Monday, August 27, 2007

Up and down. And down.

Next time you feel like complaining about crowded or slow lifts in your building, spare a thought for the poor buggers living in apartment blocks in Havana.

It’s just been revealed that half of all the lifts in residential buildings in the Cuban capital either do not work or are in such a state of disrepair they should (but won't) be replaced immediately.

Of course, we are referring here to ordinary residential buildings.

You know, where ordinary Cubans live, as opposed to the modern, high-rise hotels reserved for foreign tourists - or the VIP apartments reserved for the Communist Party elite.

The official newspaper of the Union of Communist Youth (UJC), Juventud Rebelde, has confirmed over the weekend that there are just 562 residential lifts in all of Havana.

And the vast majority of these barely work, according the head of the State-owned lift repair company, Juan Jose Hernandez.

In fact, Mr Hernandez told the paper that only nine new lifts have been installed in residential buildings in Havana since 1959.

As a result, residents normally have to climb hundreds of stairs to get to their homes. Every day. No matter whether you are a child, elderly or infirm. Up and down.

Now, that’s quite a legacy, isn’t it?

Since Fidel Castro came to power 48 years or so ago, a grand total of nine new lifts installed in all of residential Havana.

In case you are wondering, that's about one new lift every five years.


Anonymous alerp said...

There weren't many considering how many multistory buildings there were. One of my aunts lived in a four-story bldg. in El Vedado and had no elevator at the time. If she bought something from a street vendor, she had a basket to lower and pick up her purchase.

6:07 am  

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