espinosa Chepe Havana, Cuba, November, — Every day the discontent … Continue reading Continue reading
LA HABANA, Cuba, November, – To us, the most interesting part of the National Television News is the weather report. “There is no use in watching the news,” says Julio, an octogenarian neighbor, “just to hear that the whole world … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba , November, – As we have said on other occasions, the daily life of the elderly in Cuba is a great challenge. Confronting every day the lack of money, scarcity of food, difficulties in receiving medical care, … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, October, — At the end of the ‘80s a neighbor whose name escapes me stuck a sign on his bike basket that said: “Friend of Perestroika.” One day I heard they had searched his house and taken … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, August 2013, — The school year is about to begin and parents are now shopping around for shoes for their kids. It has been many years since those lace-up leather shoes, known as school shoes, have been … Continue reading Continue reading
Havana, Cuba, August, — More than a month has passed since the words of army general Raul Castro Ruz in the first ordinary session of the eighth legislature of the National Assembly of Popular Power in the Convention Hall, … Continue reading Continue reading