A Cuban woman being evicted from her home in Spain. Scenes like this are becoming more common as Spain’s economic woes deepen. They’re also putting the bitter lie to the idea that a capitalist economy spells more freedom, as one Cuban family found out the hard way after no longer being able to pay their own rent:
A man and a woman have been detained by the Spanish national police after opposing the eviction of a family of five Cubans from their home in Alicante for not paying the rent as of last July.
Police sources indicated to the EFE press agency that the detainees, also Cuban, have been transferred to the Commissary of Benalua, accused of “assaulting agents of authority, resistance, and disobedience”, and state that two police officers have been “slightly injured” during the eviction.
The incident occurred when police intervened to speed up the eviction of a family composed of two dissident Cubans and their three children, two of them minors, from their home in the area of Gran Vía and Novelda Avenue.
At the time the police tried to enter the house, about a hundred people, most of them members of the group “Stop Evictions”, who had been gathered around the block, sat down on the ground to prevent them from entering.
The police began to remove the demonstrators, who had locked arms and legs for greater resistance, so that many of them had to be removed as a string.
There was a moment of heightened tension when the agents removed a disabled person who was participating in the demonstration in a small adapted vehicle. The demonstrators then began to advance on the agents, hurling insults.
The police also removed one of the daughters of the evicted family, a minor, by force, causing bruises to one of her hands.
When the agents gained access to the door, there was a struggle with the persons inside, resulting in several broken windows to the door.
Finally, the police entered the home of the family, who began to empty the house of their personal belongings and bring them to the street, assisted by members of the “Stop Evictions” group.
“We won’t stay in the street, nor will they take our children to Social Services, because I am a mother, and I didn’t come to Spain to have problems with the justice system,” said the mother of the family, Ismara Sánchez, to the media, minutes after having to vacate her home.
The family moved to Spain in 2011, thanks to a plan in which the Catholic church and the Spanish government collaborated to evacuate various political dissidents from Cuba.
According to a friend of the family, Juan Francisco Marimón, this plan brought 600 Cuban families to Spain, promising them a residency and work permit for five years, and economic aid of some 300 euros a month.
Marimón said that the family enjoyed subsidized protection in Spain as “political refugees”, since they belonged to a “national civic movement” in Cuba, for which they had been “incarcerated for seven and a half years.”
“When we came to Spain, the ambassador himself told us that as long as we didn’t find jobs here, they would give us economic aid from the European Fund for Refugees,” said Marimón.
However, the evicted family could not find work in Spain, and stopped paying the rent on their home last July, which was the reason for their eviction.
The irony of the situation could not be more clear. These unfortunate souls were “evacuated” from Cuba after allegedly being imprisoned for belonging to an anti-communist movement of some sort (which one is unknown at this time). If they thought they could find more freedom (or at least, more money) in Spain, they have been harshly disabused of that notion by the bankers of the European Union, who, like their landlords, couldn’t care less that they were not able to pay their own way. In the end, these celebrated “dissidents” became just one more economic burden on the cash-strapped Spanish state. And so in the land of capitalist “freedom”, they once again find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Along with a great many Spaniards…who, ironically, may be taking a fresh look at communism and socialism now that capitalism has proved itself unable to keep its own promises. And who, if they still remember what Spain was like in Republican times, might well be feeling some nostalgia for those pre-Civil War days…or even eyeing Cuba with sighs of envy. Because the problems of Spain are threatening to become worse than anything Cuba has ever seen since the Revolution, and even the terrible Special Period is starting to pale by comparison…
¡Cuba y España…nunca se engaña!