Wonderful Havana celebrates 500 years

In the midst of a heightened traveler interest from all over the world in Cuba, its capital of Havana reaches its 500th anniversary this November 16, demonstrating its unquestionable appeal.

Refurbished restaurants, social facilities, schools and other establishments reopen their doors to celebrate the date, while music and dance accompany the significant date celebrated by Cubans and foreigners alike.

Large numbers of tourists from all over the world join the revelry.

Declared among the Seven Wonder Cities of the World, Havana in known not only for its beauty, but for the traditions of its people.

The well-preserved urban landscape, thanks to the Office of the City Historian (Eusebio Leal) and the serious efforts of the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) and other bodies, welcomes people from all over the world.

Founded definitively in 1519 in the shade of a leafy Ceiba tree, Havana quickly became a very cosmopolitan city, full of travelers from all other the world.

Havana residents represent this mix of people, with Spanish, African, Chinese, Haitian, German, French, and Jewish roots.

The Villa of San Cristobal de La Habana was founded on November 16, 1519, on the shores of Puerto Carenas, after an initial settlement was founded on the south coast of the country in 1515.

This first city in the western insular area is described by historians as hugely significant, due to its monuments and unique patrimonial values, where five centuries of history come together.

Its bay became the meeting point of the entire Spanish fleet on their voyages to the metropolis carrying riches from all over the Western Hemisphere, guarded by warships, given the constant threat of pirates.

Given its particular appeal, the city was invaded in 1555 by pirates and in 1792 by the English.

Havana's historic richness was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) when it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982.

The capital of the Republic of Cuba stretches over an area of 732 square kilometers and has 15 municipalities of which nine are totally urban.

Old Havana is formed by 4.5 square kilometers, 2.2 kilometers of which attract more than 90 percent of all travelers who arrive in the country.

Today the city is rejuvenated, despite the difficulties presented by its magnitude, and ready to celebrate its 500 years.

  • Published in Cuba

Top Cuban leaders attend PRC founding anniversary celebration in Havana

Top Cuban leaders attended a ceremony here on Tuesday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro Ruz and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and First Vice President of Cuba Salvador Valdes Mesa attended the event.

Valdes said bilateral ties have become an example of relations between socialist nations, South-South cooperation and relations between a large country and a small country on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

He highly appreciates a socialist and prosperous China, and praised Beijing's role in today's international arena.

"In today's difficult international situation, its (China's) development constitutes a factor of stability, balance and opportunity for the entire planet and in particular for developing countries and the Latin American and Caribbean region," he added.

Commenting on the Chinese government's recent award of the Friendship Medal to Raul Castro for his contribution to the development of bilateral ties, the vice president said, "We appreciate this new gesture of brotherhood and recognition of the role of the historical leadership of the Cuban Revolution, and in particular of comrade Raul, in promoting bilateral ties."

Also at the event, Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Chen Xi noted that next year marks the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. He said the Cubans have a "fearless spirit" and are engaged in a "perpetual struggle to safeguard their independence, sovereignty and dignity, as well as equality not only at their borders, but throughout the world."

"China supports and will support, as always, without any hesitation and with all its will, the Cuban people in their efforts for socialism," Chen said.

Cuba established diplomatic relations with the PRC on Sept. 28, 1960, and was the first Latin American nation to do so.

  • Published in Cuba

San Juan de los Remedios: 500 Years

The history, culture and traditions of San Juan de los Remedios, the eighth city founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, was recreated at an artistic gala on Tuesday night to celebrate the city's 500th anniversary.

  • Published in Culture
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