[Marxism] Wilma's surge flooding paralyzes Havana (Reuters)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 24 16:03:15 MDT 2005

This is a grotesque lie. Havana is not and has not been paralized.
The flooding along the Malecon has been unprecedented. A principal
thoroughfare like Linea, several blocks up from the Malecone was
so flooded that boats were used by civil defense to get people out.
But the city was NOT paralized. Electricity was out from yesterday
at 4PM until today at 11AM, but has been on ever since. Cars, taxis,
trucks and people were out and about as of 9AM, because I went out
and saw them myself. Trucks were cleaning up fallen branches from
some of the trees. But the idea that the city was paralyzed is a
complete and utter fabrication. And all of this and more also was
shown on the 1 PM national newscast, and will be shown again both
on tonight's Mesa Redonda and on the national 8PM newscast. This
is one of the reasons it's so important to me to be able to be in
this city to report to you from my own observations that this is
a city which is not at all paralyzed. Parts of it certainly are,
but the city as a whole? Absolutely not! I'm living in the Vedado
district which Boadle cites, and there is NOTHING paralyzed here.
P.S., not only did the Cuban Revolution kick out mobster Meyer
Lansky, it also kicked out the US-backed dictatorship of Batista,
which welcomed U.S. gangsters to run such operations here in Cuba.

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews


Wilma's surge flooding paralyzes Havana 
Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:55 AM ET
By Anthony Boadle

HAVANA, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Roaring seas in the wake of Hurricane
Wilma sent massive waves crashing over Havana's famed Malecon sea
wall on Monday, flooding shoreline neighborhoods and paralyzing the
city of 2 million.

Rescuers used row boats and makeshift rafts, including inner tubes,
to ferry stranded residents to higher ground as water levels rose.

Parts of the 5-mile (7 km) wall were hidden under the sea.

"I've never seen the sea come in so far, not even in the storm of the
century (in 1993), and it is still rising," said Edith Valdez, a
44-year resident of Central Havana.

In the Vedado district, known for its Art Deco buildings, sea water
penetrated four blocks inland in some parts, flooding basements of
buildings and hotels. Residents waded to safety through waist-high
waters carrying a few belongings.

The deepest floods were around the Riviera Hotel, build by Mafia boss
Meyer Lansky before Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution ousted U.S.
mobsters and shut down their casinos and brothels.

"I've lost everything," said a barefooted Juan Villar Cuevas, 41, who
lived in a basement apartment.

"It's amazing, the streets have turned into big canals," said Olga
Livia Martinez, hugging her boy-friend.

Wilma spared Cuba a direct hit after devastating Mexico's Mayan
Riviera tourist resorts, but wind gusts of 86-mph (138-kph) ripped
through Havana, knocking down lampposts and stripping branches off

Water began crashing over the sea wall after midnight, quickly
turning streets into rivers.

Firemen, including divers in wetsuits, used motorboats to carry
residents to safety. Some evacuees feared their belongings would be

Havana had no power -- authorities cut supplies before the storm on
Sunday to prevent electrical accidents. Streets were strewn with
branches and leaves.

The sea surges forced the evacuation of the low-lying coastal village
of Santa Fe, south of the capital, residents said.

Havana inhabitants debated whether the flooding was worse that the
so-called "storm of the century" when winds from the north caused
surge flooding in Vedado.

"It's the worst flooding I recall, twice as bad as 1993, and may
continue until dawn," said Orestes Dominguez, resident of Havana's
leafy Miramar district, where the sea advanced a full block inland.

Cuban weather experts said seas would subside by late afternoon.

(Additional reporting by Esteban Israel and Nelson Acosta)

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