snafus cloud housing titles in Cuba
HAVANA, July 17 (www.cubanet.org) - Dr. Melba
Zaldívar was recently declared an illegal
occupant of the apartment that had been assigned
to her as the neurosurgeon in residence at the
Holguín provincial hospital.
Her tale is familiar to many here, who say they
are the victims of bureaucratic inefficiency and
incompetence in processing the voluminous amounts
of paperwork involved in common transactions.
To award the right to living quarters assigned
to hospital personnel, as in Dr. Zaldívar's
example, a commission if formed under the direction
of the labor union having jurisdiction. That commission
has the responsibility of filling out all the
required paperwork to legalize tenancy, but often
they leave loose ends dangling which come back
to haunt the occupants. In Dr. Zaldívar's
case, the union now disavows any responsibility
for the situation.
Others have similar stories to tell. Armando
Martínez, Bismarck González, Israel
Jerez, Magdalena Dorticós, Ibis Hernández,
and José Martínez all joined construction
microbrigades in 1989 at their places of employment.
The idea behind the microbrigades is that people
who join them build houses without pay after performing
their regular duties in whatever job they hold,
and in return eventually receive the right to
a dwelling, usually an apartment.
Martínez and the others were assigned
apartments five years ago, after waiting 9 years.
Now, they are told they appear as illegal occupants
of those apartments.
Besides having to fight to keep their homes,
Dr. Zaldívar and the others have other
problems. Since all the documents attesting to
their current addresses are not in order, they
have not been able to process their ration cards,
gas service, and such everyday necessities.