This qualifies as mundane and pointless unless you have a personal connection to the story.
Juventud Rebelde, one of Cuba’s biggest newspapers just published an article on the state of elevators in Havana. The whole thing, in Spanish, is here. But here are some highlights:
- Havana has 562 elevators in residential buildings
- Since 1959 only 9 of the residential elevators have been substituted
- Since 1973 replacement parts have not been available, not even for soviet made elevators, the main problem seems to be financial.
- The government agency in charge of residential elevators just allocated 4.4 million dollars for repairs to 83 elevators, 81 of them in Havana - that will leave only 481 not working
- One problem in the horizon seems to be that new elevators have more electronic parts, which will not do well unless the buildings are air conditioned, which none of them are.
The article also has interviews with some residents of Havana, some that have lived in the 23rd floor since 1993, and have never had a working elevator. Not even during moving day. That means 23 floors up and down, every single day since 1993.
Another a 70 year old who lives in a 25th floor, and also has to climb up and down the stairs daily. During the climbs he gets dizzy and suffers from tremors in his extremities. I would too.
Three elderly residents have not been able to leave their appartment in 15 years, because their elevator has been broken since then.
All this in the capital of Cuba. Where tourist hotels, restaurants and clubs are all spruced up and freshly painted, and all have working elevators (most of the time), and in a society that supposedly protects the weakest of its citizens.
For those who would blame the US embargo, it is not mentioned once in the article. This is just the way things work in communist Cuba.