Published on Oct 16, 2014
1957 Havana, Cuba. The City is in full bloom. The port, filled with ships from all over the world, offers the island a taste of the upcoming fashions, the latest technological advances of the automotive industry, and exquisite jewelry, among many other fine things. New neighborhoods -- El Vedado, among others-- are expanding to accommodate the fast growing population. Streets are filled with Spanish Colonial, Republican Neoclassical and American Beaux Arts architecture of all scales that share one common element, allowing them to fit flawlessly together, thereby forming part of a greater urban identity. Shops from all over the world fill the buildings. Theaters bustle with crowds anxious to see international celebrities Edith Piaf, Nat King Cole and others. Tropicana's jungle showgirls dance atop the tree canopies. An enduring myth is that 1950's Cuba was a socially and economically backward country whose development was jump-started by the Castro government. In fact, according to readily-available historical data, Cuba was an advanced country in 1958, certainly by Latin American standards and by world standards.
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