La Habana del matrimonio Lewis (Oscar y Ruth)

Estuche de viaje con artículos de tocador

Estuche de viaje con artículos de tocador. 1940s. Colección Cuba Material.

Tomado del Lewis, Oscar, Lewis, Ruth M. and Rigdon, Susan M. 1978. Neighbors. Living the Revolution. An Oral History of Contemporary Cuba. Urbana: University of Illinois Press:

By the late 1960s, Havana was far from the city of privilege it once had been. The heavy downtown traffic, motor and pedestrian, had disappeared; nightclubs, shops and small businesses, many restaurants, concessions, and vendors had been “intervened” (nationalized) and shut down, or reopened on a part-time basis under state management. Tourism was, of course, greatly curtailed. . . . Hotels, private clubs, and beaches were taken over by the National Institute of the Tourist Industry; clubs and beaches were opened to the public and hotel room rents were lowered by as much as $35 a day, making them available to large number of Cubans. (P. xiv)

In 1960, schools, clinics, and rest homes were established in Miramar’s larger vacated residences. The medium and smaller-sized homes became foreign embassies, administrative offices, and dormitories for boarding students on scholarships. . . . Single-family residences and apartments were assigned to visiting dignitaries, foreign technicians working on agricultural or industrial development programs, and diplomatic personnel. In one part of Miramar a small community was established for the families of counterrevolutionaries who were serving time in prison or on work farms. Brought to the city in 1965 at state expense, these families, once numbering 1,000 people, from rural Pinar del Río and Las Villas provinces, were to be “rehabilitated” and integrated into the Revolution while husbands, sons, and fathers underwent the same process un prison.

For the old residents who remained in Miramar, personal lives were turned upside down. . . . They were no longer able . . . to organize landowners’ associations to maintain the appearance of the community, or a private police force to keep “undesirables” from entering the neighborhood. The “undesirables” had moved next door and had taken over the private beaches and clubs. The scholarship children played in the streets, parks, and yards, picked fruit from private gardens, and marched in formation past their homes, singing and shouting slogans of the Revolution as they went. (Pp. xiv-xv)

El matrimonio Lewis identificó cinco principales áreas de cooperación entre los nuevos y antiguos inquilinos: “(1) borrowing food, household items, and tools, and exchanging foods, (2) running errands, shopping or standing in line for one another, and informing each other of items available in the stores, (3) occasionally taking care of each other’s children, (4) working together in block or neighborhood organizations, (5) sharing items of luxury or privilege, such as telephones, automobiles, refrigerators, and small appliances” (p. xxxvi).

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