Miguel Arias Sanchez
HAVANA TIMES – It’s been almost two months since the last time I walked down San Rafael Boulevard, one of Havana’s busiest pedestrian streets, as hundreds of Cubans walk up and down it every day.
It’s being totally made-over and even though they dug up the ground months ago, now they’ve dug it up again. No reason has been given yet as to why this has happened.
Some people say it was because it was shabbily done, others because it wasn’t up to the required standard. The truth is that all of the materials that were destined for this phase of the renovations project have been lost: concrete, sand, gravel, etc. etc. and like the song goes: the blame, it belongs to nobody. And, now what?
It seems that they hit the nail on the head this time and the project is moving forward as you can see in the photos below, but they still haven’t reached a very important and much-needed place for everyone who walks down the boulevard: the public bathroom facilities.
Why are they taking so long to finish it when this is something that should be given priority? People who go there have nowhere to go. We can’t even go to the bathroom at the now closed Payret movie theater anymore, which people used to resort to in cases of emergency. And at night-time, when everything is shut, things get even harder.
This is why urine in doorways, street corners, and even inside places, is a constant. This all gives visitors (Cuban or foreign) a bad impression and ruins what has been achieved with a great deal of effort.
San Rafael Boulevard is beginning to look great, there’s no doubt about it, and seemingly well-made but, please, finish the bathroom quickly. Let’s remember that Cuba is an aging country, and when there are sick people and the elderly, this becomes the most visited place.