HAVANA TIMES – These days in Cuba have reminded me of that passage where Garcia Marquez said that in Macondo it rained so much that the fish were in the air. Almost 20 days without seeing the sun, something very unheard of these days, has kept Havana sleepy.
Everyone who could has stayed home instead of going to work, schools, although they approach the final exams, have skipped all the classes that the rain has allowed them to justify.
Walking in Havana today is to risk falling into one of the huge puddles that turn the city into a vast quagmire, only the solid part of such puddles is not mud, but mixtures of garbage, dog and cat droppings, sewage from manholes that drains directly into the street or the thousands of tons of soot that the old US cars with their powerful diesel engines throw into the atmosphere and end up settling on everything.
People are happy because the worst of the rains seem to have stopped, the generalized feeling is that of children who are near the end of the school year. There is a commotion and the usual noice of a city that at peak hours becomes hostile as people try to get on a bus so they can get home in time to invent the next meal.
And food has been the recurring theme food these rainy days, there is concern, the government press is talking about 7,000 hectares of crops affected, serious damage in Pinar del Rio. Here in Cuba everyone knows that the government is an expert in finding excuses, blaming low farm production on either drought o too much rain, if it rains little is not fulfilled the agricultural plan for the drought, as if the last time there was a normal rainy season was in 1958.
The other hot topic are the building collapses, “whenever three drops fall, two buildings fall” is heard, but it has not been 3 drops that have fallen, it has rained almost without truce for almost four weeks. When the sun comes out the collapses will begin, I wish I could explain why it’s like that, but I do not know, I only know that popular wisdom affirms it and it’s true, building collapses usually happen a few days after the big storms.
These days it is best to not walk under the many hundred-year-old balconies that shade the sidewalks of the old part of the city.
Meanwhile in the center of the Island, four persons died, cynically informed by a regional bureaucrat who said the deaths were for “not perceiving the risk,” as always the government is free of guilt. The strange thing is that no one talks about this, I searched for the news in the official press and nothing, what I did find was a great headline about the people who died during Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, coincidence?
But nothing, I’m going to see what I can invent to feed the children, fortunately my house should not fall and a few months ago I repaired the humidity of the kitchen ceiling. However I am not convinced that it is no longer raining. The fact is that in Cuba we’ve had 60 continuous years of rain.