Friday March 31, 2017
Citizen Ermes Masía Cárdenas, 68, a neighbor on Calle Colón final #162, Santa Isabel de las Lajas, Cienfuegos province, gives evidence that his house was damaged by hurricane Lilly in 1996, and the damage verification commission certified his house as complete collapse. Since he has no family to care for him and faces economic and health problems, he was assigned a subsidy to build his house. Ermes is an epileptic, suffers from a nervous condition and has a drinking problem.
The situation is that the blue print included three small rooms, living room, kitchen, bathroom and a porch. Since he is a person with little knowledge, the housing officials did not provide him with all the materials in the contract. They handed over the house as finished, but without the porch, without kitchen furniture, and for the bathroom they only gave him the bowl without the tank, low-quality wood for the window frames, and cardboard doors. They told him not to worry, that the rest would be delivered once he moved in, and that aluminum doors and blinds would be delivered.
Nothing was delivered or replaced and they have deceived him for a bit more than 10 years. His house has no porch, no kitchen, no bathroom, and it remains open because it has no decent door. In his testimony, he says he has resorted to the Communist Party and the People’s Power, that he has mentioned the situation to different leaders and that all they have told him is “yes, we will consider it,” but ten years have passed.
Ermes asks himself: where is all that is missing to finish his house? No one has explained it to him. He is tired of deceptions and pleas, and says he will no longer ask for anything.
Defensoría del Pueblo (People’s Defense) activists in Lajas will personally take over this case –which is a duty of the State and relevant organizations, and will register him with the elders’ circle, a request by Ermes which has been turned down with the excuse that there is no space. This means that it does not seem to be for everyone, and should be called “Home for some elders.”
By Roberto Machado García, municipal delegate in Lajas, Cienfuegos, and Jorge Luis Olivert Días activist and People’s Defender.