Ten ‘squatter mothers’ are quartered to demand that the Cuban Government resolve their housing situation

Ten Cuban mothers —including two pregnant women— took over an abandoned printing press with their 11 children on Virtudes street #816 between Oquendo and Márquez González, in Havana Centerand they remain there without leaving for a week, under threat of eviction by the Government and the Technical Department of Investigations (DTI).

“We came here because our houses are in danger of collapsing or we don’t have. As soon as we got in, people from the DTI came to say that we should leave, without listening to us or anything. Since we are not going to leave without them talking to us and our problem being resolved, the police have prevented the entry of food that they bring usall to force us to give up,” the leader of the group, whom the rest of the women identify with the Yoruba word Iyawó, and who is dressed in white, told DIARIO DE CUBA.

In a video posted on Alain Paparazzi’s Facebook page, one of the mothers can be seen filming the surveillance to which they are subjected from inside the premises, hours after they decided to force their way into the abandoned four-story building.

“We don’t want them to see our problem as something political, we just want to be heard and, if possible, to give each of us a piece of this huge abandoned place to to be able to have our home. It is the only thing we want, but no one from the government has come here to talk with us,” said another of the mothers, who asked to remain anonymous.

The phenomenon of “squatter mothers” is spreading more and more throughout Cubaspurred by severe housing shortage. In the capital, where landslides are frequent, it is in Old Havana and Central Havana where the majority of cases are concentrateddue to the age and lack of repairs of the buildings.

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Although the authorities always try to remove the mothers from the premises or houses they occupy, in many cases these women manage to stay.