Parks and Squares in Old Havana

Photo feature by Ernesto Gonzalez Diaz


HAVANA TIMES — Havana has seen an explosion in tourism over the past year. Many of us who live in the city do not recall having seen as many tourists on the street, in parks, squares and avenues as we do today. Coming from all corners of the globe, no doubts thanks to the winds of change blowing from Washington, countless tourists have arrived over recent months to get to know Cuba’s reality up close.

For this reason, I set out to capture some of the more photogenic and touristy squares and parks in Old Havana, doubtless one of the highlights of the Cuban capital.

The Plaza Vieja, with its exhibition of Mexican dogs, its fountain and well-known beer house, the Alameda de Paula, on the port avenue, with its floating dock, Plaza de Armas, with its old book stands, the San Francisco de Asis square, also known as “Pigeon Square,” Parque Central, Cathedral Square and others are places that make up one of the most beautiful and well-preserved areas of town.


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24 thoughts on “Parks and Squares in Old Havana

  • Hahaha prof of economics? Hahaha. No. No we don’t believe it! Jajahaha

  • OK, now you are just being silly. You said that you are an economist? I doubt that. Your comments cast doubt on your even having a college degree. $200 trillion? Why lie to make your point? All Cuba lacks is international trade? What does Cuba have to trade? What’s stopping them from trading with China, Russia, Venezuela, Japan, South Africa, India and the other 180-odd countries now? Your anti-US panties are showing.

    Yes –I agree but you are forgetting that some bugs don’t just scratch BUT KILL.

  • THE USA has been bankrupt since the 60’s–they could not exist without the large deposits and bond purchases == first by the Arabs, than by Japan, than by China.
    But one can always start another war to generate some more business, snatch resources and distract the patriotic American citizens from the inner American problems /disasters.
    No doubt your choice for President will be Donald Trump- so the US has some continuity in its ‘imperialistic’ and racial policies.
    C.F.Mattner, Prof.Dr.hc economics

  • I have no doubt that contingency plans have been made. That’s just prudent military planning. As to the success of an invasion were it to take place, the only question is whether it would take 3 or 4 days tops. Saddam Hussein said pretty much what you said. How did it work out for him? Like it or not, the US has the strongest and most advanced military in the history of the planet. Cuba is a bug.

  • Ancient history. The cold war is over and Capitalism won. The Eastern block communists are now just part of the trash heap of history. No one is interested in “invading” Cuba. It’s just another country in the Caribbean. However, despite of your pithy little statement, were the US to actually invade Cuba there would be very little that Cuba could do to stop it. But at least you are correct in there there will be no invasion of Cuba….why would there when we could just buy it. In fact I can already imagine the first McDonalds on the Malecon. Just kidding. ….or not. 😉

  • If you are a professor of economics then I’m Queen Elizabeth!!

    The US has the largest economy in world. In 2014 it’s total economic output was somewhere in the region of $18 trillion dollars. Those are some crazy big numbers! …And you’re telling me that the cost of the embargo for tiny Cuba is $200 trillion dollars!!!??? Jejejeje.

  • YES INVADE–I have in my possession a copy of instructions –from chairman joint chiefs of staff–Lemnitzer
    to prepare plans for the cuban invasion–and other dirty schemes/ i.e. aircraft incidents ect.
    If you give me an email address where I can send scanned material I will send it. These instructions still stand to date and have NOT been recinded .
    I promise you however that there will be NO SUCCESSFUL invasion of Cuba–EVER!

  • YES I agree — there is so little money available to fund adequately for the people. But the systems are in place and ALL that has been missing is the flow of funds from trading abroad –that have been stopped/cut off by the embargo.
    Iam a professor of economics and according to the financial track records the 60 odd years of embargo have cerated a shortfall for Cuba in excess of 200 trillion US$. Let us hope that Barrack will come with a cheque book!

  • Your blog name says it all. There are no US Navy ships blocking Cuban ports according to the definition of blockade. What the US has against Cuban is an embargo.

  • Go to the dictionary and look up blockade and then look up embargo. Just because the U S Government calls it an embargo doesn’t make it so. Now who is the idot? Touché

  • Jejejeje ….I think it’s the USA that has to worry about invasion from Cuba. With the many thousands upon thousands of Cubans risking their lives to come to the United States there soon won’t be anyone left in Cuba.

  • Invade? Are you off your meds? Is there really a need for profanity to make your point?

  • Yes we all know about the ‘selfless’ help of your countrymen in providing us with sugar process facilities–
    ‘ Sugar factories’ that exploited the Cuban Nation. Good riddance I hope they NEVER return.
    You say:
    ” If Cuba is to bounce back, the same US intervention that you seem to loathe will be the necessary”—if your imperialistic home country does dare try to invade or take Cuba by force that will be the end of the US of A–
    I can assure you.
    I do think think–thank God –that the US government has more common sense than you.
    Just lift the embargo–in line with the wishes of the UN –and ‘F… O.. !

  • It’s always with s sad fascination that I read these posts from Castro supporters who don’t have to live the reality of the Cuban “experience”. As a Cuban who fled as s young child I can tell you that you don’t want to live under such a system. One thing is visiting as a tourist and staying, even an extended amount if time, and another is trying to survive with a ration card, poor housing, and $20 a month…and hopefully have extended family outside of Cuba that can send you medicine and other necessities. Don’t you find it curious that Cubans risk, and many times lose, their very lives to flee your preferred way of life? What do they know that you don’t?

  • This is Havana Times so I would ask you to stay on point. as I mentioned in my earlier comment, you are clearly anti-US. Oooh! Shivers! US foreign policy has enjoyed many successes and bounced back from a handful of failures. Afghanistan is certainly a big one. Our history with Cuba is a complicated one. Did you know that the University of Havana was built with US funds? Were you aware that the sugar industry was also a result of American enterprise? My point is that there is a mix of good and bad. You seem to only want to see the bad. If Cuba is to bounce back, the same US intervention that you seem to loathe will be the necessary ingredient to Cuba’s resurgence. Like it or not, Cuba needs the US.

  • Go to and look up ’embargo’ and then look up ‘blockade’. Don’t be an idiot. Just because the Castros call it a blockade doesn’t make it so.

  • It is not an embargo. It is a blockade. You are incorrect.

  • You are wrong –as usual.
    But what can one expect?

    I am actually from Britain and live part time in Cuba.
    Unlike you– I do prefer the Cuban way of life and appreciate the many efforts the Cuban people have managed to achieve –in spite and maybe because of what the successive US governments have done to Cuba.
    Prior the revolution the Americans plundered Cuba and tried very hard to turn our beautiful Cuba into a Casino and whorehouse for the american underworld.
    If not for the attitude of successive US presidents and the American establishment attempting to force ” Coca Cola democracy” on to Cuba and South America, South America and the Caribic would be a better place.
    But the world has woken up–your country has been ‘unmasked’ and will no longer be able, to blind her Friends and con them into commercial wars for the benefit of American economic interests.
    Unless the USA starts accepting and respecting that other nations and societies have a right to have different views and concepts–your country is bound to go under—eventually.
    LET US BE–concentrate on sorting out the mess that is the USA is in today—and do not distract from those economic and social problems by starting wars and attempting to force your bankrupt ‘ Coca Cola democratic’ system on to
    the rest of the world.
    Your aggression in the Irak and Afganistan FAILED–
    and caused the wider problems in Syria, Turkey and the creation of the IS.
    Now you are attempting to renew the Cold War in Europe–threatening Russia–
    it won’t work Mr. Patterson–you may find that many more European –than you think–will support Putin.

  • Your anti-US rants explain why you choose to live free in Holland yet pretend to defend a tyrannical dictatorship in Cuba. For you, this is mostly uabout ragging on the US and has little to do with concerns for the Cuban people. Did I read your comment correctly? You are suggesting that the US should be bombed? That’s pretty interesting since it was largely the efforts of American soldiers in WWII that made all the difference between your speaking Dutch today and, had we not pulled your nuts out of the Nazi fire, your speaking German.

  • Cuba does’t need you–Cuba just wants the US to stop any embargo/blockade /interference in it’s internal affairs. Just lay off –stop playing dirty games, starting wars and assassinating people that are opposing the US.
    The commercial war that the US has waged against Cuba–worldwide–for 60 odd years has caused trillions of $ of financial damages –in Cuba, Europe & worldwide.
    One of my clients, a Dutch Bank , was fined by the US for more than $ 200 million just for being involved in the export finance for the sale of spanish agricultural equipment to Cuba.
    The US should have been ‘bombed’ by Holland and Cuba in return!

    US policeman are well known for mistreating people–at home AND abroad.

  • First of all, it’s an embargo. There are no US Navy vessels encircling the island. Second, if non-US tourists were enough to “save” Cuba it would have happened already. There has never been any limits on other countries visiting Cuba. So it is clear Cuba needs American tourists. Like it or not, Cuba needs the US. We are an unruly bunch but we bring the necessary hard currency. By the way, we don’t need you to trust us either.

  • These words echo my own thoughts!

  • The explosion of tourism is good news for Cuba’s balance of payment-bringing required extra ‘hard currency to the country.
    I only wished the increase of tourism was due ‘ solely’ to the beauty of the country and the friendliness of the Cubans.
    Having spoken to a number of tourist’s –who for the first time came to Cuba–the main reason for many tourists was—to see and enjoy Cuba BEFORE the Americans appeared en masse and ruined the charm and originality of the Cuba
    we know and love.
    Before I ever change my mind about the Americans, they have to lift the blockade
    first and secondly explain to Cuba satisfactorily –why they haven’t forced previous US governments to lift the blockade, end the hostility towards Cuban socialism and Fidel Castro and drop their imperialistic stance towards Cuba.
    I still do not trust them !

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