Cement Shortage in Cuba, Not for Hotels or Monuments

By Circles Robinson

The new 10-meter high cement Cuban flag just unveiled in front of the US embassy in Havana.

HAVANA TIMES – The cement shortage in Cuba, and exorbitant price to get it, is only affecting people trying to repair or build their homes. In contrast, the military continues to build new hotels. And now, the government built a towering cement monument in front of the US Embassy in another slap in ordinary citizens’ faces.

The government says cement is for sale for 165 pesos ($6.60 USD) at state stores, but good luck trying to find it. Some of the US dollar stores sell bags for $10 but even there the product is often absent. Citizens must pay around 1,000 pesos ($40 USD) to buy a bag on the illicit market.  This cement seeps through the cracks at government warehouses or is bought up and then offered in resale.

Construction sites for government projects are also known as places where the workers supplement their low income by selling part of the construction materials on the sly. This has been going on for as long as people can remember. Managers are either involved, taking a cut, or totally incompetent in the face of shrinking inventories or deficient materials used in the constructions.

Photo by Juan Suarez

Meanwhile, in Havana, and elsewhere around the country, many homes and apartment buildings are crumbling. People often must live with leaky roofs, broken stairwells and sidewalks and even more serious structural problems.

The government prioritizes the military and its hotels and other infrastructure. That’s where the money is. In practice, people must repair homes on their own despite their miserably low incomes. If they wait for the government to help, which they do in theory, it can take many years or decades.

The monument of a huge cement Cuban flag out in front of the US embassy is a memorial to waste. Apparently, it symbolizes the government’s determination to maintain a thorn in the “eternal enemy’s” side. Meanwhile, Cubans continue to see their country’s housing infrastructure crumble, sometimes to an irreparable state.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.


7 thoughts on “Cement Shortage in Cuba, Not for Hotels or Monuments

  • April 1, 2021 at 2:29 pm
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    You are on an island surround by sand. Why don’t you make your own cement? The revolution taught all cubans how to be self sufficient.

  • March 31, 2021 at 10:40 pm
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    Sigh. When I was in Nicaragua a few years back, when the political situation was normal, a common wedding gift was a bag of cement. The idea was that young couples could get a start on building a home. It’s sad that this concept doesn’t exist in Cuba.

  • March 31, 2021 at 10:36 pm
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    Note that the military-owned and multinational-run hotels have priority over the little guys who want to run a guest house or B&B.

  • March 31, 2021 at 3:25 pm
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    Circles writes “…seeps through the cracks”. Hahaha! By that he means, “stolen from government warehouses”.

  • March 31, 2021 at 12:40 pm
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    The Regime Marks the Spot for Alien Life form to Land is my Guess, With a Growth of Dementia that has set in & taken over the ones making the Decisions for all Cubans. Why Not Hospitals , Schools, Homes, Water Supplies &Treatment, Anything but that waste in the Face of all Cubans & Tourist. Where dose the Cement come from, off shore or Mined in Cuba, Even the Cement Sacks where a wasted in this Construction.

  • March 31, 2021 at 12:10 pm
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    How many skids do you require here we are not short by any means and its alot chaeper here than at a valued 40 USD on the gray market?

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