Historic Cuba Vibrant


Cuba is marking major urban milestones these days.

Eloy Govea, the Cuba Tourist Board’s director for English-speaking Canada, told a Toronto gathering Wednesday that seven Cuban cities have already reached or will reach the 500-year mark in the next few years.

Baracoa, found in easternmost Cuba, was the first city to reach that figure and Havana will become the seventh when it celebrates five centuries in 2019, Govea said, while praising his homeland’s “cultural richness.”

Nieves Ricardo of the tourist board’s Toronto office in turn said the Cuban cities – despite their lengthy pasts – are anything but “ghost towns… The first thing you notice is these cities are alive, they are vibrant.”

Govea noted that Cuba is gaining more hotels, including a 1,176-room Melia property in Jardines del Rey, which will open next month. He added that Cuba has now seen more than 2,000 private restaurants across the islands and there are some 6,000 private rooms visitors can stay in.

Seen here are (l-r) Omar Laguardia Companioni of the tourist board’s Quebec office; Javier Domokos Ruiz, Cuba’s consul general in Toronto; Ricardo; Govea and Govea’s wife Lisbeth Soberat; and Karen Puebla of the Cuba Tourist Board.