Carlos Alzugaray, former Cuban Ambassador to the European Union, told this to us in the first of three morning lectures Road Scholar arranged at Havana’s Hotel Nacional. Each day, we saw first-hand how right he was. The effects of the Cuban Embargo can still be seen on the streets of Cuba, in its cars, and in its architecture, but change is coming at a rapid pace.
The cars are doing quite well, thank you. Restored to near-showroom quality, these 60-year-old children of Detroit have found new life as taxi cabs. You can take one on a guided tour of Havana, Cienfuegos, or any other Cuban city.
The buildings are another story. Spanish colonial facades are crumbling almost beyond repair. Havana’s “modern” buildings, built from 1900 through 1958, are all aging at once. Architects, government officials, and Cuba’s new property owners face unimaginable challenges in the future.
Click here for another video edition of El Diario de Cuba, this one featuring the stylish automobiles and unique architecture that make the country’s streets so special.