Obama chips away at Cuba embargo, discusses efforts with Raul Castro
- The United States announced new rules on Friday to further ease trade, travel and investment restrictions with Cuba, but Cuban President Raul Castro told President Barack Obama that Washington should go even further and lift its economic embargo on the Communist-ruled island.
- The changes, while significant, stop short of allowing across-the-board investment by U.S. companies or general U.S. tourism, activities banned under the embargo itself.
- Washington and Havana inch toward normal relations after more than half a century of hostility that followed Cuba’s 1959 revolution.
- One of the first seven villages founded by the Spaniards in Cuba, Camagüey played a prominent role as the urban centre of an inland territory dedicated to cattle breeding and the sugar industry.
- The Historic Centre of Camagüey constitutes an outstanding urban architectural type in Latin America, featured by its irregular urban layout that produced an unusual system of squares, minor squares, serpentine streets, alleys, urban blocks and plots system.
- The Historic Centre of Camagüey constitutes an exceptional example of a traditional urban settlement relatively isolated from main trade routes, where the Spanish colonizers were subject to European medieval urban influences in the urban layout and to traditional construction techniques brought to the Americas by the first masons and construction masters.
- The historic fortunes of Havana were a product of the exceptional function of its bay as an obligatory stop on the maritime route to the New World, which consequently necessitated its military protection.
- The historic centre of Havana has maintained a remarkable unity of character resulting from the superimposition of different periods in its history, which has been achieved in a harmonious yet expressive manner through adherence to the original urban layout and underlying pattern of the city as a whole.
- Within the boundaries of Old Havana and its Fortifications are located all the elements necessary to express its Outstanding Universal Value, including Old Havana’s urban layout with its five large plazas and its harmonious ensemble of architectural monuments and traditional-style popular buildings from different periods in its history, and its extensive network of fortifications.
- Complex geology and varied topography have given rise to a diversity of ecosystems and species unmatched in the insular Caribbean and created one of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on earth.
- Important rivers, including the Toa River, Cuba’s largest river, rise in the forested mountains, boasting remarkable freshwater biodiversity.
The 18 most gorgeous classic cars we saw on the streets of Havana
- Perhaps the strongest reminder of the hardened US-Cuban relationship is the 60,000 retrofitted metal relics clunking around the streets of the stagnant island nation.
- Havana’s stunning 1950s-era “coches Americanos” — or “máquinas” —are often referred to as the “Galápagos of the car industry” since they have been meticulously preserved by their owners during the 55-year-long trade embargo.
Why Does Cuba Have so Many Classic Cars?
- Cuba is literally a rolling car museum. Everywhere you look is an old-school American brand vehicle, ranging from Oldsmobile to Chevrolet, Buick to Ford with a nice sampling of Chrysler’s old Plymouth brand. There’s even a few Russian Volgas thrown in the mix. These are all vehicles that the majority of American car lovers would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on—and they are used as Cubans’ everyday vehicles.
- Though the island floats only 90 miles away from Key West, Florida, Castro had placed a ban on foreign vehicle imports, making it nearly impossible to buy a brand-new, foreign-made vehicle. It also made it difficult to buy new parts and fuel for the old-school American cars Cuba is known for.
- Right now, Cuba is on the brink of becoming like every other country in the world. Raúl Castro, Fidel’s brother, has abolished the need for permission to purchase a foreign-made car.