Thursday, October 06, 2016

In the Midst of a Hurricane, Mariela Castro Remodels Her Mansion

In the Midst of a Hurricane, Mariela Castro Remodels Her Mansion / Juan
Juan Almeida

Juan Juan Almeida, 3 October 2016 — At the same time that Hurricane
Matthew is setting off alarms throughout the island, especially in the
eastern part of the country, the wall of secrecy surrounding the Castro
family is starting to crack, allowing us to see that the Cuban
government is spending more money on remodeling Mariela Castro's house
than on relief aid to deal with the approaching storm.

The numbers speak for themselves. If nothing else, Hurricane Matthew has
exposed the sins of Raúl Castro's family. Satellite images, which do not
lie, reveal that from 2013 to the present the government has invested
more than double the money at triple the quality on remodelling Princess
Mariela's house — located at 1513 206th Street (between 15th and 17th)
in Havana's Atabey district — than on preparations for the area that, as
of Saturday, remains under a hurricane warning.

On October 1 General Raúl Castro appeared in Santiago de Cuba flanked by
the ministers of Transport, Energy and Mines, Construction,
Communication, Agriculture and Domestic Commerce. The group also
included the president of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources,
the first deputy minister of Public Health and the deputy minister of
the Revolutionary Armed Forces, General Ramón Espinosa Martín.

The presidential party arrived in eastern Cuba with a shipment of aid
that included fiber cement construction panels, zinc, steel and wood
panels, asphalt roofing materials, electrical generators, food and water.

The entourage also inspected the preparations by the General Staff for
Civil Defense for food distribution, stockpiling of agricultural
products and the evacuation of those living in low-lying areas to higher

The resources are insufficient, I believe, because turning the official
residence of General Castro's daughter, who is also director of the
Cuban National Center for Sex Education, into a bunker required
diverting resources and state assets to invest in construction materials
for an expanded housing complex which now includes a perimeter stone
wall, lined on its inside face with Jaimanita limestone, and a new
security system.

The remodeling project involved replacing the property's original pool,
previously located behind the house, with a new rectangular imported
one, now located along the side of the house. An "old shack" was
demolished and replaced with a new structure which features precious
woods from the Guanahacabibes peninsula, one of Cuba's principle nature
preserves. As though that were not enough, designers and construction
workers were used to build and furnish an adjacent bungalow-style guest
house. The entire project — including labor, transportation and
refreshments for the construction crews — was coordinated by the
Revolutionary Armed Forces.

The Hurricane Matthew alert confirms just how much disdain the classless
ruling class has for the Cuban people. If General Raúl Castro really
wants to stamp out corruption by the root, he should start by cleaning
up his own house.

Source: In the Midst of a Hurricane, Mariela Castro Remodels Her Mansion
/ Juan Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba -
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