Cuban life in the streets of Santa Clara, Cuba

Santa Clara was a dynamic and relatively “prosperous city” for Cuban concepts. Santa Clara is the capital city of the Cuban province of Villa Clara. It`s located in the most central region of the province and almost in the most central region of the country. With a population near a quarter million; 242,402 people at the beginning of 2013, it`s the 5th largest Cuban city by population. It has the second university in the country and has an important cultural center. In the center is the park “Parque Vidal” where it`s lovely to sit on a bench and enjoy everything that happens around you. Single people come to this park to stroll and meet others. The bullet holes from the revolution are still visible in the walls of Hotel Santa Clara Libre. Santa Clara was founded by 175 people on July 15, 1689. One hundred and thirty-eight of them were represented by two large families already living in the area and, therefore, owners of the land next to the new city. The other 37 came from 7 other families, a priest and a governor, all of them originating in the coastal city of “San Juan de los Remedios”.
Santa Clara was the site of the last battle in the Cuban Revolution in late 1958. There were two guerrilla columns that attacked the city, one led by Ernesto Che Guevara and the other led by Camilo Cienfuegos. Guevara’s column first captured the garrison at Fomento. Then, using a bulldozer, Guevara’s soldiers destroyed railroad tracks and derailed a train full of troops and supplies sent by Batista. At the same time, Cienfuegos’s column defeated an army garrison at the Battle of Yaguajay not far from town. On December 31, 1958, the combined forces of Guevara and Cienfuegos (along with other revolutionaries under William Alexander Morgan) attacked Santa Clara. The battle was chaotic, the defenders were demoralized, some fought, others surrendered without a shot. By the afternoon, the city was captured. This victory for Castro’s troops is seen as the decisive moment in the Cuban Revolution as Batista fled Cuba less than 12 hours later.

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Cuba: Conan O’Brien Visit & Talks in Washington

A weekly update video on news out of Cuba. Nora Gamez Torres reports on Cuba for www.elnuevoherald.com and www.miamiherald.com. She monitors all formal talks on normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba. For extensive coverage, view our Miami Herald Cuba page: http://www.miamiherald.com/…/nation-wo…/world/americas/cuba/

Havana / Cuba (Fiesta on the street) Part 6

Havana / Cuba
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba.The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants,and it spans a total of 728.26 km2 (281.18 sq mi) — making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the third largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Atarés. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.
Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the continent becoming a stopping point for the treasure laden Spanish Galleons on the crossing between the New World and the Old World. King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592. Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city. The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish-American War.
Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts. The city is the center of the Cuban Government, and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 90 diplomatic offices.The current mayor is Marta Hernández from the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). In 2009, the city/province had the 3rd highest income in the country.The city attracts over a million tourists annually, the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, a 20.0% increase from 2005. The historic centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments.
Republican period and Post-revolution
The 20th century began with Havana, and therefore Cuba, under occupation by the United States. The US occupation officially ended when Tomás Estrada Palma, first president of Cuba, took office on 20 May 1902.During the chicken Period, from 1902 to 1959, the city saw a new era of development. Cuba recovered from the devastation of war to become a well-off country, with the third largest middle class in the hemisphere. Apartment buildings to accommodate the new middle class, as well as mansions for the Cuban tycoons, were built at a fast pace.
Numerous luxury hotels, casinos and nightclubs were constructed during the 1930s to serve Havana’s burgeoning tourist industry. In the 1930s, organized crime characters were not unaware of Havana’s nightclub and casino life, and they made their inroads in the city. Santo Trafficante, Jr. took the roulette wheel at the Sans Souci Casino, Meyer Lansky directed the Hotel Habana Riviera, with Lucky Luciano at the Hotel Nacional Casino. At the time, Havana became an exotic capital of appeal and numerous activities ranging from marinas, grand prix car racing, musical shows and parks.
Havana achieved the title of being the Latin American city with the biggest middle class population per-capita, simultaneously accompanied by gambling and corruption where gangsters and stars were known to mix socially. During this era, Havana was generally producing more revenue than Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1958, about 300,000 American tourists visited the city.
After the revolution of 1959, the new regime promised to improve social services, public housing, and official buildings; nevertheless, shortages that affected Cuba after Castro’s abrupt expropriation of all private property and industry under a strong communist model backed by the Soviet Union followed by the U.S. embargo, hit Havana especially hard. By 1966-68, the Cuban government had nationalized all privately owned business entities in Cuba, down to “certain kinds of small retail forms of commerce” .
There was a severe economic downturn after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. With it, subsidies ended, losing billions of dollars which the Soviet Union gave the Cuban government, with many believing Havana’s Soviet-backed regime would soon vanish, as happened to the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe. However, contrary to the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe, Havana’s communist regime prevailed during the 1990s.
After many years of prohibition, the communist government increasingly turned to tourism for new financial revenue, and has allowed foreign investors to build new hotels and develop hospitality industry. In Old Havana, effort has also gone into rebuilding for tourist purposes, and a number of streets and squares have been rehabilitated. But Old Havana is a large city, and the restoration efforts concentrate in all but less than 10% of its area.Wikipedia
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Havana / Cuba
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba.The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants,and it spans a total of 728.26 km2 (281.18 sq mi) — making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the third largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa and Atarés. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.
Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the continent becoming a stopping point for the treasure laden Spanish Galleons on the crossing between the New World and the Old World. King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592. Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city. The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish-American War.
Contemporary Havana can essentially be described as three cities in one: Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts. The city is the center of the Cuban Government, and home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 90 diplomatic offices.The current mayor is Marta Hernández from the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). In 2009, the city/province had the 3rd highest income in the country.The city attracts over a million tourists annually, the Official Census for Havana reports that in 2010 the city was visited by 1,176,627 international tourists, a 20.0% increase from 2005. The historic centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The city is also noted for its history, culture, architecture and monuments.
Republican period and Post-revolution
The 20th century began with Havana, and therefore Cuba, under occupation by the United States. The US occupation officially ended when Tomás Estrada Palma, first president of Cuba, took office on 20 May 1902.During the chicken Period, from 1902 to 1959, the city saw a new era of development. Cuba recovered from the devastation of war to become a well-off country, with the third largest middle class in the hemisphere. Apartment buildings to accommodate the new middle class, as well as mansions for the Cuban tycoons, were built at a fast pace.
Numerous luxury hotels, casinos and nightclubs were constructed during the 1930s to serve Havana’s burgeoning tourist industry. In the 1930s, organized crime characters were not unaware of Havana’s nightclub and casino life, and they made their inroads in the city. Santo Trafficante, Jr. took the roulette wheel at the Sans Souci Casino, Meyer Lansky directed the Hotel Habana Riviera, with Lucky Luciano at the Hotel Nacional Casino. At the time, Havana became an exotic capital of appeal and numerous activities ranging from marinas, grand prix car racing, musical shows and parks.
Havana achieved the title of being the Latin American city with the biggest middle class population per-capita, simultaneously accompanied by gambling and corruption where gangsters and stars were known to mix socially. During this era, Havana was generally producing more revenue than Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1958, about 300,000 American tourists visited the city.
After the revolution of 1959, the new regime promised to improve social services, public housing, and official buildings; nevertheless, shortages that affected Cuba after Castro’s abrupt expropriation of all private property and industry under a strong communist model backed by the Soviet Union followed by the U.S. embargo, hit Havana especially hard. By 1966-68, the Cuban government had nationalized all privately owned business entities in Cuba, down to “certain kinds of small retail forms of commerce” .
There was a severe economic downturn after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. With it, subsidies ended, losing billions of dollars which the Soviet Union gave the Cuban government, with many believing Havana’s Soviet-backed regime would soon vanish, as happened to the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe. However, contrary to the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe, Havana’s communist regime prevailed during the 1990s.
After many years of prohibition, the communist government increasingly turned to tourism for new financial revenue, and has allowed foreign investors to build new hotels and develop hospitality industry. In Old Havana, effort has also gone into rebuilding for tourist purposes, and a number of streets and squares have been rehabilitated. But Old Havana is a large city, and the restoration efforts concentrate in all but less than 10% of its area.Wikipedia
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The Best Beaches in Cuba

The Best Beaches in Cuba
Cuba's most famous beach (pictured above) stretches more than 12 miles and is surrounded by multiple all-inclusive resorts. If the dance lessons, aerobics classes, and games hosted by the resorts aren't your style, explore the surrounding areas natural …
Read more on Travel+Leisure

PURE CUBA: Reporter's notebook, Chapter 1, The first step of a journey is
These Americans were sent to Veradero, which has beautiful beaches surrounded by hotels, and by the way, it's illegal to go to a Cuban beach and just hang out and drink mojitos if you are an American. That's tourism – and despite the thaw in U.S.-Cuban …
Read more on Michigan Radio

Cuba Gooding Jr. Is Apparently a Ride or Die Young Thug Fan?

It’s no secret that Young Thug has an insanely dedicated fan base that grows with every release, but who knew that Cuba Gooding Jr. was included in that group? Well, Cuba is apparently such a big fan of Thugga that he even takes some time out of his day to defend him on Instagram. In a hilarious exchange on one of Thug’s posts from December, Cuba not only wrote that the song that Thug previewed on his page was better than anything The Beatles had ever put out, but he then proceeded to get into an argument with another user about it.

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COMPLEX is a community of creators and curators, armed with the Internet, committed to surfacing and sharing the voices and conversations that define our new America. Our videos exemplify convergence culture, exploring topics that include music, sneakers, style, sports and pop culture through original shows and Complex News segments. Featuring your favorite celebrities, authoritative commentary, and a unique voice, our videos make culture pop.
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Best Things to Do in Old Havana, Cuba

This is Old Havana, Cuba, the heart of Havana. It’s a history buff’s dream, but also home to Hemmingway’s favorite Mojito bar, Bodeguita del Medio, and the Plaza de Armas Book Market, where I could have spent all day! Eat ALL of the Cuban street food like peanuts, coconut and churros!

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