By Miguel Sanchez
HAVANA TIMES — I was born across Havana Bay in Regla, where I lived until I got married. Baptized “The Little Mountain” by the then president Fidel Castro, it was a beautiful, well-maintained and happy town.
What happened then? You only have to take a quick look at the town center to get a rough idea. The building that the government now occupies had scaffolding up for nine months so they could plaster and paint it, according to official sources. However, the wooden scaffolding rotted, due to rain, dew and sun.
To give you just one more example, the Guaicanamar park in Regla doesn’t have park custodians anymore; it’s marble benches no longer exist; its streetlights are broken and some of them are dark. Dirt can be seen absolutely everywhere, however, the most painful thing to see is Miguel Coyula’s statue, the great architect from Regla, which is practically broken.
The town’s other statues, like that of our apostle Marti and the smaller monument dedicated to all those who lost their lives in Giron, are so dirty that the stone, which was once gleaming, now shines just as black as the gravestone where their names appear. It’s pure neglect and a complete lack of respect.
Not to mention the Cespedes Theater, only its structure remains and the memory of what it once meant to the people of Regla. The State has assigned a budget to Cuban municipalities for protecting and conserving their monuments and institutions. Where does this budget go in the town of Regla? What results have been made? What is the pitiful amount that they give us that we’re not even able to have park custodians and filth breeds everywhere?
It’s with great sadness that I must confess that Fidel’s “Little Mountain” is today a vague and sad memory of what was once our beloved town of Regla.