Havana prepares to celebrate 500 years with broad city renovation programme


by: Cuban News Agency

A wide ranging development programme is being carried out in Havana so that the city can reach 2019, its 500th anniversary, as a more renovated, orderly and clean city, local authorities announced in April on TV when it was discussed on the programme Mesa Redonda.

The ancient city of San Cristobal de La Habana was founded in 1515, but the area was not completely settled until 1519.

Osmín Abel Camejo, vice president of the City council, stated that the celebration events will take place in stages during the year to coincide with historic dates such as April 19 – Victory at the Bay of Pigs invasion (Playa Girón) – on 26 July -Day of National Rebellion – and 1st January -Triumph of the Revolution.

He specified that local entities and government agencies were working together, to complete more than 16,000 work projects since the first phase of the decisive effort program began at the end of 2017.

He said that more than 4,500 renovation works have been carried out in the Public Health sector, with an impact on 111 pharmacies, more than 400 medical offices and 47 polyclinics.
806 construction projects have been developed in the Education sector; 41 in sports facilities, including six sports complexes; 358 shops and restaurants, including restaurants, butchers, fishmongers, bakeries and wineries, Camejo added.

The official reiterated the affirmation of Mercedes López Acea, member of the Political Bureau and first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba in Havana, that the purpose will be to gradually roll out works across the 15 districts of the capital, for the improvement of services.

It was announced that for the 500th anniversary of Havana, emblematic works will be inaugurated, such as the Cuatro Caminos market and the Central Railway Station.

Perla Rosales, deputy director of the Office of the City Historian, reported that work is being done on the rehabilitation of the Castillo del Morro lighthouse, the La Edad de Oro hospital and the Rafael María de Mendive school, the latter planned to open with the start of the next school year.
He stressed that with such motivation they expect to deliver 80 new homes in the area in 2018, and the same number in 2019.

Havana, declared Maravilla City, hosts numerous ‘Patrimonies of Humanity’ such as the cannons at the Hotel Nacional, as well as Old Havana and its system of fortifications, elements that make it more beautiful, unique and majestic.

Link to original report in Spanish