News and Facts about Cuba

Invasive Marabou Weed Arrives at the Plaza of the Revolution

Invasive Marabou Weed Arrives at the Plaza of the Revolution

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, NYC, 6 April 2017 — Resistant and thorny, the
invasive marabou weed has inundated Cuban fields and threatened to
displace the national shield’s royal palm. The shrub has become a plague
spreading across the country, covering previously arable land, and
worming its way into a topic for the speeches of senior officials. But
the tenacious invader is not exclusive to rural areas and has also
reached that symbol of power that is the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana.

On one side of the José Martí National Library, among the ruins of a
building that would have been used to house patients for Operation
Miracle – an eye care program – but that was never finished, grows a
spontaneous garden with tiny yellow flowers and powerful pods loaded
with seeds. The marabou raises its defiant branches there as if it were
pointing to the huge tower popularly called “La Raspadura” – The Scratch.

Without adequate machinery or chemical defoliants to help stop the
plague, across the island many country dwellers use old machetes and
makeshift axes to cut the trunks. However, on both sides of the highways
and in any vacant lot, the marabou continues to display its excellent

In 2007, during his speech on the anniversary of the attack on the
Moncada Barracks, Raúl Castro joked about the panorama he had found on
his trip to the city of Camagüey: “What was most beautiful, what stood
out to my eyes, was how lovely the marabou was along the whole road.”

Now, the implacable enemy is approaching the presidential office in the
Palace of the Revolution. Stealthy and steady, the marabou has won the

Source: Invasive Marabou Weed Arrives at the Plaza of the Revolution –
Translating Cuba –

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