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As Havana opened to commercial flights on Sunday, following seven months of lockdown, Cuba's capital, particularly its historical center, is one of the leading destinations.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro celebrated on Monday the 501 anniversary of the founding of Havana. This World Heritage city is also a model of an avant-garde restoration process in Latin America and the world.
"From Venezuela, we celebrate 501 years of history and resistance of Havana. A city that houses the rebellion, the joy, the music, and the verses of the heroic Cuban people in its streets. We hope to enjoy its warmth very soon. Viva Cuba, Viva Havana!" said Maduro via Twitter on the occasion.
On the other hand, Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel, also in Twitter, recalled the vision of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro by quoting that "saving Old Havana, admired today for being World Heritage, all that architecture that has immeasurable value, protected."
The anniversary, traditionally a massive celebration, is marked by the physical absence of Havana's iconic Historian Eusebio Leal Spengler, who passed away on July 31, 2020.
Desde Venezuela celebramos los 501 años de historia y resistencia de La Habana. Una ciudad que alberga en sus calles la rebeldía, la alegría, la música y los versos del heroico pueblo cubano. Esperamos disfrutar muy pronto de su calidez . ¡Viva Cuba, Viva La Habana! pic.twitter.com/LrzSQ916VK
"From Venezuela, we celebrate 501 years of history and resistance of Havana. A city that houses the rebellion, the joy, the music, and the verses of the heroic Cuban people in its streets. We hope to enjoy its warmth very soon. Viva Cuba, Viva Havana!"
The authorities have evoked Leal's lifetime work by carrying out a series of initiatives to allow the public to get closer to Havana's restoration,, most loyal advocate. Starting today, visitors will be able to access Leal's office, turned into a museum in the historical center.
Moreover, the public will have first-hand access to Havana's history through the project Memory of the Stones. A QR code was placed in the facade of some of the most famous buildings such as the Palace of the Captains-General and The Template. Visitors can scan the QR code and get a video of Eusebio Leal with explanations and stories on the buildings.
As Havana opened to commercial flights on Sunday, following seven months of lockdown, Cuba's capital and its historic center, are one of the leading destinations.
Besides his colonial architecture, Havana's restoration won international admiration because of Eusebio Leal's vision of recovering the city while keeping inside the resident population, an avant-garde idea in Latin America and the world it started to be implemented last century.
According to his vision, Havana's historical center had to be more than just a tourist attraction but an "alive city" based on a self-sustainable model that would allow its resident population to thrive while creating art and and culture opportunities opportunities, education, and entrepreneurship.