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February 2017
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Set Fire To Havana In Order To Hide The Body?

Set Fire To Havana In Order To Hide The Body? / Cubanet, Miriam Celaya

Cubanet, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 21 February 2017 – People say that when
an event happens repeatedly it stops being an accident. The fire that
took place on Monday, February 20th, 2017, in “La Mezclilla” store, in
the neighborhood of San Leopoldo (Municipality of Centro Habana) is the
third one in less than a month in a State-owned business in that

The first incidents occurred in an establishment dedicated to the
assembly and sale of paintings and mirrors (Subirana Street, Pueblo
Nuevo neighborhood); while the second, which took place a few days ago,
started in the appliances department of the commercial complex known as
La Feria de Rayo (Calle Rayo, in Chinatown).

So today’s fire adds to the mysterious tendency of “spontaneous
combustion” that is becoming viral in State stores, which most
suspicious Habaneros tendentiously attribute to the offensive the
Comptroller General has been carrying out In different companies and
that are exposing numerous pilfering, shortages and corruption,
especially in centers dealing in Cuban convertible pesos (CUC) or the
Cuban pesos (CUP) equivalents.

Fans of Mathematics cannot avoid the temptation to relate fires directly
to the offices of the comptroller, as summarized in the following axiom:
“An increase in in controllers is directly proportional to an increase
in state-owned businesses fires”

True or not, the causes of these strange fires have not been clarified
by the authorities thus far. In fact, these fires have not even been
reported in the national media, perhaps because they are attributed to
an accidental and “local” character, or because – in the midst of all
the material deprivation and social discontent- it is wiser not to stoke
the flames.

Some residents of the buildings adjacent to the fires point out that
firefighters and other specialized forces that have acted in these cases
have offered them the questionable explanation that it’s possible that
the buildings’ aging electrical systems have not withstood the overload
caused by the “high consumption” of these establishments, which sparked
the initial fire in the wires. This explanation does not convince
anyone, especially taking into account that the wiring of foreign
exchange stores is independent and much newer than the systems for the
municipality’s residential sector and, in theory, was previously
calculated on the basis of electricity usage for this type of premises.

Additionally, the plan of rigorous savings in electricity that has been
applied to the foreign exchange stores for a little more than a year
suggests the opposite: a decrease in consumption. For example, it is
well known that all stores are required to comply with a plan of “energy
indicators” which the stores cannot surpass, under penalty of losing
certain bonuses. This forces store employees to turn off the air
conditioning equipment according to a schedule previously established by
management, and as a result employees and customers alike have to
withstand the suffocating heat in the stores, which are not well
ventilated, since they were designed for the constant use of air

The chronic shortages in these businesses of late has also lightened the
burden on consumption, since many freezer/refrigerators, where frozen
products were once stored have been turned off and are out of service,
which also tends to weaken the version of the “electrical overload “as
the cause of fires.

But it happens that, in addition, there are notorious antecedents that
reinforce the malicious comments at the popular level, and are feeding
the rumors. No one has forgotten that a few years ago there was a big
fire in the “La Puntilla” store, and it was well known in the street
that the incident was initiated by a few employees who were involved in
an enormous embezzlement. Setting fire to the store was the swiftest
recourse they found to have the evidence for the crime disappear.

A similar case, equally silenced by the authorities, was the fire which
some sources considered intentional that took place about a year ago in
the basement of the popular Yumurí store (formerly known as “La Casa de
los Tres Quilos” [The House of the Three Pennies] located at the corner
of Reina and Belascoaín Roads, also in Centro Habana, right in the
marketplace department.

One does not have to be overly surprised. Cuba’s own history shows more
than one example of how the displeasure of criollos has been expressed
by flames. Thus, we have episodes like the Bayamo fire by the
Independence Forces, the one in the city of Cárdenas, by Narciso López,
and the incendiary torch that ruined the economy of not a few property
and land owners in the 19th Century, among other notorious events, fruit
of the pyromaniac national tradition.

In summary, whether or not the rumors are true, the fact is that several
state businesses from different parts of the capital are suffering in
these days a kind of fiery epidemic. If there really were a relationship
between fires, embezzlement and bad management, the whole island of Cuba
would be close to burning from one end to another.

Just in case, it would be advisable that, going forward, controllers
begin to consider the possibility of carrying out their rigorous
controls while supported by teams of firemen, cisterns and fire trucks…
to see if at least they are able to do it before the flames.

Source: Set Fire To Havana In Order To Hide The Body? / Cubanet, Miriam
Celaya – Translating Cuba –

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