Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Destruction for destruction's sake

I have never understood destruction for destruction's sake!

And looking at photos of Havana -and the old places where I spent so many days during my childhood- I wonder WHY are things as they are?....Why has everything being left to rot, to decay, to get dirty and dissapear into oblivion?

And I am talking about gorgeous examples of architecture, from those of the 1700 and 1800's --to newer ones from the early 20th century, arts deco jewels and beautifully constructed and very retro 1950's buildings and constructions.

Dirt everywhere. Walls crumbling. Not a speck of paint and -worse of all- the fact that garbage and pieces of bricks and dust and pieces of old clothing or old shoes, lie around without anybody attempting to even picking them up and putting them on a gargage pail. Broken bricks lying around for months and years. Potholes like craters just everywhere. It's beyond my comprenhension. Totally!

Has Havana -named by Unesco "Cultural Patrimony of Humanity"- being left to die and rot on purpose? Has this been done to "show" the effects of the so-called-US-embargo? (If Coca Cola and lavish buffets are served freely to tourists...where is the embargo?)...Are a can of paint and a bit of cement -so liberally used to maintain and spruce up the houses and old mansions occupied by foreigners and members of the Cuban government- so difficult to find in order to save the beauty of our city? Contradictions. Kafka would be overwhelmed.

Today I was looking at some 'before' and 'after' photos of the Miramar Yacht Club to which my professional/succesful/not/millionaire/parents belonged to --and I was very saddened. The pictures (shown above) speak for themselves. When Castro took over the Miramar was renamed Club Patricio Lumumba and it stopped being a private club to become a free and open club for 'the people'. It later became a private club for members of the army (typical reversal of revolutionary decisions) -- and is amazing to see how, little by little, the place has become dirty, deserted, torn apart, 'desolado' and totally abandoned.

The 'people' evidently did not care for it, as those who were members did. The people used to pull out toilets and sinks from the changing rooms. Chairs torn in pieces. The pool had to be surrounded by a high fence!...And the gentile place -never snobbish, never 'exclusive', but a nice and modern club for professional Cubans and their families, which had a quite affordable monthly fee- was gone. Like so many other Cuban institutions, like the old and beautiful large building of my school Dominicas Americanas, which was shut down and became a depot for costumes for the Cuban Ballet, since it is located right behind their theatre. Absurd!

Cuba has decayed without the people who inhabit it caring for it. Not an iota. Nothing. Beginning of course with the Castro Duo of Dictators, who dont give a damn! After all, if they have not cared for human lives and human dignity for our people for 50 years --- how can we expect them to care for a beautiful city they never did anything to build, and are happy to erase from the map!

(Many thanks to the website of the Miramar Yacht Club and Raul Cosio and all its members for such great pictures)