Felicia Perez and Her Havana Home (Video)

Flicia Perez tells her story.

HAVANA TIMES – Felicia’s story isn’t an isolated case, there are many families in Havana living in precarious housing. Some people have even lost their lives because they collapse, others have ended up in temporary accommodation, which have very poor living conditions.

One of the State’s responses to the national housing crisis, has been to give residents places like old warehouses or stores that are no longer in use. The State then sells them some of the building materials they need to do up the place, but the family has to buy the rest at market price, pay the builders and at least on paper the State gives them a loan or some money for these expenses which they don’t have to pay back which is known as a “subsidy”.

Felicia only wants a bank loan or a subsidy, any of the established means to help low-income families. She and her husband are now retired, receive a state pension and their children have very low incomes, so they can’t afford to renovate the place, much less make an apartment.

Felicia has turned 73 years old, and she has spent 30 of those years struggling to try and fix up the place they were given, an old warehouse. In the ‘70s, the building they used to live in was declared “uninhabitable”, in danger of collapsing, so they were given the place they currently live in, at no. 834 Aguila street between Gloria and Corrales streets in Old Havana.

A housing official explained to her that they had been given this place because of the number of people in the family, that they would be given material over time to build rooms; in other words, to build a home suitable for a family.

Decades have passed and Felicia hasn’t received any help at all. Today, she is a retired woman, with a low income (retirement in Cuba for most people is between 10 and 15 USD a month), who can’t afford to do up the place at all, much less build a home. Her only wish is that her situation is recognized and that a government official keeps their word and gives them what they were promised and have a right to.  

 
 



8 thoughts on “Felicia Perez and Her Havana Home (Video)

  • What can I say ?

    Reply
  • Manuel poses a question. The answer for Cubans is: “Gracias Fidel y Raul y Diaz-Canel.”

    Reply
  • It is sad and unfortunate to see the conditions in which the Cuban people live, when we compare this to the way we live (in the U.S.) one can only thank God even if we have very little for even if we have very little we have 1000% more than they do.
    But it is refreshing to see the spirit with which they continue to live… to make do with what they have and on occasions see the need to invent something with which life can be made a little more tolerable.

    Reply
  • How does the reality of Cuba in 2020 stack up against the promises of Fidel Castro in 1959?
    “There can be no danger if we do what Cubans want, if we provide social practice and solve the substantial social problems of all Cubans of liberty, of respect for individual rights, of freedom of the press and thought, of democracy, of liberty to select their own government.”
    16th March, 1959
    “We do hope to raise the standard of living to what the middle class has now.
    22nd April 1959
    Jose Marti the Cuban Apostle, was born 73 years prior to Fidel Castro and 106 years prior to the Castro led revolution. In 1884 he said:
    Being good is the only way to be free. Being cultured is the only way to be free. With human nature in general however, to be good one has to be prosperous.”
    Marti sought for: “the welfare and prosperity of all Cubans”.
    Although placing innumerable busts of Marti throughout Cuba, and seeking to have visiting foreign dignitaries lay wreaths at the Marti memorial in Revolution Square, Fidel and Raul Castro Ruz have failed to pursue Marti’s ideals, manipulated his teachings, totally failed to pursue his ideals and squandered the opportunity which they had to provide that opportunity to provide Cubans with “liberty, of respect for individual rights, of freedom of the press and thought, of democracy, of liberty to select their own government.”
    The history of the Castro communist regime is that of failure to comply with that which they purported to support and seek. .

    Reply
  • I would like to send monthly remittances to Felicia. It won’t be enough to rebuild her house but my aim is to support her daily needs. Could Circles send me her address and phone number, if possible? I live in the US and it is still possible to send money legally to Cuba via Western Union. (Strangely, all other countries are forbidden from using Western Union to send money to Cuba under the Trump administration’s new Cuba policy!).

    Reply
    • I will pass your message on to the person who made the video.

      Reply
  • Thank you, Circles! I look forward to it.

    While I respect the right of all to their opinion, this is not the time for politicizing and making arguments for propagandistic gain. We should learn from the lesson of the Covid19 pandemic! There are times when it doesn’t matter who is at fault and who is right. We are just called upon to show our human empathy and solidarity. I remember very well that some years ago, after a particularly devastating hurricane – I cannot remember whether it was Hurricane Mitch or some other one – but the landfall was in a town called Los Palacios, Cuba asked the Bush administration to lift the blockade for just 6 months so they could buy building and construction materials. And, of course, to use the title of the Beny More song, “Hoy como Ayer”, the answer that came back was a resounding “No”!

    As a Christian, I have no doubt that the world will be resurrected from the current medical tragedy. Let us learn the lesson of our common humanity and the solidarity we must practice. On my last trip to Canada, I was shocked to see homeless people sleeping all around the most high-end store of Montreal on St Catherine Street. Likewise in my city, there are homeless people roaming the streets even under the lockdown. I will not rave and rant, however, against any government. I have volunteered to deliver food from a food pantry for the elderly and disabled in my neighborhood.

    Happy Easter to Felicia in Cuba!

    Reply
  • I much admire Anonymous Donor for actually taking action. For Felicia it will change her life from misery to being tolerable – well done!
    Felicia is however but one of the many thousands of Cubans who exist in similar circumstances and those of us who actually take action are insufficient in number. (I have previously funded the purchase of two homes for Cuban families)
    Will others follow the wonderful gesture of Anonymous Donor?

    Reply

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