Who's the Mother of All Slumlords over in tumbledown Havana?
Lefties and Sandalistas have had a grand old time with their Cuba-worship: the mojitos. The Malecón. The 1950s Chevys. The Buena Vista Social Club sound. The "quaint" tumbledown buildings...
For President Obama and his naïve sidekick, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, it was "eating with Raul," too. And that "apertura" to Cuba and all its "quaint" buildings was followed by paean after paean about all the tourism potential. Conde Nast got involved. Vanity Fair got involved. Oh, so hip and chic.
Now USA Today has a report out about that tumbledown shambles so oohed and ahhhed at by the chi-chi left, and it's not pretty:
In Havana, some of the same architectural gems that draw tens of thousands of American tourists crash to the ground every year. Causes range from weather and neglect to faulty renovations and theft of structural beams.
Carlos Guerrero, 45, said he and his family live "like scared dogs" in a crumbling building along Merced Street.
Neighbors tell them, "Get out of there! It's going to collapse!"
"It makes you feel like going and living under a bridge," said Guerrero, who vows to grab a machete and seek revenge on housing officials if anything happens to his wife and three children.
Some 3,856 partial or total building collapses were reported in Havana from 2000 to 2013, not including 2010 and 2011 when no records were kept.
The collapses worsened an already severe housing shortage. Havana alone had a deficit of 206,000 homes in 2016, official figures show.
What a hellscape. Imagine having to live in a building so dilapidated that you fear for your life in a collapse every day, and that's what counts as your home.
And let's raise the question the press account didn't: who owns these things? Who's the absentee landlord, who wins the title hands down as Mother of All Slumlords? Who's the horrible owner who would allow a human being to live in such a collapsing firetrap? Imagine if such a creature lived in the U.S.
Reader David Paulin emailed American Thinker editor in chief Thomas Lifson with these excellent observations:
Well, interestingly, USA Today's article about the collapses fails to mention who actually OWNS the buildings – or go into any details, in a declarative sentence or two, about private vs. state ownership and what not, and its impact on the calamity of collapsing decaying buildings. Instead, there's a sentence that soft-pedals everything, stating that the causes of the collapses "range from weather and neglect to faulty renovations and theft of structural beams." The only hint of who owns the buildings (and why the owner is such a deadbeat landlord) is a reference to Cuba being "communist."
So there you have it: Socialism. Socialism in its communist incarnation is the actual owner, and boy is it absentee. More specifically, that would be one Raúl Castro, and whoever his appointed dupe is who nominally runs Cuba now, is the owner, because the Castro oligarchy owns everything.
This is what happens when socialism gets entrenched and socialists have all the power.
So where's Sean Penn to denounce this hellscape? Where's Maxine Waters? Where's Oliver Stone? Where's Bernie Sanders? Where's the Rev. Al Sharpton? Where's Ben Rhodes? Where's Beyoncé? Where's Obama?
They've all have pilgrimaged to Havana to behold that charming and quaint architecture before it collapses onto its tenants and kills quite a few of them. Somehow, they're a bit tongue-tied.
And what we are now seeing as these quaint and picturesque buildings collapse onto their occupants is literally the ash heap of history.
It would be funny if it weren't literally true.