The explosion of an emblematic hotel in a central corner of Havana, the worst fire in the history of Cuba, a category three hurricane splitting the west of the island in two, intense rains, dengue fever… have made 2022 an extremely complicated year.
Due to accidents or the fury of nature, bad news has followed one another, shaking the fibers of a country that has suffered every tragedy in its soul.
No matter how far you have been from them, you will never know those who lost everything or those who will no longer be there.
The pain has been almost as great as the solidarity that has sprung up everywhere to help.
COVID-19 and everything that has derived from it, together with the hostile policy of the United States, were already, by themselves, alone, a tough obstacle to overcome, when on the morning of May 6, a violent explosion caused by a gas leak destroyed the Saratoga hotel and caused damage to other 23 buildings in the Cuban capital.
“It seems that the whole of Havana has mobilized there,” described a Granma report shortly afterward, and compared it to Saratoga, or what what was left of it, with one of those dollhouses that you can see inside.
” But there is nothing innocent in the spectacle of tattered steel and cement”, warned the text.
” The eyes do not want to see, but they see, the sheets covering the bodies, and thus the obvious is confirmed in this scenario …”.
Overall, the accident left a balance of 99 injured and after arduous days of searching among the rubble, the death of 45 personalities was certified.
As if that had not been enough misfortune, a discharge electric shock on the geodesic dome of the flammable tank number 52, at the Matanzas Supertanker Base during the afternoon of Friday, August 5, triggered what would be the worst fire that that has been registered in our country.
Despite the actions of the Cuban firefighters and those who came to their aid from friendly countries , the place ended up turning into hell that would take the lives of 16 personalities and would also leave 130 injured and enormous material losses.
The increase in the incidence of dengue, the fire in block number 7 of the Máximo Gómez Báez de Mariel Thermoelectric Power Plant, in the month of March, the intense rains in the west at the beginning of June, which caused flooding, landslides, deaths, and the fire in block 2 of the Lidio Ramón Pérez thermoelectric plant, in Felton, a month later, added new calamities that hindered, in one way or another, the progress of the country.
But the bad news would not end there. On September 27, Hurricane Ian crossed Pinar del Río with enormous force, which would make it the most destructive meteorological phenomenon that has impacted the territory.
The violence of its winds were such that they would also wreak havoc in three other provinces and on the Isla de la Juventud.
Only in Vueltabajo, the extensive inventory The damage included around 100,000 homes, 477 schools, 319 health facilities, 3,900 kilometers of power lines, and 95% of tobacco curing houses.
However, with a force equivalent to that of Ian himself, that very day, thousands of hands from all parts of Cuba began to reach the west to undertake the recovery.
The first to arrive in Pinar del Río, when the wind was still making itself felt, was the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, to transmit esper ance and encouragement, in a moment of bewilderment in the face of so much devastation.
” No one is to blame for a cyclone passing over us, no one has the guilt that a cyclone has destroyed things. What we do all have a responsibility to overcome these damages, “he said.
And for the umpteenth time since the beginning of 2022, in an exceptional and It could be said that even heroically, with the efforts of many, the miracle of the resurrection began to take place.
As had happened before fool COVID-19, Saratoga, the Supertanker Base, as has happened, time and time again, throughout more than six decades of the Revolution, the solidarity, the spirit of resistance and the altruism of the Cubans would once again inspire shudder.
The stories of men like Rolando Acuña, a man from Granma who had already spent six months in Vueltabajo, have been recorded in the press reports in 2008, to help build tobacco houses after the passage of Hurricane Gustav, and who was now returning with a sugarcane lifter, to support the sanitation work, as well as that of Yusimil Castañeda, a carpenter from Matanzas, who on his way to Viñales , to work on the recovery of the tourism facilities, decided to stop the bus with his companions and give the snack and toiletries they brought for their stay in Pinar del Río, to some personalities who lost everything.
” We have felt that Cuba has been depending on the province and it has not only been because the leadership of the Revolution has summoned it, but because of a natural feeling of Cubans from different regions who have come here,” Yamilé Ramos Cordero, first Party secretary in the territory, would comment to Granma about the countless displays of affection.
For this reason, more than for all the setbacks it brought, 2022 will have to be remembered for that great sensitivity that Cubans have overflowed and their will to overcome adversity.
Just a few days ago, at the closing of the V Plenum of the Central Committee, President Díaz-Canel recognized that “we have resisted all the blows of nature and of our own mistakes, without bending our knees and without giving up the dream of possible prosperity”, and proudly added that “the strength of this hard-working, honorable, passionate and imaginative people surpasses the attempt of comparison”.
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