HAVANA TIMES – The video camera of a cell phone can help break the siege of misinformation, especially in countries where ignoring news items is the norm imposed by a state on its citizens. A government that misinforms, spoon feeds (at best) or just hides the news.
The tragedy that recently occurred warranted only a simple statement on the National Television News, where “an accident at a gas station in Santiago de Cuba left a toll of 32 injured, 15 of them with severe burns.”
Today, the film from the camera of a mobile phone, is the most viewed video on Cuban computers.
In the video that made it into my hands we don’t see any of the 32 people on fire. However you do see a lot of bold people trying to retrieve some of the gasoline spilling from the broken pump at a CUPET gas station on Trocha and Morro Road in the city of Santiago.
What I think is even worse is that you see the firefighters arrive when all could have been avoided and yet they do nothing, likewise the workers of the gas station and the police who were already there.
For many who have seen the video, the problem is local and of the moment, I think not.
The apathy that now consumes Cuban daily life makes our institutions not really function a such, but as if they were just going through the motions.
So, from one end to the other of Cuba we are all surrounded by organizations that are not, with workers who are unaware of their activities.
As I write at least seven people involved in the incident have died and at least seven more remain in critical condition with life threatening.
The ten-minute video, in my opinion, not only shows a successive chain of irresponsibility that ended in tragedy, but shows the real state of today’s Cuba.
A country of institutions that are not, where leaders are completely unaware of their work, hence it’s no surprise that the gas station employees did not act in time to alert the relevant authorities of the impending disaster.
Or, who knows, maybe they did. But still, it appeared that the police and firefighters were disinterested, with an attitude as many say in Cuba: “And what do I care? None of them are my family. ”