News and Facts about Cuba

Havana Hides its Beggers

Havana Hides its Beggers / 14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada
Posted on March 18, 2016

14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada, Havana, 17 March 2016 – Fixing up the
Latin American Stadium and repairing the streets where Barack Obama’s
motorcade will are just a part of the preparations before the
coming of the of the United States to Havana this Sunday.

Nancy Navarro, a nurse at the January 1st Teaching Polyclinic in the
district, told 14ymedio that there was a meeting at her workplace
to prepare a census of the people wandering around the city. The process
also included an assessment by professionals specializing in mental
, who in the company of other technicians are responsible for
picking up the beggars, “on the street or even in their homes.”

A doctor from the Fifth Canaria Health Center in the municipality of
Arroyo Naranjo, said that “seniors roaming the streets of Havana’s
various municipalities will be interned” there. The employee
acknowledged that she expected an influx of a little more than 200
elderly, “although this is a very high figure for the facility because
it does have ideal conditions for sheltering them.”

Yaneysi Rios, a doctor at the 14th Clinic in the municipality of Habana
del Este, explained that many homeless people do not have family and
need to be hospitalized for life. “It is up to us to see to these people
who belong to our medical center, many are elderly and that have no
family nor do they receive care from any parallel institution. In
reality they need to be hospitalized for better care of their health,”
she added.

One of those elders who wanders around the city is Rogelio. He can be
seen in a centrally located park in Vedado as well as in the remotest
neighborhoods on the outskirts. “I’m retired from for more
than 15 years ago and since then I collect cans in different places and
in nightclubs. With over 42 years of work I have no place to live, so
today I stay here and tomorrow there,” he said.

Now he is trying to hide from the eyes of the and medical teams
who are inspecting the streets. He does not want to go to a detention
center because he prefers “to have my independence.” Xiomara Kindelan
agrees with him. Her 69-year-old brother was taken to one of those
temporary centers while she wasn’t home. “Truly he roams” she declared,
“but if they had told me to control him so he would not to leave the
house for several days, I would have no problem, ultimately he is my
younger brother.”

Neighbors on Monte street, in the municipality of Old Havana, watched
when employees from Public Health approached several people begging in
the streets and put them on a . A worker from Community Services in
the area said that since early Monday the raid has been massive: “I have
not seen anything like it and I have spent years working here, anyone
with the hint of a being beggar was forced on the bus, many are elderly
people living in the area who have children and grandchildren who are
dedicated to their care.”

Reinier Lopez, a resident of Monte Street at the corner of Angeles, said
he was angry because his grandfather was taken away “like a dog in the
street… I do not agree with these actions, I am a trained young man and
for five years I have devoted myself to my job, my house and caring for
my grandfather who is 78. Now he is in a place for people with mental
disorders it is not the right thing when you have family members who
care for you,” he argued.

Although these measures were never officially announced, some homeless
migrated to more distant neighborhoods, while the families of others are
hosting them temporarily until Obama finally says goodbye to the island
and life returns to normal.

Source: Havana Hides its Beggers / 14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta Labrada |
Translating Cuba –

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