Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

Dec. 1, 1999


HAVANA - The government-controlled Cuban mass media broadcast promises through radio, television, and the written press that all the victims of hurricane Irene would be guaranteed access to all needed repair materials. These promises were made by the leadership of the "Revolutionary State" in meetings with delegates from the various affected municipalities and state and local government officials who would be engaged in the assessment of needs and distribution of materials.

It seems, however, that everything remains on the back-burner since many homes in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo which were severely damaged by the storms, not only "Irene" but others before her including the famous "Storm of the Century in 1993" have not undergone repares, according to Ileana Gonzalez Rodriguez.

One example cited is the home of Mrs. Marta Diaz, a resident of the Parraga neighborhood. Almost totally destroyed, its roof torn off, the home floods whenever it rains. Its residents are forced to sit by the door, fully awake, on rainy nights, since this is the only part of the home that remains dry.

Ileana Gonzalez Rodriguez, a resident in the same neighborhood said she has approached officials of the "Peoples Power" but they have not addressed her situation.

>What remain are empty promises.

Meanwhile, certain other residents have been seen buying supplies on the street, at marked up prices, to build additions to their homes or even build new homes from scratch and some have also built pens for animals.

On Maria Luisa St. the home of Marta Labarrera Bravo was partially destroyed as the roof and some of the walls crumbled. The remaining walls show deep crevasses, forcing the family to stay in one small portion of the dwelling. The Peoples Power spokesman has promised, for the last few years, to provide the materials for repairs.

The second week of November, 1999, proved too much for the home of Marta Labarrera Bravo, according to Carlos Alberto Dominguez Gonzalez, her next-door neighbor. He said there's no hope for any type of repair to the woman's dwelling. He said experience suggests she will be forced to wait 10 to 20 years before the fallen bricks are even removed. She has begged the Peoples Power for two years for help. Had it ever materialized, she might have a roof over her head.

José Orlando González Bridón, Cuba Free Press.

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