Note: This is NOT a commentary or critique on Havana or the Cuban people - what I am trying to point out is that the photos we are usually shown of Havana are always cropping something out, always making things appear more aestheticized than what is the reality of the situation.
(From what I could gather the dumpsters are where all the neighboring households had to take their trash for pick up. Unsurprisingly, door to door trash pick up, a convenience taken for granted in the US, is not a service available in Havana.)
"In the memoir Quand J’étais Photographe, '…everything appears to us with the exquisite impression of a marvelous, ravishing cleanliness. No squalor or blots on the landscape. There is nothing like distance to remove us from all ugliness.'
From: Writing on the Image: Architecture, the City and the Politics of Representation by Mark Dorrian p. 27