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Water arrives in Maisí, in eastern Cuba, after the protest of several families

Several tanker trucks arrived this Monday at the town of Adriano Galano Cautín, in Maisí (Guantánamo province), after several families protested last Saturday, blocking a road, due to water shortages. The solution, however, is only temporary, since “the only thing they did was fill the cisterns and sent for four more pipes,” says Yadiuska Domínguez, the person who released the videos of the demonstration.

“Half of the people still haven’t gotten water here,” assured Domínguez to Martí News from La Favela, as the town is also known. Now, he adds, they are waiting for a hypothetical delivery of tanks to store new shipments.

The appearance of the main authorities of the province and the Police in the town shortly after the protest began has convinced the women, Domínguez believes, that only by demonstrating can they attract the attention of those who can solve their problems. “Why did they have to wait for this to be formed to come and take care of the community?” she questions.

“Why did they have to wait for this to form before coming to take care of the community?”

According to the woman, in the demonstration, carried out mainly by the women of La Favela and their children, police chiefs, municipal and provincial leaders of the Government and the Water Company, and also the municipal secretary of the Communist Party appeared.

The authorities, Domínguez warns, called him to attention for having spread images of the demonstration on the internet. “They told me that if I continued uploading videos they would find out things about my life and they would also upload them to the Internet,” he explains.

There are “other ways,” they said, to demand solutions from the Government, while the transmission of protests could end in trial and prison, they argued. The woman, however, continues to believe in her: “I got tired of calling you (the leaders) and you never listened. And, like me, everyone did,” she points out.

“I have five children and a bedridden old man. In the five years we have been living here, they have never been able to give me a tank,” he also told Martí News Roilma Furones – another of the protesters from La Favela –, emphasizing that, of the two buckets she had to store water, one was broken by a police officer during the demonstration.

The situation of La Favela, like that of many rural towns in Cuba, is critical

The situation of La Favela, like that of many rural towns in Cuba, is critical. As the residents explained to the media, the water they receive through the pipes only arrives every 45 days, and the rest of the time they have to make do as they can. The families hope that the problem, which they have been complaining about for a long time, will be solved soon. “They put it here every 45 days, it depends, but we can’t take it anymore. Every month it’s the same,” lamented Jessica, another of the residents.

The community was founded in 2020 to shelter those affected by Hurricane Matthew, which affected Guantánamo and Haiti. However, residents claim that the cistern built then to benefit the 89 homes could never be used due to damage to the structure, so more than 20 families had to build their own tanks.

The protest carried out by the inhabitants of La Favela arose from the desperation of families to access basic resources such as drinking water and food. In the first of the videos that document the event, and that circulated on social networks, those affected block the street with tanks and demand in a forceful tone that they be given water, sugar and food.

The dispute escalates with the arrival of several agents who moved the tanks away, demanding that those gathered stop their behavior, to which the women respond by accusing them of “civil abuse.” The authorities finally managed to get the families to carry their tanks back to their homes, but not before being victims of a bold statement: “The Díaz-Canel Police mistreat people. Homeland and Life.”


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