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The 500 years of Havana, old and beautiful


[OPINION] Jorge Dávila Miguel: Havana is on its five hundred birthday a glittering city, but also a destroyed city.

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Havana in the fifties of the twentieth century (Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Editor's Note: Jorge Dávila Miguel has a degree in Journalism since 1973 and has maintained a continuing career in his profession to date. He has postgraduate degrees in Social Information Sciences and Social Media, as well as postgraduate studies in International Relations, Political Economy and Latin American History. He is of Cuban nationality and has traveled almost all levels and tasks of his profession, from reporter to foreign correspondent in flat and radio press, as well as executive producer in television media. As a columnist, Dávila Miguel has been awarded by the Association of Hispanic-American Journalists and the Inter-American Press Association. Dávila Miguel is currently a columnist for the Nuevo Herald, on the McClatchy chain and political analyst and columnist for CNN in Spanish. The comments expressed in this column belong exclusively to the author.

(CNN Spanish) - The five hundred anniversary of the foundation of Havana on November 16, 1519 is a great holiday of the Cuban nation. All your children, regardless of their ideology, should rejoice in the celebration. Glorify a story and a beauty that belongs to everyone, but it is not so. The meaning of "Cuban nation" is contaminated today with less noble substances than those necessary for a common concept of nation or country. That ideal, which would seek to unite the descendants of the same soil in their culture, their feelings and their idiosyncrasy over political avatars, dissipates today within confusion and resentment. They would like to erase entire, essential and indelible periods. For some, before January 1, 1959 there was nothing worthy or beneficial; for others, after that same day everything worthy and profitable in the nation ceased.

Some will be proud of the celebrations in Havana and others will catalog them as government propaganda. Many will hope when the gold-plated dome of the National Capitol is illuminated on the night of November 16, while others will be pleased that Cuba's destinies never go well as long as the colors of the Communist Party shine. It's like regretting the victory of the national team because the president on duty does not like us.

But what can we do. Havana is beautiful. It always was, next to the coast and with its stone stones and mosaic of architectures. Pearl of the Spanish colony yesterday and today pearl of the Cuban nation. Its historic center has been partially restored, after much revolutionary oversight and time, under the efforts of Eusebio Leal Spengler, Catholic and communist, historian and builder, artist and carpenter. But united, perhaps without realizing it, even if it was in an instant, with another lover of the city, but anti-communist and exiled, antipode writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante, who said that the island of Cuba will always survive in another sunrise of the tropics to all attacks that will cause him. Whether they were children or foreigners. Call Valeriano Weyler, Jaques de Sores or Donald Trump. Havana as an island, the Island as Havana.

It is not worth talking about the beauties of the city without its miseries. Havana is on its five hundred birthday a glittering city, but also a destroyed city. Without the extraordinary work of Leal, supported in the last 25 years by the scarce resources of the Cuban state and international donations, Old Havana would continue to be as they are today areas of Centro Habana, Diez de Octubre and Luyanó - which do not have the ancestry of Historic center, but they are also Havana. The deep city And there lives most of the passers-by who, when they admire the newly gilded dome of the National Capitol illuminated at night, may wonder what their life will be like, whether with running water or not, on Havana's next birthday.

There is a very chauvinist phrase. Pray that there is no sky as blue as that of Cuba. And all Cubans are completely and rationally convinced that this is a perfect universal truth. Reality is usually dyed in the look and on both sides of the Strait of Florida there will be different perspectives of the great Havana birthday. Some will be daughters of resentment and revenge. Others of love or pain. Many will be encouraged by the party's hobby. But there will be a common truth, inevitable, independent of regret or revelry. A reality more certain than that of the immense cliché of that sky. When this five hundred years of Havana is celebrated on November 16, the commemoration will be, whether we want it or not, a treasure for the entire Cuban nation. From that Indian was born to be Spanish until she was Afro-Creole and then Cuban until today. The glory of Havana does not belong to any political merit, period, ideology or religion, it concerns the simple and serene concept of nation, so elusive to understand these days.


Source: cnnespanol

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