Cuba: the ancient lions of Havana

Prado park, HavanaPrensa Latina reports:

Emotion & Poetry in the Center of Havana

Havana, Jul 2 For years, the amazing bronze figures located in a downtown avenue in the Cuban capital, “Leones del Prado” (Lions of the Prado Park), have been motive of delight for foreign tourists and even for Cuban citizens due to their character, beauty and poetry.

As permanent guards of Havana, they appear with their strong figures all along the Marti or Prado Park, which full of trees, takes passers-by from the emblematic Malecon to the Central Park amid the hustle and bustle of the city.

With their always-aggressive look and a roar that only the most imaginative people could hear, the “Leones del Prado” become perfect setting for a family photo or an informal walk.

Historians recall that in late 1700 the Spanish colonial authorities endorsed a public-works program intended to confer a different look to the village of San Cristobal de la Havana, founded in 1519.

After some contradictions, the great city had obtained the rank of capital of the island and so it deserved a special architectonical treatment.

The first changes included two tree-lined avenues, the city’s first theater and a presidential house.

By late 19th century, the image of the Prado Park was totally renewed with the construction of houses in the surroundings, the included marble banks, lights and the most important ornament the so-called “Leones del Prado”.

Book on Cuban wetlands birds: here.

2 thoughts on “Cuba: the ancient lions of Havana

  1. Dr. Mourad Ghaleb, President of AAPSO
    issued the following statement
    on behalf of the Permanent Secretariat.


    The Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization- AAPSO is considered deeply with the continuous detention and incarceration in different prisons of the United States, the five Cubans : Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, René Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez.

    After eight years of their arrest, which is highly politically motivated, they are still enduring unjust sentences in US jails precisely for their anti-terrorist acts, for their commitments to justice and respect of human rights. As a proof of their innocence, they have demonstrated that their determination to fight against this totally reprehensible and inhuman situation is unshakeable. This is also evidenced by the fact that on May 25, 2005, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared that the arrest of the five Cubans was arbitrary and illegal, while in August of the same year, the Atlanta Appeals Court overturned their sentences passed by Miami against them. Moreover, their arrest and incarceration is a flagrant violation of the Article 14 of the International Convention on Political and Civil Rights, to which the US is signatory.

    The US double standard policy on war on terrorism is embodied clearly when the five Cubans have been arrested and imprisoned, while a notorious international terrorist who had bombed Cuban passenger plane causing the death of 73 people on board, has been granted full protection in US territory.

    Considering that nothing justifies the continuous imprisonment of the Five Cubans, AAPSO urges the US to release and free them immediately.

    AAPSO praises the firmness and strong determination of the Five and expresses its entire solidarity with them.


  2. U.S. fights Fidel – with $73 million in chocolates?
    Posted by: “Compañero” chocoano05
    Fri Dec 1, 2006 5:57 pm (PST)

    November 26, 2006

    U.S. fights Fidel – with chocolates?


    It is surrealism at its best: Fighting Fidel with Godiva chocolates and Harry Potter books.

    This is what some Cuban-American organizations have been doing – apparently, for years.

    They have spent thousands of dollars to buy the chocolates and the books and also cashmere sweaters, leather coats, Nintendo games and other assorted – shall we say subversive?- items.

    These articles are, these organizations say in all
    seriousness, smuggled into Cuba to combat Havana’s
    Communist regime by aiding dissidents on the island.

    Granted, it may not be the most effective way of bringing
    down Castro and his government, but without a doubt it is
    a lot of fun – particularly because it is the U.S.
    taxpayers who cover the expenses.

    These revelations are contained in “U.S. Democracy
    Assistance for Cuba Needs Better Management and
    Oversight,” a recent report put out by the Government
    Accountability Office (GAO). The investigation’ s
    conclusions are clear: The multimillion- dollar program
    designed to aid Cuban dissidents and families has instead
    encouraged waste and abuse among the organizations
    receiving the funds.

    “Under the Bush administration’ s Cuba policy, it is
    illegal for Cuban-Americans to fly to Havana for a family
    funeral, but legal for the State Department to pay
    smugglers to bring chocolates and cashmere sweaters onto
    the island,” said Sarah Stephens, executive director of
    the Center for Democracy in the Americas.

    We are not talking about a few wasted dollars here and
    there. We are talking about $73 million that the U.S.
    government has spent supposedly promoting democracy in
    Cuba since 1996.

    Ironically, the bulk of the money stays in Miami, the
    Government Accountability Office says.

    After all, someone has to pay for the living and
    administrative expenses of the leaders of those patriotic
    organizations in Florida who get the funds and are in
    charge of distributing them inside Cuba.

    And someone has to cover the cost of the dozens of mostly
    useless studies, publications and conferences about a
    post-Castro Cuba – usually more wishful thinking than
    concrete analysis.

    Yes, there is no doubt: These are times of abundance – or
    vacas gordas (fat cows), as Cubans would call it – in
    sunny Miami.

    The GAO report came about after Rep. William Delahunt
    (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) requested it. Both
    are longtime critics of U.S. policy toward Cuba. They
    belong to the bipartisan House Cuba Working Group, which
    would like to see travel restrictions lifted and a new
    policy not based on economic sanctions.

    “This program is a poorly administered part of a badly
    flawed policy,” said Delahunt, who is poised to become
    chairman of the House International Relations Oversight
    and Investigations Subcommittee when Democrats become the
    majority party in January. He has promised to hold
    hearings next year on the report findings.

    “This program is unlikely to do anything to the Castro
    government but make it laugh at our expense,” Stephens
    said. “After more than 40 years of failure, if there were
    more evidence needed that American citizens and American
    taxpayers need a new Cuba policy, the GAO report provides

    Drop the failed, 45-year-old trade embargo, abandon the
    anachronistic Cold War mind-set and allow free travel and
    free trade, and scrap the interventionist White House’s
    Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba. That would be a
    really new and rational Cuba policy.

    Originally published on November 26, 2006


    US-Cuba Democracy PAC
    PAC Contributions to Federal Candidates
    2006 Cycle
    House Candidate Total Contribs
    Ackerman, Gary (D-NY) $6,000
    Alexander, Rodney (R-LA)$1,000
    Andrews, Robert E (D-NJ)$1,000
    Baca, Joe (D-CA) $5,000
    Barrow, John (D-GA) $6,000
    Bartlett, Roscoe G (R-MD)$500
    Bass, Charles (R-NH) $1,000
    Berkley, Shelley (D-NV) $1,000
    Bilbray, Brian P (R-CA) $1,000
    Bilirakis, Gus (R-FL) $1,000
    Blunt, Roy (R-MO) $1,000
    Bonilla, Henry (R-TX) $2,160
    Bonner, Jo (R-AL) $3,000
    Boren, Dan (D-OK) $3,000
    Boustany, Charles W Jr (R-LA) $2,500
    Boyd, Allen (D-FL) $3,000
    Brady, Kevin (R-TX) $3,000
    Brown, Corrine (D-FL) $5,000
    Burton, Dan (R-IN) $4,000
    Butterfield, G K (D-NC) $5,000
    Camp, Dave (R-MI) $1,000
    Campbell, John (R-CA) $2,000
    Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $1,000
    Cardoza, Dennis (D-CA) $2,000
    Carnahan, Russ (D-MO) $4,000
    Chabot, Steve (R-OH) $1,000
    Chandler, Ben (D-KY) $8,000
    Chocola, Chris (R-IN) $1,000
    Cleaver, Emanuel (D-MO) $1,000
    Conaway, Mike (R-TX) $4,000
    Costa, Jim (D-CA) $1,000
    Cuellar, Henry (D-TX) $5,000
    Davis, Artur (D-AL) $2,000
    Davis, Geoff (R-KY) $2,000
    Deal, Nathan (R-GA) $2,500
    DeLay, Tom (R-TX) $5,000
    Dent, Charles Wieder (R-PA) $2,000
    Drake, Thelma (R-VA) $1,000
    Duncan, John J Jr (R-TN)$2,000
    Edwards, Chet (D-TX) $3,000
    Ehlers, Vernon J (R-MI) $2,000
    Engel, Eliot L (D-NY) $5,000
    Etheridge, Bob (D-NC) $2,000
    Feeney, Tom (R-FL) $4,000
    Fitzpatrick, Michael G (R-PA) $6,000
    Fortenberry, Jeffrey Lane (R-NE) $3,264
    Fossella, Vito (R-NY) $1,000
    Foxx, Virginia (R-NC) $2,000
    Franks, Trent (R-AZ) $1,000
    Gallegly, Elton (R-CA) $1,000
    Gard, John (R-WI) $1,000
    Garrett, Scott (R-NJ) $1,000
    Goode, Virgil H Jr (R-VA) $1,000
    Graves, Sam (R-MO) $1,000
    Green, Gene (D-TX) $1,000
    Gutknecht, Gil (R-MN) $2,000
    Hall, Ralph M (R-TX) $1,000
    Hare, Philip G (D-IL) $1,000
    Hastings, Alcee L (D-FL)$1,000
    Higgins, Brian M (D-NY) $4,000
    Hobson, Dave (R-OH) $1,000
    Hulshof, Kenny (R-MO) $1,000
    Inglis, Bob (R-SC) $2,000
    Issa, Darrell (R-CA) $2,000
    Jindal, Bobby (R-LA) $1,000
    Jordan, James D (R-OH) $1,000
    Kennedy, Patrick J (D-RI) $4,000
    King, Steven A (R-IA) $2,000
    Knollenberg, Joe (R-MI) $2,000
    Kuhl, John R Jr (R-NY) $6,000
    Lamberti, Jeffrey (R-IA)$1,000
    Lantos, Tom (D-CA) $1,500
    Latham, Tom (R-IA) $3,000
    LaTourette, Steven C (R-OH) $2,000
    Lewis, Jerry (R-CA) $1,000
    Lucas, Frank D (R-OK) $1,000
    Lungren, Dan (R-CA) $1,000
    Mack, Connie (R-FL) $3,000
    Maloney, Carolyn B (D-NY) $1,000
    Manzullo, Don (R-IL) $2,000
    Marchant, Kenny Ewell (R-TX) $1,000
    Marshall, Jim (D-GA) $4,000
    Matheson, Jim (D-UT) $1,000
    McCaul, Michael (R-TX) $1,000
    McCotter, Thad (R-MI) $4,000
    McHenry, Patrick (R-NC) $1,000
    McIntyre, Mike (D-NC) $5,000
    McMorris, Cathy (R-WA) $8,000
    Meek, Kendrick B (D-FL) $4,500
    Melancon, Charles J (D-LA) $6,000
    Miller, Brad (D-NC) $4,000
    Miller, Les (D-FL) $1,000
    Musgrave, Marilyn (R-CO) $1,000
    Ney, Bob (R-OH) $2,000
    Ortiz, Solomon P (D-TX) $2,000
    Oxley, Michael G (R-OH) $2,000
    Pallone, Frank Jr (D-NJ)$3,000
    Pascrell, Bill Jr (D-NJ)$2,000
    Pence, Mike (R-IN) $5,000
    Pickering, Charles “Chip” Jr (R-MS) $2,000
    Poe, Ted (R-TX) $8,000
    Porter, Jon (R-NV) $1,000
    Price, Tom (R-GA) $2,000
    Pryce, Deborah (R-OH) $2,000
    Radanovich, George (R-CA) $2,000
    Rehberg, Denny (R-MT) $5,500
    Reichert, Dave (R-WA) $2,000
    Renzi, Rick (R-AZ) $1,000
    Rogers, Hal (R-KY) $2,000
    Ryan, Tim (D-OH) $1,000
    Salazar, John (D-CO) $10,000
    Schiff, Adam (D-CA) $7,000
    Schmidt, Jean (R-OH) $4,000
    Schultz, Debbie Wasserman (D-FL) $9,000
    Schwartz, Allyson (D-PA) $2,000
    Schwarz, Joe (R-MI) $4,000
    Sherman, Brad (D-CA) $4,000
    Shimkus, John M (R-IL) $1,000
    Simmons, Rob (R-CT) $1,000
    Sires, Albio (D-NJ) $5,000
    Sodrel, Michael E (R-IN) $3,000
    Sorensen, Sheila (R-ID) $1,000
    Sullivan, John (R-OK) $1,000
    Sweeney, John E (R-NY) $2,000
    Tancredo, Tom (R-CO) $1,000
    Terry, Lee (R-NE) $5,500
    Tiahrt, Todd (R-KS) $1,000
    Tiberi, Patrick J (R-OH) $1,000
    Walsh, James T (R-NY) $1,000
    Westmoreland, Lynn A (R-GA) $1,000
    Wexler, Robert (D-FL) $500
    Whitfield, Ed (R-KY) $6,000
    Wilson, Heather (R-NM) $2,000
    Wu, David (D-OR) $7,500
    Total to Democratic House Candidates: $160,000
    Total to Republican House Candidates: $191,924

    Senate Candidate Total Contribs
    Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) $10,000
    Allen, George (R-VA) $1,000
    Burns, Conrad (R-MT) $7,000
    Burr, Richard (R-NC) $1,000
    Case, Ed (D-HI) $1,000
    Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) $1,000
    Coleman, Norm (R-MN) $5,000
    DeWine, Mike (R-OH) $5,000
    Dole, Elizabeth (R-NC) $2,000
    Ensign, John (R-NV) $8,000
    Ford, Harold E Jr (D-TN) $1,000
    Hatch, Orrin G (R-UT) $6,000
    Kennedy, Mark (R-MN) $1,000
    Kyl, Jon (R-AZ) $1,000
    Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $10,000
    Lugar, Richard G (R-IN) $1,000
    Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) $10,000
    Nelson, Bill (D-FL) $10,000
    Salazar, Ken (D-CO) $2,000
    Sessions, Jeff (R-AL) $1,000
    Snowe, Olympia J (R-ME) $1,000
    Vitter, David (R-LA) $1,000
    Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI) $5,000
    Total to Democratic Senate Candidates: $29,000
    Total to Republican Senate Candidates: $52,000

    Based on data released by the FEC on Tuesday, October 10, 2006. Figures in parentheses denote negative numbers, and may indicate returned contributions or bounced checks.

    NOTICE: This electronic mail (e-mail) message and any attachment to this e-mail message contains confidential information that may be legally privileged. This message is intended solely for the purview and dissemination of the recipient(s) and the recipient(s) directly affiliated organization(s). If you are not the intended recipient, you must not review, retransmit, convert to hard copy, copy, print, use or disseminate this e- mail or any attachments to it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify us immediately by return e-mail and delete this message. If you do not desire to receive email from the Cuba Information Access please reply via . Please note that if this e-mail message contains a forwarded message or is a reply to a prior message, some or all of the contents of this message or any attachments may not have been produced by the Cuba Information Access.


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