Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Are We Caring for the Environment in Cuba? / Yoani Sanchez
Posted on November 24, 2013

A man dressed like a mechanic pours liquid from a tank into the sewer. A
few yards away, two boys are scrubbing a motorcycle and the soapy water
runs off onto the ground, watering the roots of some nearby trees.
Several neighbors have set fire to a pile of trash: dry leaves,
branches, but also a couple of batteries, a portable radio and even a
laser printer cartridge. After re-using it a dozen times, the restaurant
cook pours the burned oil down the sink, that is if he doesn’t take it
home for his family to eat. The hairdresser upstairs does the same
thing, when she tosses the used hair dye down the toilet. This
irresponsibility in the treatment of waste products extends across the
entire Island. Few are aware of the ecological damage caused by ordinary
daily activities.

Separating trash such as cardboard and glass, which is natural to
others, seems like a chimera in a country that hasn’t even solved the
problem of efficient trash collection. Even today the containers on the
corners overflow, bringing the flies, health hazards and stink that now
make up an inseparable part of cities like Havana. Thus, it’s hard work
to awaken awareness in a population whose priorities still center on the
so-called community services working at all. However, much of the damage
that we are causing to the environment is irreversible, and requires
urgent measures to slow it down as quickly as possible.

The State sector is the greatest predator of our ecosystem, with its
enormous factories that spew chemicals into rivers and the oceans, its
many sugar plants without oxidation ponds, and its thousands of vehicles
that don’t meet environmental standards. In addition, all this is hidden
by the absence of transparency, the falsification of statistics and the
prohibition on independent organizations that could address such
behaviors. Nevertheless, we as citizens also have to share a good part
of the blame.

The lack of an environmental mindset is felt in every detail of our
lives. It’s notable, for example, the self-confidence with which so many
Cubans cut down a tree, cement over their backyard where plants used to
grow, throw chemical products into the water, mistreat and kill animals,
or simply toss out recyclable materials. It’s not enough to ask children
in elementary school to plant a bean seed to foster in them a love of
nature. It’s also not enough to show ads on prime time TV calling on us
to preserve the planet on which we live. Caring for the environment has
to become a part of educational programs, strictly addressed in the law,
and promoted in all areas.

The emerging civil society should also adopt this banner. Without
lowering the torch of human rights and democratic changes, it’s time for
civic movements to create environmental defense strategies for this
Island we will bequeath to our children. Groups that report incidents
against the ecosystem, organize recycling training programs, and try to
protect natural resources should all take on a leading role. It’s great
that we want the coming generations to be free, but we must start by
guaranteeing we have a country to bequeath to them.

The clock is ticking. Nature does not wait. Tomorrow there will be no
turning back.

The post ¿Cuidamos el medio ambiente en Cuba? appeared first on
Generación Y – Yoani Sánchez.

24 November 2013

Source: “Are We Caring for the Environment in Cuba? / Yoani Sanchez |
Translating Cuba” –
http://translatingcuba.com/are-we-caring-for-the-environment-in-cuba-yoani-sanchez/


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