The Cuban capital, Havana, is celebrating its 50th anniversary after a renovation workshop in the city known for its timeless charm over the past months.
Representatives from several foreign countries are taking part in the celebrations as preparations are under way for the inauguration of the Capitol, the capital's most famous building.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel wrote on Twitter: "Havana is reborn on the occasion of its 500th anniversary in the hands and sweat of its toiling, enthusiastic and resistant people."
"The Americans continue to strangle us but we are resisting," the Cuban president said during a visit to Guantanamo Province, home to a US military base in southeast Cuba. "The United States wants to strangle the economy with the belief that this people will surrender, but that will not happen."
The Malecon Marine Boulevard, known for its colorful buildings, is a major center for two-day celebrations, which began yesterday evening with the firing of 16,000 firearms after 21 artillery rounds.
In a video message to Cubans, Pope Francis hoped the celebrations would be a "catalyst for restoring hope" and said: "The difficulties of life will remain forever.
The city accelerated the renovation workshops in preparation for the fifth centennial and included the modernization of many old buildings and the construction of several high-end hotels and then with the new look worn recently Malikon Avenue and part of the streets of the historic center.
One of the most prominent installations on this anniversary is the Capitol in Washington, which has been renovated with its dome covered with gold.
Washington has imposed an economic, commercial and financial embargo on Cuba since 1962 because of its policies that reject attempts to unite and dominate America, the longest in modern history.
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