Homelessness on the rise in socialist Cuba

From our Bureau of Broken Utopian Dreams

Sixty years of poverty caused by socialism have turned Castrogonia into a hell hole woefully short of habitable living spaces for its people.

Sixty years with no new construction, sixty years of utter neglect and deterioration of everything built before 1959 (which is just about EVERY building in Cuba, save for the tourist apartheid hotels), and sixty years of population growth (which has doubled the island’s 1959 population).

Among the hardest hit by Castrogonia’s housing shortage are the elderly, whose government-guaranteed pension amounts to no more than ten dollars a month.

And…. add this extra sour note to this infernal symphony: According to information provided by Castro, Inc., an undisclosed number of elderly Cubans were among the 2,000 or so prisoners freed this past week.

Given the housing shortage, where are these recently freed older Cubans going to live?

From Havana Times:

The number of homeless people is growing in Havana, as well as in the rest of the country. This situation has caught everyone’s attention. Some people are worried, others are unaffected, and unfortunately, a large percentage of the population attempt to justify the inexcusable.

Lazaro Hernandez is 50 years old and was a social worker in the Old Havana municipality. While he worked on the data side of things, he knew full well what problems indigent people faced.

HT: What can you tell me about the issue of homeless people in this densely populated part of Havana?

Lazaro Hernandez: There are many root causes for Cuba’s homeless situation. In recent decades, economic strife has led to an increase in dysfunctional families. New ways of viewing and facing life have flourished, old habits have given way to completely unexpected values.

Most of the retired elderly population receive a pension of 248 pesos (10 USD) per month, and it’s impossible for anyone to get by with this amount. An old person has to eat, buy medicine, wash their clothes, pay the electricity bill and gas and water bills too in lots of cases.

It’s utopian to think that somebody can take on all these expenses if they live alone. Imagine now when retirement ages have been extended: to 60 for women and 65 for men. The situation is such that many retired people, even when they don’t have the strength, get another contract somewhere so they can earn a little extra.

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1 thought on “Homelessness on the rise in socialist Cuba”

  1. They’re no longer useful to the “revolution’ and therefore irrelevant and dispensable. Move along.

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