Born on the Roof

Screen grab from Madagascar (1994), a film directed by  Fernando Pérez

Screen grab from Madagascar (1994), a film directed by Fernando Pérez

14ymedio, YOANI SANCHEZ, Havana, 28 October 2014 – Some cities have a subterranean life. Metros, tunnels, basements… the human victory of winning inches from the stone. Havana no, Havana is a surface city, with very little underground. However, on the roofs of the houses, on the most unthinkable rooftops, little houses have been erected, baths, pig pens and pigeon coops. As if above the ceilings everything were possible, unreachable.

Ignacio has an illegal satellite dish on a neighbor’s roof, it is hidden under grape vines that gives undersized sour grapes. A few yards away someone has built a cage for fighting dogs, which seek out the shade during the day, thirsty and bored. On the other side of the street several members of one family broke down the wall that connects to the roof of an old state workshop. They’ve built a terrace and a toilet on the abandoned place. At nightfall they play dominos, while the breezes of the Malecon wash over them.

Carmita keeps all her treasure on top of her house. Some enormous wooden beams with which she wants to shore up her quarters before they fall in. Every week she climbs up to see if the rain and the heat have swollen the wood and cracked the pillars. Her grandson uses the roof for trysts, when night falls and the eyes barely distinguish shadows, although the ears detect the moans.

Everyone lives a part of their existence up there, in the Havana that wants to stretch to the sky but can barely manage to rise a few inches.

58 thoughts on “Born on the Roof

  1. So the truth is coming out about the Castros. Then there’s Chavez, Maduro, the Kims and many other past and present bad leaders all over the world…

  2. Yes Humberto, more and more truth is coming out faster and faster. IT is making it possible, and the grip of fear is loosening…

  3. THEY FORGOT TO MENTION ALL THE THEFTS BY THE CHAVISTASFASCISTAS!
    USA TODAY: Venezuela, with world’s largest reserves, imports oil – by Peter Wilson

    CARACAS, Venezuela — For the first time in its 100-year history of oil production, Venezuela is importing crude — a new embarrassment for the country with the world’s largest oil reserves.

    The nation’s late president Hugo Chávez often boasted the South American country regained control of its oil industry after he seized joint ventures controlled by such companies as ExxonMobil and Conoco. But 19 months after Chávez’s death, the country can’t pump enough commercially viable oil out of the ground to meet domestic needs — a result of the former leader’s policies.

    The dilemma — which comes as prices at U.S. pumps fall below $3 per gallon — is the latest facing the government, which has been forced to explain away shortages of basic goods such as toilet paper, food and medicine in the past year.

    “The government has destroyed the rest of the economy, so why not the oil industry as well?” says Orlando Rivero, 50, a salesman in Caracas. “How much longer do we have to hear that the government’s economic policies are a success when all we see is one industry after another being affected?”

    While Venezuela has more than 256 billion barrels of extra-heavy crude, the downside is that grade contains a lot of minerals and sulfur, along with the viscosity of molasses. To make it transportable and ready for traditional refining, the extra-heavy crude needs to have the minerals taken out in so-called upgraders, or have it diluted with lighter blends of oil.

    The latter tactic is what state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) is using since it doesn’t have the money to build upgraders, which perform a preliminary refining process, and its partners have been unwilling to pony up cash because of the risk of doing business in the country.

    The country does have billions of barrels of medium and light crude sitting in the ground, but production of that has fallen because of a lack of investment and planning.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2014/11/02/venezuela/18243787/

  4. LOOKS LIKE THE EXPLOSIVE TELL ALL BOOK ABOUT Fidel Castro BY HIS EX-BODYGUARD IS GOING TO COME OUT IN ENGLISH, RUSSIAN AND GERMAN! CANDELAA!!!!!!! LOS TRAPOS SUCIOS DE LOS CASTROFASCISTAS SALIENDO A LA LUZ!!

    CAFE FUERTE: La vida oculta de Fidel Castro cautiva lectores en español; se publicará en inglés, ruso y alemán. La vida oculta de Fidel Castro, el libro testimonial de Juan Reinaldo Sánchez sobre sus años como guardaespaldas del líder cubano, está teniendo un notable éxito de ventas en su edición en español desde el pasado octubre, y aparecerá también en inglés, ruso y alemán en los próximos meses. “Estoy muy satisfecho, no puedo pedir más para mi primer libro”, declaró Sánchez a CaféFuerte, donde regularmente publica sus artículos. “Hoy sé que valió la pena tanto sacrificio y que si algo productivo saqué de tantos años al lado de Fidel Castro fue precisamente tener la oportunidad de revelarle al mundo una visión diferente de los desmanes de este señor y su revolución”.

    Sánchez, de 75 años y residente en Miami, acaba de regresar de España y Portugal, donde presentó su libro entre el 20 y el 25 de octubre.

    “Hay una gran expectiva por conocer sobre el mundo oculto de Fidel Castro”. comentó Sánchez. “Tuve un verdadero maratón de 35 entrevistas en apenas cinco dias, y terminé con la garganta afectada de tanto hablar”.

    El libro fue escrito en colaboración con el periodista Axel Gyldén, reportero del semanario parisiense L’Express, y salio al mercado con el sello de la editorial Michel Lafon, a mediados de junio.

    Desde entonces ha tenido ediciones en holandés, portugués -con distribución en el mercado brasileño- y español, a cargo de la editorial Planeta.
    PULSE EN EL ENLACE PARA ARTICULO ENTERO!

    http://cafefuerte.com/cuba/18910-la-vida-oculta-de-fidel-castro-cautiva-lectores-en-espanol-se-publicara-en-ingles-ruso-y-aleman/

  5. LOOKS LIKE THE EXPLOSIVE TELL ALL BOOK ABOUT Fidel Castro BY HIS EX-BODYGUARD IS GOING TO COME OUT IN ENGLISH, RUSSIAN AND GERMAN! CANDELAA!!!!!!! LOS TRAPOS SUCIOS DE LOS CASTROFASCISTAS SALIENDO A LA LUZ!!

    THE GUARDIAN UK: Fidel Castro lived like a king in Cuba, book claims – Former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sánchez writes that leader ran country like a cross between medieval overlord and Louis XV – Kim Willsher in Paris – Tuesday 20 May 2014

    Fidel Castro lived like a king with his own private yacht, a luxury Caribbean island getaway complete with dolphins and a turtle farm, and travelled with two personal blood donors, a new book claims.

    In La Vie Cachée de Fidel Castro (Fidel Castro’s Hidden Life), former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sánchez, a member of Castro’s elite inner circle, says the Cuban leader ran the country as his personal fiefdom like a cross between a medieval overlord and Louis XV.

    Sánchez, who was part of Castro’s praetorian guard for 17 years, describes a charismatic and intelligent but manipulative, cold-blooded, egocentric Castro prone to foot-stamping temper tantrums. He claims the vast majority of Cubans were unaware their leader enjoyed a lifestyle beyond the dreams of many Cubans and at odds with the sacrifices he demanded of them.

    “Contrary to what he has always said, Fidel has never renounced capitalist comforts or chosen to live in austerity. Au contraire, his mode de vie is that of a capitalist without any kind of limit,” he writes. “He has never considered that he is obliged by his speech to follow the austere lifestyle of a good revolutionary.”

    Sánchez claims he suffered Castro’s ruthlessness first hand when he fell out of favour, was branded a traitor, “thrown in jail like a dog”, tortured and left in a cockroach infested cell, after asking to retire. Released from prison, Sánchez followed the well-worn route of Cuban exiles to America in 2008. “Until the turn in the 1990s I’d never asked too many questions about the workings of the system … that’s the problem with military people … as a good soldier, I did my job and my best and that was enough to make me happy,” he writes.

    The book, published on Wednesday, has been written with French journalist Axel Gyldén, a senior reporter at L’Express magazine. Gyldén admits Sánchez has a large axe to grind with Castro, but insists he has checked the Cuban’s story.

    “This is the first time someone from Castro’s intimate circle, someone who was part of the system and a first-hand witness to these events, has spoken. It changes the image we have of Fidel Castro and not just how his lifestyle contradicts his words, but of Castro’s psychology and motivations,” Gyldén told the Guardian.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/21/fidel-castro-lived-like-king-cuba

  6. The arrangement between the Castroit tyrannical regime and the Government of Brasil is the equivalent of sweat shop labor. Look like the Cuban doctors are the property of the Castroit regime. The regime is renting them out to Brasil for a fee. This is the equivalent of “Rent a Doc.” The arrangement allow the Castroit regime to pocket 77% of the $4,300 Brasil pay per each doctor

  7. Thanks, Neutral Observer.

    I wonder if Castro’s “Hired Out” slave doctors realize how similar their plight is to the slaves of the Old South.

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