Havana Neighborhoods with Poor Street Lighting Face Spike in Crime

Miguel Arias Sanchez

The criminals take advantage of the dark in areas where people frequently walk day and night.

HAVANA TIMES – Robberies here are becoming more and more frequent, and sometimes have fatal consequences. Luckily for us, the vast majority of Cubans are honest, hard-working and good-hearted people. However, there are other people who aren’t like this at all and want everything, or almost everything, without working and earning it with their daily sweat and sacrifice.

Some people blame it on need, but we’d have to add other things such as negligence, indifference and even a lack of awareness of some people who have a job to do. For example, Tres Picos hill, which leads down from Villa Panamericana to the Bahia neighborhood, is a favorite haunt for misdeeds.

This stretch has become really dangerous, especially at night, as there is practically no street lighting, only one bulb half-way down; there are streetlights, but their bulbs have fused. 

Trees are becoming more and more leafy and darkness invades every space. A week ago, a friend was walking home with his wife from the club in Villa, it was 2 AM. Half-way down the road, three individuals, armed with knives, jumped out of a tree and demanded that they throw everything they were carrying onto the ground: watches, cellphones, wallets. My friend and his wife didn’t resist, of course. In fact, they even asked their attackers if they wanted their clothes too. They didn’t have to strip down, luckily.

It has become a den of thieves, especially on the weekend, carrying out their evil acts protected by this deserted place.

A resident in the area explained that there had been several meetings with government representatives, and they had always said that places like this one, where so many men, women and old people etc. walk, can’t be left in the dark; after 8 PM, you can’t even see the palm of your hand.

I wonder:

The street lights are there but they are without bulbs.

What is going on with this country’s body who is responsible for street lighting here, where you’d only have to change a few bulbs?

Who is responsible for pruning these trees?

The neighbors are scared and want this place to be safe.

So, I ask:

If they aware of the situation, why are they letting so much time pass by? Isn’t it better to prevent rapes, scares and robberies?

Isn’t it easier, more intelligent and humane to light an area so people can see where they walking and who they are bumping into?

Or is it a question of people responsible and their families not ever walking there?

We’ll have to wait for someone with sense and awareness to listen to the local community and make the right decision.


Miguel Arias

Miguel Arias Sánchez: I was born in Regla in 1949. That’s where I went to elementary and high school. Afterwards I took courses to be a teacher and did that for several years. I did my military service and as soon as I got out I studied formally to be a teacher graduating at the University of Havana. I taught in classrooms for nearly 20 years. I had the opportunity to travel and see another reality. I returned and am currently doing different self-employed activities.

20 thoughts on “Havana Neighborhoods with Poor Street Lighting Face Spike in Crime

  • So Nick, as you refer to those of the far right as “Extremists” do you apply the same term to those “very decent and sincere supporters of the PCC” with their “ideological certainties” ? Or are “Extremists” only a syndrome of the right?
    With communism and fascism, dictatorship is a fact. With capitalism – as demonstrated perhaps uniquely, by Donald Trump with his obvious envy of Kim Jung Un, Vladamir Putin et al, it is merely an ambition.

  • If you know Austria, you will know that the Capitalists and the Far Right Extremists haul themselves up to a position of power by means of what you would describe as ‘free and fair elections’. Once these ‘free and fair elections’ are over and done with, the Capitalist Politicians and the Far Right Extremist Politicians collude (as is their custom when they deem it to be in their mutual interests – history is littered with examples of this).

    Although I disagree with you Mr MacD, it is obviously nothing personal and I do respect your ideological certainties.
    I know some very decent and sincere supporters of the ‘Partido Comunista de Cuba’ who similarly have ideological certainties and I respect them and their views also.

    But Mr MacD, would you actually be suggesting that Capitalism has no dictatorial aspects ?

  • Freedom is a reality Nick – you are able to use yours to write here and express your views, In Cuba expressing views that are critical of the communist regime lands people in jail – hence that high level of incarceration. My opinion is that capitalism, democracy and freedom are far preferable to communism (now termed socialism). Talking of trinity, how about Marx, Engel and Lenin as the Unholy Trinity – or if you prefer, Fidel, Raul and Che? Although knowing Austria fairly well, they are not my politicians – and you forget that unlike yourself, I condemn dictatorship of both left and right.

  • Mr MacD, At last you admit to the facts regarding Cuba’s street crime in comparison to many of its capitalist neighbours. Good stuff. There is hope yet…..
    Freedom is a word with many uses and meanings. For example The Freedom Party of Austria was set up by a former member of the SS.
    This far right political party has been in coalition governments with your politicians who advocate your beloved capitalism.
    The particular point of view which you subscribe to seems to equate capitalism, democracy and freedom as if this represents some kind of glorious trinity of virtue.

    In reality freedom is a word very often used by ideologues of different stripes. It was always one of Fidel Castro’s favourite words.

    But if freedoms good enough for you Mr MacD, then be sure to say hi to Bobby McGee from me…….

  • Street crime in Cuba is less common than in the US and the murder rate is very much lower than the neighboring Latin American countries which compete for being worst – even worse than the US – see the statistics. But that Nick does not explain why it is that Cuba has that very high level of incarceration – if those in jail are not criminals, why are they there?
    My “ideological bias” is that I support freedom of the individual rather than totalitarian dictatorships which deny their citizens such rights. I find no reason for being pragmatic about that. I am opposed to dictatorship whether it be of the left or the right. There is no grey area Nick between the two views – that in favour of freedom and that of repressive totalitarian dictate.
    The “ideology” I favour is freedom, and there is a much higher level of it in the capitalist countries than in any others – specifically communist ones (or should I now term communism as socialism?).
    If your perch on the pragmatic fence gets too uncomfortable Nick, which side would you select to fall upon? Unlike Cubans, you still have a choice!

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