MAISÍ, Guantánamo.— The abject poverty found in the Cuban mountains before the triumph of the Revolution, was perhaps more pronounced in Maisí than any other part of the Cuban archipelago.
The population of this easternmost point of Cuba lived practically isolated for centuries, in the most terrible economic misery, with almost complete illiteracy due to the lack of schools and teachers, with scarcely a doctor in its vast geography, without roads or transport, without social infrastructure or utilities, and with housing in very poor conditions. The greatest irony was to call a place abandoned due to misgovernment the “Gran Tierra” (Great Land), where that resource, the land, was in the hands of two landowners, who dispossessed its peasants.
With the dawn of January 1, 1959, a radical change commenced in the lives of the people of Maisí, who were provided with teachers and doctors, schools and health centers, electricity, communication services, water supplies, cultural, sports, recreational, commerce and gastronomy facilities and parks, as well as transportation and roads that ended their isolation.
An unforgettable moment for the municipality was the execution of the so-called “Plan Fidel,” through which five children’s day-care centers, the Santa Rita and Santa Martha boarding schools, the Cayo dairy, La Máquina laundry service, the benchmark Vertientes coffee plantation, the Maya pipeline, and the community of Los Arados, were all built. An electrical plant was also located in La Máquina and a barbershop-hairdressing-cafeteria complex in La Asunción. These facilities, built in just two years, were inaugurated by the Comandante en Jefe, in July 1967.
These unquestionable advances brought about in Maisí by the Revolution were consolidated over the last 15 months, through the recovery process following the severe damage caused by Hurricane Matthew to the municipality in 2016. The works have left the community with more beautiful and comfortable facilities today than before the storm struck.
The repairs to housing and state facilities were accompanied by the emergence of important works to improve the socio-economic infrastructure of the territory and the population’s living standards.
Among these constructions are the Yumurí-Jobo Claro road, the sand and gravel mill, the concrete production plant, the Faro de Maisí Hotel, a photovoltaic park, seven telephone exchanges, a store and sales points, mini-industries for the production of construction materials, and the placement of new pipelines to improve the water supply service in several communities, all of which, added to what was previously built by the Revolution, makes for a striking contrast between Maisí before 1959, and the municipality of today.