11 Images

A State of Decay

A car passes in front of a billboard of Cuban President Fidel Castro that states, “We’re doing well.” Yet Cuba is falling apart — literally. Though there are high-profile restoration projects in Old Havana, the country’s structural decay seems to worsen each month. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
Neptuno Street bustles with activity as residents return home to the central Havana area late Wednesday afternoon. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
Central Havana residents relax in front of a home on Neptuno Street. A lack of available or affordable building materials means many homes are crumbling. “There is no material and no money to buy it, so nothing has been maintained,” says a local construction worker. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
Panchita Camejo, 70, sits in the living room of her home in the central Havana area Wednesday evening. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
A pedestrian is reflected in the window of a vintage car along Calzada de Infanta Street. Most cars and trucks are state property, and residents have resorted to pilfering basic parts from some vehicles in order to keep others running. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
Passengers push the stalled bus they were riding in along L Street in Havana’s Vedado area on Wednesday evening. Moscow once provided most of what was needed to keep the Cuban economy moving, but aid stopped with the collapse of the Soviet Union almost 15 years ago. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
Luis Fernando Monzon Zantana plays a game of soccer in the street late Wednesday afternoon. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
A woman selling bread, second from right, talks to her customer from a stoop on Padre Varela Street. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
Cubans are reflected in a window in front of a poster of President Fidel Castro in central Havana. Though Castro retreated from the country’s leadership six weeks ago for surgery, few people will talk openly about what might be wrong with their political and economic system. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
A group of men play dominoes on Mazon Street late Wednesday afternoon. Hope for repair of Cuba’s housing and infrastructure has risen with the multibillion-dollar investments made by Venezuela in the past few years. (Genaro Molina / LAT)
A bicyclist makes his way down Padre Varela Street on Wednesday evening. Decades of trying to resolve daily demands of food, shelter and finance problems have left many Cubans too numb to think about the future. “It’s very tranquil here, very safe,” says one resident. “We like it that way and don’t want things to change, at least not suddenly.” (Genaro Molina / LAT)