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Sierra Maestra Building: The materialization of a country's history
2019

In 1957, Cuba lived under the regime of the dictator Fulgencio Batista. The country was ruled by military personnel, lined with landowners and bankers. In the same year, a bold architectural project was created for the construction of a building of over 200 beachfront apartments on Puntilla beach, in Miramar, Havana.
The construction began in 1957 and was not completed until 1960. With the arrival of the revolution, a large part of the residents of the so-called Rio Mar Building fled to the United States, and the state renamed it Sierra Maestra, a mountain range where the greatest battles of the revolution were fought.  At the height of the economy of the Cuban socialist regime in the 1980s, the building became a leisure space in the neighborhood, frequented by Soviet technicians and political figures, as well as by the local population.

The arrival of the crisis in the economy has historically coincided with the "Storm of the Century", a tropical cyclone that flooded the entire capital and completely destroyed the facade of the building that was already deteriorating by the sea.In the following months, the foreigners were removed from the apartments and the Cubans remained with the promise that they would be removed later.
Today, 26 years later, 14 Cuban families continue to live in the building declared uninhabitable by the government.
The beach of Puntilla, full of rubble, remains of the building is currently visited by hundreds of people who, with reverence to the forces of nature, bring offerings to Yemanja.
 Sierra Maestra is today a monument forgotten in time. Every cracked wall and every steel beam twisted by history and by nature are the marks of a country in which changes are felt in the skin.

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