More visual evidence of Cuban misery from Martha Beatriz Roque.
Here is the hovel in which a mother and her four children have lived for the past four years, in the Havana neighborhood of Guanabacoa. This is not the remote countryside. This is Havana.
The oldest child is seven years old, the second is five, the third is only eighteen months old, and the youngest is a three-month-old infant. All four are asthmatics, and the five-year-old also suffers from epileptic seizures. The youngest infant is fragile and in very poor health.
The children were fathered by three different men.
The shack measures twelve by nine feet. The zinc roof leaks. There is no electricity or running water. The privy is a ramshackle outhouse, just a few feet away.
Many of the family’s quotidian activities take place outdoors, in a truly Revolutionary patio.
The young mother — who looks like a teenager — has been petitioning the authorities for better housing, and continually cites the poor health of her children in these pleas. But she remains stuck in this hovel, and keeps having more kids. The mother’s social worker rebuffed her last request for new housing by asking: “Quién te mandó a parir tanto? (Who ordered you to have so many kids?)
Good question, one might say. But there are many others that are more pertinent:
Where are the three fathers, these “new men” who have been taught to emulate Che Guevara? Is this grim scenario the best one can expect from their Revolutionary spirit?
Where did the luxury baby stroller come from? Who paid for it?
How many more children will be born to this mother in this hell hole and how many different fathers will they have?
What does the future hold in store for these children?
Where are the reporters from AP, Reuters, CNN, PBS, etc…. ? Where are Michael Moore’s cameras? Where are the people-to-people tours?