It is the city of these times. If New York, London or Paris were the avant-garde metropolises in the last century, Miami has been claiming a more leading place since the nineties. It was then that it stretched out from its destination as a seaside resort for American retirees and a refuge for Cubans who fled the Castro regime to become the epicenter of global real estate investment, of advertising and a more glamorous tourism that fed the wealthy classes of Latin America and Italian, Spanish, French and even Turkish or Russian millionaires travelers.
Blessed with an unbeatable Caribbean climate and a geography that combines sea, dreamy bays and swamps with crocodiles within an hour of travel, Miami was beginning to recover from the economic blow of the pandemic thanks, precisely, to those conditions. Executives from America’s tech unicorns, banks, and service companies left their offices in California and the East Coast to buy houses with good WiFi in that Florida paradise, and run your business through the millennial magic of digital applications. Property prices were on the rise again and the leaders of Miami Dade County were preparing to celebrate the end of the coronavirus.
Vaccination on the beach in Miami. Photo: AFP
Hundreds of Argentines who traveled were able to verify it in recent times. Migration employees they offer vaccines in the queues for the passport stamp, they barely get off the plane. The two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or the single dose of Johnson and Johnson. The abundance is such that they can be vaccinated at the airport or in any of the shopping malls. On foot, or without getting out of the car. With the same arrogance that the Joe Biden government announced the production of 1.3 billion vaccines from its laboratories, and anticipate a fireworks celebration for the 4th of July, that exceeds in magnificence that of Victory Day, after the end of World War II.
Of course no one has bought eternal happiness. All that promising expectation that Miami offers in these months has just suffered a tremendous blow with the collapse of the Champlain Towers building, a luxury complex with 136 beach apartments on the famous Collins Avenue. Fifteen blocks from the neighborhood they call Little Argentina, by the number of compatriots who frequent it at any time of the year. It is not surprising then that, among almost a hundred disappeared who searched under the rubble, several Argentines will appear. The tragedy ten thousand kilometers from the self-absorbed country then ceased to be distant.
Miami has a strict building code and building remodeling, which forces consortia to do a very thorough (and expensive) check-up every forty years. The Champlain Towers, with affluent landlords and tenants, was inaugurated in 1981 and he was preparing to begin the works that raise the value of the expenses for several years. The first objective of the collapse investigations will be to verify if it was built respecting safety measures or if materials were saved to pay a huge cost in lives. The ghost of corruption it is not only embodied in emerging countries.
“This is a terrible tragedy; buildings in the US don’t fall down “was the giddy reflection of Charles Burkett, the mayor of Surfside, the beach district where all twelve stories of Champlain Towers collapsed. The truth is that they do fall and that something went so wrong as to end the lives of innocent people. We Argentines know about that. Cromañón, Once Station, ARA San Juan. When inefficiency, laziness and corruption intersect, not even the shield of prosperity it is enough to avoid what should never have happened.