Havana: Autobiography of a City by Alfredo Jose Estrada

By Alfredo Jose Estrada

Havana: Autobiography of a City takes readers from the Plaza de Armas, the tree-lined sq. the place Havana used to be based by way of conquistadors in 1519, to the Malecón, the based street alongside the shore the place Fidel Castro rode a Russian tank in triumph.  Estrada portrays the adventurers and dreamers who left their mark on Havana, together with José Martí, martyr for Cuban independence; and Ernest Hemingway, the main American of writers who turned an unabashed Habanero. The booklet is a deeply own account of a love affair with a urban, in addition to an unique portrait of a spot now not simply forgotten.


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North of Bermuda, at a latitude of forty degrees, he veered east and made landfall in the Azores. In his haste to reach Spain, Alaminos changed history. The Gulf Stream provided a safe, predictable passage across the Atlantic for all the ships that were to follow year after year, like clockwork. 40 Havana Even today, it is difficult to comprehend the torrent of wealth that flooded Europe after the fall of the Aztec empire and the subsequent conquest of Peru a decade later by Francisco Pizarro. 8 Within a few scant years, this multiplied exponentially.

Perhaps the possibility of a lucrative trade route to the Indies was an easier sell to the Spanish throne than rumors of a New World. Historians have debated this prickly point for generations, and will doubtless continue to do so. 24 Havana Of course, Columbus no more “discovered” Cuba than he did China. 2 Archaeologists know little of the first Cubans for the simple reason that their departure from the world stage was so abrupt—within a generation after the arrival of Columbus, they would be extinct.

Heartbroken, she expired a few days later, her fallen husband’s name on her lips. This paean to the fortitude and fidelity of Cuban women has inspired generations of Habaneros since La Giraldilla took her place above the Real Fuerza. But as in the case of Hatuey, something is not quite right here. La Giraldilla is anything but mournful. Her pose is defiant, almost jaunty. Her finely chiseled head is thrown back, with the barest trace of a smile on her lips, and her left arm (which catches the wind on the Cross of Calatrava) is flung back nonchalantly.

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