'Camello' says goodbye to Havana

Campaign News | Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The infamous but necessary humped-backed public

buses which locals dubbed “camellos” in Havana say good bye to the

streets of the capital after Chinese and Russian made buses came in on


For thirteen consecutive years, the camellos have been the only choice

for average people among the 2.5 million inhabitants in Havana back and

forth from work, home, school; notwithstanding the not-very-pleasant

expletives when they got over-crowded during peak hours in summertime.

The last of these vehicles in the capital drove to the Calvario bus

station in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo on April 19th where it

was met by some of the fathers of the invention: engineer Alfredo Muñoz

Martinez, (project designer of the Empresa Industrial Guanabo), the

National Office of Industrial Design, architect Adrian Fernandez

Marquez, designer Pedro Garcia Espinosa and engineer Nestor Alonso


The revitalization of local transport in Cuba, still insufficient

though, is a sign of economic recovery but not yet the end of the

economic crisis known as “special period” which began after the collapse

of the socialist block and has been aggravated by the US economic


It is not yet time to let go of the “camellos”. The humped-backed buses

are now being allocated for public transport in Havana province.

It will probably be a long time before anyone can forget them in Havana.

Those surprised visitors to the city and locals with good memories will

never forget the camello, one of the symbols of the city already, along

with the Morro Castle and the Giraldilla.

Cuban News Agency

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