Photo: Orlando Luis Pardo
Alain Maikel Hernandez Sotolongo is the father of three children, aged nine, eight and six months or age, all of whom were evicted on 19th February from housing located in Passage A # 7, between Desagüe and Peñalver, Central Havana.
The owner of this house died in January, and her only daughter who lives in Spain has no interest in the property. The municipal housing management collected all the belongings of the deceased and sealed the house; Alain has a document signed and sealed from November 2008 in which the Housing Authority stated that the living space of their property “located in Pocitos # 172 between Oquendo and González Márquez, Central Havana, suffered a total collapse of the roof and floor, that they would be relocated to cubicle 10 of the parking lot of Poliplast (Plastics Company) while it is pending constructive alterations to make it habitable”. This cubicle where Alain was relocated with his family has a hole for the overflow sewer water of the adjacent building. But the three children of the family have asthma and allergies, so they cannot live in the midst of these odors and moisture.
Alain and his wife Arlen, informed that there was this empty apartment, made a formal request to the Housing Office, before the deadline to decide who would inhabit the premises.
According to the declaration of the police it reached a person named Charon in the PNR*, the police, in the Central Havana municipality of Zulueta y Dragones; Bárbara Araujo, the Head of Shelters at the Housing Authority, and the Police Chief.
Although Cuban authorities claim that on January 1, 1959 the sad story of eviction and homelessness ended, this Cuban family lived and experienced the grim reality of being homeless and living like nomads and despite being a month in this situation still remain homeless, returning to the building where they were taken and are undergoing another eviction.
*National Revolutionary Police