About two years ago, I was shopping at a local Sam’s Club in Sunrise. When I got to the garden section, I went nuts. Right in the middle they had a gigantic green plastic storage shed with windows, doors and even a vent.
I started screaming to my companion “Oh My God!, If they only had these in Cuba!” “This is like a condo- a palace for poor Cubans with no shelter!” “How much are these?!?”
My companion, who was born here, thought I was kidding and was trying to get calm me down and get me to lower my voice. People were staring. But I wasn’t kidding. I know that for many Cubans a plastic storage shed would be better and safer than where they live now. “Don’t be silly”, they said. “People can’t live in plastic houses!”
Yesterday, I came across a Sun Sentinel article which claims that Cuba is planning on building “petrohouses” to ease the severe home shortage.
The minute I read this, the first thing that I thought of was one of those monopoly houses-they’re plastic and tiny. Then I thought of a dollhouse. And then I remembered the Green Plastic Garden Shed from Sam’s Club.Hoping to ease a national housing shortage, Cuba said it will build 14,000 plastic homes each year at a petrochemical plant being constructed with financial assistance from Venezuela.The homes, about 753 square feet each, will be made mostly with polyvinyl chloride produced by the new plant. It is scheduled for completion in September and will be part of the recently modernized Cienfuegos oil refinery, project director Julian Alonso told Prensa Latina, the state news agency.
Immediately, I jumped on my Comcastic bandwith information portal with power boost- the internet- and went to the virtual Sam’s Club to search for the garden shed.
Here is a smaller model. It has been upgraded. It’s now “Taupe and Bronze”, not green plastic garbage can green.
So basically, the regime is going to be housing Cubans in a plastic garden shed that’s about 6 times as large as this one and not as pretty:
Still, it's better than these "homes" in a section of my Havana neighborhood from a photo posted at Secretos De Cuba:Like I told my life partner at Sam's Club. For some Cubans a garden shed would be a palace.
It's interesting to note that the Castro brothers only build homes for the Cuban people when someone else is paying whether its the old Soviet style and paid for tenements in Alamar or these Chavez subsidized garden sheds.