Havana Celebrated its 500th Anniversary with Music, Dance and Fireworks
Havana woke up calm under a sunny blue sky on Sunday after two nights of celebrations for its 500th anniversary; music, dance, a spectacular display of fireworks and much joy marked a much awaited event.
Ravaged by a killer tornado in late January that destroyed around 5,000 houses, severely damaged schools, outpatient clinics, factories and killed and wounded several of its inhabitants, Havana stood up to the challenge and after much hard work it recovered from destruction.
It also faced up to, just like the rest of Cuba, the hardening of the economic, political war the Trump administration has been waging. Over 2,000 works were completed for the occasion like restoring and reopening restaurants, cafes, shops, museums, and its main stadium. Cuba's first IT Park was opened to the delight of children and teenagers
President Miguel Diaz-Canel and most of Government officials, the diplomatic corp and foreign personalities attended last night the Special Gala for the 500th Anniversary. Cuban renowned musicians, singers, dance troupes, son and salsa bands delighted the audience on the steps of the majestic Havana Capitol, totally renovated with the support of Russia.
The Gala closed with a spectacular display of fireworks, a donation from the Canadian Government, the colorful pyrotechnic lights danced to the beat of compositions of Cuban awarded pianist Frank Fernandez who worked hard with a team of the Canadian company Fireworks FX.
On Friday night, there was another 14-minute display of fireworks but from the Morro Castle at the entrance of the Bay of Havana.
The work to restore Havana does not end with the program for the 500th anniversary, we are already planning for the 501th. 'This is an unstoppable work of human endeavor,' pointed out Eusebio Leal, the City's Historian, to whom Havana owes much of its renovation.