Published On: Wed, Jan 18th, 2017

Baracoa residents still waiting for much needed help (2)

p_20161121_113526_hdrBARACOA – The little historic town of Baracoa, situated on the south-east coast of Cuba is still waiting for the so much needed help after it was devastated by a hurricane last year.

About 90 percent of the homes in Baracoa suffered damage from the powerful storm and five municipalities in the province of Guantanamo remain isolated up to this day.

There were several attempts to help the community but to no avail. The artist Tania Bruguera and the biochemist Oscar Casanella were stopped and detained by Cuban authorities recently as they were driving out of Havana to deliver aid to victims of Hurricane Matthew in the east of the country.

According to Diario de Cuba, Bruguera and Casanella were pulled over due to an alleged technical or administrative problem with the van they had rented, which was laden with donated mattresses and rice destined for citizens of Baracoa.

Bruguera was questioned for six hours by four counterintelligence officers and Lieutenant Colonel Kenia, who has monitored the artist’s activities in the past. The point of the questioning and the pretext for the pair’s detention remain unknown, but Bruguera will not be permitted to deliver the donated goods to hurricane victims in Baracoa.

The people need matrasses, tools, building materials and other supplies to help them back on their feet. The Cuban military tried to help right after the hurricane but now the residents will have to rebuild their town on their own.

Many of them don’t have confidence in the government as they themselves expressed this to the media. They are also scared to criticise the government in fear or retaliation.

Baracoa needs help, but the government is making it hard for the people to receive that help.

Special thanks to our correspondence in Cuba Sayne Moreno Martin for the report and the pictures.

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