Casino Without Roulette

House currently advertised for sale in the Casino Deportivo neighborhood

The Sports Casino is a residential neighborhood built before 1959.  It is pretty, and there are many good houses there, although until recently and as expected, it was rather neglected.  Its streets eroded by government indifference looked like embankments, but that has changed in recent months.  They have begun to resurface the roads, even Vento Avenue, which is its main artery and was in good condition, has benefitted from the general maintenance around it.   Locals say that the substantial sprucing up that is reviving the neighborhood is due to the fact that in recent years they have been giving houses to the upper middle hierarchy of the Cuban armed forces.  As is logical, everyone is pleased with the favorable change, but they do not stop asking if other popular neighborhoods will get the same attention.

It reminds me of a song by the slain Chilean singer Victor Jara entitled “The little houses of the elite neighborhood,” in which he denounced the class differences existing in the Chile in which he lived.  It is true that there are inequalities in all countries, but they are more notable in the leftist dictatorships because they only recognize some rights that are convenient to the political model, those that the giant propaganda apparatuses accentuate and overestimate, and that support the idea that they are the example to follow.

From the time they came to power, the households of the powerful who fought in the Revolution were located in residential neighborhoods such as Miramar, Siboney, Vedado, Kohly, etc. For the people they built shabby  buildings that have never solved the demand of the ever growing population.  According to the order of class importance, they continue marking the differences on the housing map of the capital city, and it is no coincidence that the chosen neighborhoods and the real estate that they share were built before 1959.

With facts like this, they continually highlight that they have the resources and control; they ironically label as “citizens” those who support them in return for the violation of their fundamental rights, of discrimination, of historic promises broken, and of the chimera of a reward that the State reserves fundamentally for people or groups who share its interests.  What they used to euphemistically call “stimulus” are the perks of an enthroned dictatorial oligarchy that is more and more stratified and shows it more.

June 30 2012

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