They're building houses for Cubans deported from the U.S. / Juan Juan
Juan Juan Almeida, 4 July 2016 — The Cuban authorities are preparing to
receive, in a short period of time, a bonanza of Cubans with
deportation orders in the U.S. They're constructing for them, in an
undeveloped area, what many call a "polyfoam" neighborhood.
Judicial and police matters are subjects that both governments discuss
with a view to normalizing and perfecting relations. In agreement with
official data published in July 2015, they have mandated the deportation
of 35,106 Cuban nationals in the U.S., of which, at this moment, 162 are
detained and 34,944 are at liberty.
One of the lawyers for the Office of Housing said that this ward,
located in the Havana municipality of Boyeros, very close to Avenida
Vento, just on the border that separates Capdevila and Altahabana, which
has been conceptualized as "Popular Council Capdevila 1," was conceived
to shelter and/or isolate the Cubans expelled from the North. The
deportees will come together, in this one-of-a-kind district, with a
"thousand beings." Some have spent years, by the grace of God, without
housing, because their houses collapsed; some are ex-prisoners whose
conduct is still marginal, and certain families are "special cases"
whose homes were expropriated, by force and without claim, for different
How to bring snow to the desert
With an acceptable and misleading image that falsifies its real and
flimsy character, the area is composed of small, multi-family buildings
constructed of polyurethane foam boards. For the time being, and it
seems that even later, they won't have numbers on the front doors. The
streets still haven't been paved and there is no adequate signage. But,
as a Mexican move star said, "This doesn't have the least importance or
the greatest transcendence."
Accommodating a new neighborhood with different concepts can be
confusing. I'm speaking of hospitality, housing and prison.
I managed to talk with someone who works there constructing these
buildings, a specialist in the material cited, and who identified
himself as the architect for the community.
The professional explained that polyurethane foam offers total thermal
and water-repellent insulation. It's easy to handle, doesn't contaminate
the environment, contains no insects or rodents, doesn't need any
special care, doesn't decay, doesn't rust or become moldy; it's light,
flexible, elastic, waterproof; the chemicals are inert, and it serves as
an excellent insulator from noise. But here's the thing: It's not
designed for the load to which it's being subjected. Then he stopped
talking and in a subtle transition, mixing honesty, disillusion and
imprudence, he concluded: "We'll see how it holds up when the first
hurricane starts blowing. I'll let you know."
Source: They're building houses for Cubans deported from the U.S. / Juan
Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba -