Alamar, Havana Streets Turned into a Great Dump

By Jimmy Roque Martínez

Welcome to Alamar, Havana.
Welcome to Alamar, Havana.

HAVANA TIMES — A tour through the streets of Alamar by the environmental project El Guardabosques, revealed dozens of garbage pick up points that were overflowing with garbage throughout the sprawling housing projects, located on the east side of Havana.

Although it’s nothing new to see such sights throughout the Cuban capital, it’s surprising to see how the situation in Alamar is so widespread, where over 90,000 people live.

The situation is so serious that even Cuban TV’s Canal Habana, dedicated an entire news report on the subject, showing garbage bins overfloowing with food scraps, pavements and flower beds filled with garbage, the breeding grounds for potential diseases from mosquitos and rodents.

Sande, a resident of Alamar, told us that it’s been over three weeks since Community Services (the state company responsible for picking up garbage) has sent teams and workers to this suburb, while piles of garbage continue to grow.

The day after the news report on Canal Habana, “by coincidence” a brigade of workers came to this abandoned, once dubbed model city, to tidy up some of the dirtiest areas. However, the majority of places remained in the same condition as before.

Another resident interviewed by provincial TV told us that there have been many times that, after weeks of not coming, city workers come and take only what’s been left in the garbage bins, leaving behind piles and piles of garbage on pavements, streets and flower beds.

Are we currently facing a situation of “social indiscipline” (a term Cuban bureaucracy prefers to use in order to blame the population and to mask its inefficacy) or State incompetence on behalf of a government that doesn’t know how to manage garbage, while it shows not the least amount of interest in promoting recycling?

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery. On your PC or laptop, you can use the directional arrows on the keyboard to move within the gallery. On cell phones use the keys on the screen.

Jimmy Roque Martinez

Jimmy Roque Martinez: I was born in Havana in 1979, and it seems that work has been my sign. Custodian, fish farmer, lens carver, welder, glass maker, optometrist, have been some of my trades. But none consumes as much of my time as caring for my family. For many years I’ve faced the least pretty face of this society, and I try to be happy while I transform it. I am too shy. I like silence, sleep, theater and movies. I hate injustice and arrogance, and I can hardly contain my anger when it happens in front of me.

14 thoughts on “Alamar, Havana Streets Turned into a Great Dump

  • September 10, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Mr. Martinez realizes how bad the situation in Cuba is even thou he was born
    IN the system so has nothing to compare it to. I was 18 when I left in 1960 and
    KNOW the way Cuba was before Castro. The ONLY reason Cuba is not in the
    same situation as Venezuela is BECAUSE the close they are to the U.S. and the
    help they get from them.

  • September 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Again Carlyle, you go on and on and on with yet more meaningless comments.You address nothing directly, you simply talk in circles. All you do is dig your hole deeper and deeper.

    All my comments were rational, straightforward and directly to the point. Take it or leave it, it makes no difference.

  • September 5, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Just re-read in order the contributions made by you and made by me above. My first one which ended by saying that the Castros have subjected their people to living in squalor, did not mention you Eden. You then posed a question which I answered. Following that, you described my response as ” meaningless drivel”. I responded by saying that you might regard comment upon the conditions in Alamar as “meaningless drivel” but I don’t. I added that you obviously find that certain aspects of the Castro regime as acceptable or perhaps even commendable.
    I also said that you recognize Fidel Castro as a leader – you wrote that – but that I recognize him as a dictator.
    You take my responses as an endeavour to discredit you. Well that is your choice.
    But Eden you demonstrate your true view of Cuba and its people with your comment that:
    “not most of it in a small town out in the campo”
    That appears to indicate that you feel a degree of superiority living in Havana.
    I would not bother trying to discredit you, but when I write of Cuba I am not confining myself by reflecting upon only Havana.
    My view remains that the photographs of Alamar and Jimmy Roque Martinez’s article reflect the conditions I have observed when visiting there. I have to admit that I did not notice a tattoo parlour.

  • September 4, 2016 at 9:43 am

    “… I am not endeavouring to discredit you…”

    Then please stop doing it. Thank you.

  • September 3, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks for your good wishes. One small correction – I am not endeavouring to discredit you.
    For others I would just add that they should take a good look at the photographs by Jimmy Roque Martinez and the reality of Alamar which they show.

  • September 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    “… I am most grateful for your approval and permission…”

    Your passive aggressiveness is silly, Carlyle. All it demonstrates is that I hit a little too close home.

    I hope you can take my few honest points to heart and stop the constant attacks on other poster’s integrity and stop pretending that you’re the one and only authoritative voice on Cuba. Some others have spent a lot more time living/working/travelling in Cuba than you have, and not most of it in a small town out in the campo.

    If you could be a bit more open to other opinions and experiences maybe you’d even learn a little something now and then. No one knows everything.

    All the best to you.

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