Havana, also referred to as La Habana in Spanish, was declared the capital of Cuba in 1607. Prior to 1607, in 1515, Santiago de Cuba was the capital of Cuba. Havana is also one of Cuba’s provinces.
Additional Information About the Capital of Cuba
Havana, depicted by the red dot above, is the largest city in Cuba, encompassing approximately 281 square miles. Havana is also the most populated city in Cuba, with a population of 2.1 million people, which is about 19% of Cuba’s total population of 11.2 million people.
In 1898, the U.S. battleship Main was blown-up in Havana Harbor. Consequently, the United States declared war with Spain, which was already at war with Cuba, as Cuba was fighting its second war for independence. This war became known as the Spanish-American War.
Prior to the Castro dictatorship, which took power of Cuba in January 1959, and which continues to this day, 57 years later, Havana was a popular tourist location for Americans and people from other parts of the world.
Currently, Havana is an international tourist location. However, Cuba has been less of a tourist destination for Americans since the Castro regime took power, given that in 1960, the United States implemented its embargo on Cuba; and in 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Nonetheless, given recent changes in U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations, it is likely that American tourism to Havana and other tourist sites in Cuba will increase, given that tourist locations are well maintained.
In reality, however, much of the infrastructure in Havana and throughout the island, including housing, is badly deteriorated, as reported by Yoani Sánchez, in Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today, other Cubans, and as shown in Cuba’s Crumbling Housing Crisis.
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