Weekend in Havana

FULL EPISODE

Weekend in Havana

Join Geoffrey Baer as he travels to Havana, where dancers, musicians, architects and writers invite him into their lives to experience the color, culture and history of a beautiful and seductive city only recently re-opened to Americans.

AIRED: July 18, 2017 | 0:53:41
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

(music)

GEOFFREY: OFF WE GO.

AN ISLAND I'D BEEN TOLD WAS FROZEN IN TIME.

MALE: WE'RE GOING TO PAY A VISIT TO HEMINGWAY.

GEOFFREY: BUT IS IT REALLY?

MALE: WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A JAM IN HERE NOW.

GEOFFREY: ONCE AMERICA'S TROPICAL PLAYGROUND,

CUBA HAS BEEN A MYSTERY TO MOST AMERICANS

FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY.

BUT WITH CUBA REOPENING TO THE UNITED STATES,

I SEIZED THE OPPORTUNITY TO UNLOCK ITS MYSTERIES.

[CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!]

MAKING NEW FRIENDS,

PART OF A YOUNG VIBRANT GENERATION,

SEEING HAVANA THROUGH THEIR EYES.

MALE: OH, YEAH, LOOK AT THAT.

GEOFFREY: OLD TRADITIONS, NEW OPPORTUNITIES.

IT'S ONE OF A KIND.

FEMALE: WE ARE MORE SENSUAL.

[MUSIC]

[BOOM!]

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: JOURNEY WITH ME

DEEP INTO THE HEART OF THIS AMAZING CITY.

WHEN WE'RE DONE,

YOU'LL SEE CUBA IN A WHOLE NEW WAY.

[MUSIC]

.

(music)

[CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK!]

[MUSIC]

HI, I'M GEOFFREY BAER, AND WELCOME TO CUBA.

THIS IS EL MALECON, A FAMOUS WATERFRONT IN HAVANA.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HERE BEFORE?

ME NEITHER.

FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY,

THIS ISLAND WAS OFF LIMITS TO MOST AMERICANS.

IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, VISITORS HAVE BEEN COMING BACK.

NOW, FIDEL CASTRO IS GONE,

AND A WHOLE NEW ERA IS BEGINNING.

MAYBE.

[MUSIC]

I LOVE ARCHITECTURE,

AND LEARNING HOW CITIES ARE BORN,

AND HOW THEY GROW AND CHANGE, ALMOST LIKE LIVING ORGANISMS.

[MUSIC]

I'VE BEEN WRITING ABOUT ALL THIS FOR DECADES,

SO AS AMERICA AND CUBA START TO RECONNECT,

IT'S A ONCE IN A LIFETIME CHANCE

TO WITNESS THE EVOLUTION OF AN OLD CITY

THAT'S TRYING TO FIND ITS PLACE IN THE MODERN WORLD.

[MUSIC]

WE ALL KNOW THE CLICHES ABOUT CUBA:

THE 1950S CARS, "FROZEN IN TIME,"

90 MILES FROM FLORIDA BUT WORLDS AWAY,

BUT WHAT'S THE REAL CUBA LIKE?

THAT'S WHAT I'M HERE TO FIND OUT.

MALE: GEOFFREY.

GEOFFREY: DANIEL.

MALE: HOW ARE YOU, MAN?

GEOFFREY: DANIEL DE LA REGATA IS AN ARCHITECT.

HE'S ONE OF MANY COMMITTED

TO RESTORING THE OLD CITY OF HAVANA,

AND HE'S OFFERED TO BE MY GUIDE WHILE I'M HERE.

[MUSIC]

THIS IS BEAUTIFUL.

DANIEL: IT IS.

GEOFFREY: I FEEL LIKE I'M IN EUROPE.

DANIEL: WE HAVE THAT INFLUENCE.

GEOFFREY: DANIEL BRINGS ME TO CATHEDRAL PLAZA.

IT'S THE HEART OF HABANA VIEJA,

THE OLD CITY FRAMED BY HAVANA'S MAGNIFICENT 18TH CENTURY

BAROQUE CATHEDRAL.

[MUSIC]

WE'RE MEETING TWO OF HIS FRIENDS,

SO I CAN SEE HAVANA THROUGH CUBAN EYES.

DANIEL: BUENA NOCHE.

[KISS!]

GEOFFREY: EREINA RODRIGUEZ IS ONE OF CUBA'S TOP DANCERS.

ROBERTO FONSECA IS A GRAMMY NOMINATED JAZZ PIANIST.

EREINA: A CUP OF COFFEE.

GEOFFREY: OH, GOING TO KEEP ME UP ALL NIGHT.

EREINA: YES.

DANIEL: THAT'S THE IDEA.

GEOFFREY: THESE ARE SOME PRETTY HIGH OCTANE GUIDES.

SO A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE AN IDEA ABOUT WHAT CUBA IS.

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT CUBA REALLY IS.

ROBERTO: MUSIC FOR US.

NOW, I'M NOT SAYING MUSIC BECAUSE I'M A MUSICIAN.

MUSIC, THE DANCE, AND THE ARTS.

THE CITY.

GEOFFREY: BUT I MEAN ALL THOSE THINGS TOURISTS SEE?

DANIEL: MAYBE NOT IN THE WAY THAT WE WILL SHOW YOU.

ROBERTO: WE NEED TO SHOW YOU ALMOST EVERYTHING.

THE PEOPLE, HOW THEY'RE THINKING,

HOW THEY FEEL, HOW THEY--

GEOFFREY: HOW THEY LIVE.

ROBERTO: --HOW THEY LIVE, YOU KNOW.

EREINA: OF COURSE, EVERYBODY WHO IS CUBAN IS A CONCERT INSIDE.

I CAN SHOW YOU THIS PART.

GEOFFREY: IT'S REALLY A WAY OF READING THE CUBAN CULTURE.

SEE IT THROUGH YOUR EYES.

ROBERTO: YEAH, SO LET'S DO IT.

GEOFFREY: OKAY. LET'S DO IT.

[MUSIC]

ACROSS THE HARBOR FROM HABANA VIEJA

IS THE GREAT 18TH CENTURY SPANISH FORTRESS

OF SAN CARLOS DE LA CABANA.

[MUSIC]

DANIEL STARTS MY CUBAN VISIT

WITH A CEREMONY THAT DATES BACK HUNDREDS OF YEARS.

[DRUMS]

IT MAY LOOK LIKE IT'S FOR TOURISTS,

BUT SOLDIERS HAVE FIRED A CANNON FROM HERE EVERY NIGHT

SINCE THE 18TH CENTURY

TO SIGNAL THE CLOSING OF THE CITY GATES.

DANIEL: WE USE IT TO KNOW EXACTLY THE TIME.

GEOFFREY: YEAH.

DANIEL: AND YOU HEAR THAT EVEN IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD.

I MEAN YOU HEAR ALL THE NIGHTS, "BOOM."

AND YOU CHECK ALWAYS.

GEOFFREY: ALWAYS 9 O'CLOCK.

DANIEL: IF YOU HEAR THAT, YOU CHECK.

[DRUMS]

GEOFFREY: CUBAN SOLDIERS IN 18TH CENTURY UNIFORMS

CONTINUE THE TRADITION,

AND ORDINARY CUBANS USUALLY MAKE UP

MORE THAN HALF THE AUDIENCE.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

[DRUMS]

[BOOM!]

[CLAPPING]

GEOFFREY: JEEZ.

DANIEL: AND THEN SOME PEOPLE RIGHT NOW,

THEY'RE LIKE, IT'S 9:00.

GEOFFREY: YEAH. 9:00.

THESE CANNONS ONCE GUARDED ACCESS

TO ONE OF THE FINEST NATURAL HARBORS IN THE AMERICAS,

PROTECTED BY THE MOST EXTENSIVE FORTIFICATIONS IN THE NEW WORLD.

THE NEXT MORNING,

DANIEL TAKES ME TO THE BEGINNING OF HAVANA'S STORY.

DANIEL: YOU WILL HAVE A VERY NICE VIEW.

GEOFFREY: HE'S BROUGHT ME TO THE CITY'S FIRST FORT,

BUILT IN 1858.

IT OFFERED A GREAT VIEW OF INVADERS ENTERING THE HARBOR,

BUT IT WAS IN THE WRONG PLACE TO KEEP THEM OUT.

SO NEWER FORTRESSES WERE ADDED AT THE HARBOR ENTRANCE.

AS THE CITY GREW RICH

AS SPAIN'S PRIMARY TRADING PORT IN THE AMERICAS,

IT WAS A TEMPTING TARGET FOR PIRATES AND SPAIN'S ENEMIES.

THE BRITISH CAPTURED HAVANA IN THE 1700S,

BUT SPAIN GOT IT BACK A FEW YEARS LATER

IN EXCHANGE FOR FLORIDA.

DANIEL: RIGHT NOW I WANT TO SHOW YOU THIS SQUARE

THAT WAS THE FIRST PUBLIC SPACE IN TOWN.

THE FIRST MASS WAS HERE IN 1519, NOVEMBER 16,

AND THE CITY GREW AROUND THIS SQUARE.

GEOFFREY: SO THIS WAS THE MAIN SQUARE IN THOSE DAYS.

DANIEL: PLAZA DE ARMAS.

GEOFFREY: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

ARMY SQUARE.

DANIEL: THIS PLACE HERE IS IMPORTANT FOR US

BECAUSE THE FIRST MASS WAS HERE.

GEOFFREY: SO THERE WAS A CHURCH HERE?

DANIEL: NO, IT WAS EMPTY, THIS PLACE.

IT DIDN'T HAVE ANY BUILDINGS HERE.

IT WAS IN 1519, NOVEMBER 16.

THEY POINT A PLACE WITH THE TREE

THIS KIND OF TREE THAT WE HAVE HERE.

THE NAME IS CEIBA,

AND WE HAVE A NICE TRADITION HERE.

EVERY NOVEMBER 15,

THE DAY BEFORE THE CELEBRATION,

A LOT OF PEOPLE, THEY COME TO THIS PLACE,

THEY MAKE A LONG LINE, AND THEY COME HERE,

THEY WALK THREE TIMES AROUND THE TREE,

TOUCHING THE TREE.

GEOFFREY: THIS TREE HAS BEEN SO MUCH A PART OF CUBAN HISTORY

THAT EACH TIME THE OLD ONE DIES

IT'S REPLACED BY A NEW CEIBA TREE.

THERE IS SOMETHING KIND OF MAGICAL ABOUT FEELING THAT

UNDER YOUR PALM AS YOU GO AROUND.

DANIEL: WELL, IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT TREE

FOR THE AFRO-CUBAN RELIGION TOO.

WHEN THE SLAVES ARRIVED FROM AFRICA,

THEY WERE TRYING TO FIND A TREE LIKE THE BAOBAB IN AFRICA.

WE RESPECT THE TREE A LOT.

EVEN IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN SANTERIA, NO ONE--

GEOFFREY: NOBODY CUTS DOWN THE CEIBA TREE.

SLAVERY AND CUBAN HISTORY HAVE BEEN INTERWOVEN

SINCE THE 16TH CENTURY.

CUBA'S INDIGENOUS POPULATION WAS VIRTUALLY WIPED OUT

FROM WAR AND DISEASE

IN THE YEARS FOLLOWING THE SPANISH CONQUEST

OF THE NEW WORLD.

SO AS CUBA GREW AND PROSPERED,

SLAVE LABOR WAS BROUGHT IN FROM AFRICA.

ROBERTO BRINGS ME INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE

TO SEE AND HEAR THIS AFRICAN LEGACY.

SO WHERE ARE WE?

ROBERTO: SO WE ARE IN SANTA FE.

GEOFFREY: THIS IS SANTA FE.

ROBERTO: YEAH, THIS IS SANTA FE.

GEOFFREY: BY THE MID 1800S,

CUBA WAS THE LEADING SUGAR PRODUCER IN THE WORLD,

THANKS TO NEARLY A MILLION AFRICAN SLAVES,

SHIPPED TO CUBA BETWEEN THE 16TH AND 19TH CENTURIES.

400 ONCE WORKED HERE AT THIS RUINED SUGAR PLANTATION.

LET ME GET A PICTURE.

[CLICK!]

OVERSEERS IN THESE TOWERS KEPT AN EYE ON THEIR HUMAN PROPERTY.

THE GREAT BELL SIGNALED THE BEGINNING AND END

OF THE BACK BREAKING WORKDAY IN THE FIELDS.

YOU THINK ABOUT, LIKE,

THE GHOSTS OF THIS PLACE, YOU KNOW?

ROBERTO TELLS ME THAT MORE THAN A THIRD OF CUBANS TODAY

ARE DESCENDED FROM ENSLAVED PEOPLE,

AND THE RELIGION THEY BROUGHT WITH THEM FROM AFRICA

IS THE FOUNDATION OF TODAY'S AFRO-CUBAN MUSIC.

LOOK AT THAT TREE.

THIS HUGE CEIBA TREE,

WHICH IS SO MUCH MORE IMPRESSIVE

THAN THAT YOUNG CEIBA IN PLAZA DE ARMAS,

IS STILL A SACRED PLACE FOR SANTERIA.

THAT'S THE AFRICAN BASED FAITH

THAT EMERGED DURING COLONIAL TIMES AS A NEW RELIGION,

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT FROM THE SPANISH OVERSEERS.

YOUR RELIGION, SANTERIA, COMES FROM THE SLAVES, RIGHT?

ROBERTO: YEAH.

IT COMES FROM THE SLAVES BECAUSE THEY WERE TRYING TO FIND A WAY

TO CONTINUE WITH THEIR RITUAL CEREMONIES.

THEY WERE PRETENDING

THAT THEY WERE PRAYING TO THE CATHOLIC SAINTS.

GEOFFREY: PRETENDING THEY WERE PRAYING TO THE CATHOLIC SAINTS.

ROBERTO: BUT THEY WEREN'T.

THEY WERE PRAYING TO THE OLD SAINTS.

THEY PRETENDED TO PRAY TO SANTA BARBARA

WHEN THEY WERE REALLY PRAYING FOR SHANGO OR FANSHUN.

IT'S A REALLY INTELLIGENT WAY TO CONTINUE.

AND THEN--

GEOFFREY: SO WHEN THE SLAVE OWNER'S LOOKING OUT

AND SEEING THEM PRAY, IT'S LIKE, OH, THAT'S FINE.

[CHANTING]

ROBERTO IS A SANTERIA PRIEST, AS WELL AS A MUSICIAN.

AT THIS SACRED TREE,

HE AND TWO LOCAL WORSHIPPERS CHANT "SHANGO,"

THE AFRICAN DEITY DISGUISED IN CUBA AS SANTA BARBARA.

[CHANTING]

THERE'S NOT MUCH LEFT OF THIS 19TH CENTURY PLANTATION TODAY.

WOODEN SLAVE QUARTERS ROTTED AWAY YEARS AGO,

AND NATURE HAS RECLAIMED THE STONE BUILDINGS THAT REMAIN.

ROBERTO: TREES ARE JUST GROWING RIGHT IN HERE.

BUT THE FAITH AND THE MUSICAL CULTURE

TRANSPORTED FROM AFRICA TO CUBA

HAS FLOURISHED IN THIS NEW WORLD.

TO FULLY EXPERIENCE THIS,

ROBERTO SUGGESTED I VISIT A PRESENT DAY SANTERIA RITUAL,

WHICH BRINGS ME TO THIS PRIVATE HOUSE

IN A HAVANA NEIGHBORHOOD FAR OFF THE TOURIST TRACK.

THIS IS A TAMBOR, A CEREMONY HONORING OSHUN,

GODDESS OF LOVE AND CHILDBIRTH.

[DRUMS]

THE DRUMS ARE SACRED.

MUSIC AND DANCE OPEN A CHANNEL TO OSHUN

AND ALL AFRICAN DEITIES.

[DRUMS]

BEFORE I KNOW IT,

I'M DRAWN INTO THE CEREMONY TO MAKE A RITUAL PURIFICATION.

[DRUMS]

SANTERIA TRADITIONS REACH A MUCH WIDER AUDIENCE

THROUGH THIS TROUPE, THE FOLKLORICO NACIONAL DE CUBA,

WHICH TOURS ALL OVER THE WORLD.

[CLACKING]

THESE ARTISTS CELEBRATE AFRO-CUBAN MUSIC AND DANCE

AND ALSO TEACH THESE TRADITIONS

AS A WAY TO INSTILL A DEEPER PRIDE IN BEING CUBAN.

THE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT HEAVILY SUPPORTS CUBAN ARTS,

AND THESE DANCERS ARE ALL STATE EMPLOYEES.

[CLACKING]

BUT I'M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF.

BACK IN THE PLAZA DE ARMAS, WHERE HAVANA BEGAN,

DANIEL SHOWS ME MORE OF THE CITY'S COLONIAL HISTORY.

THIS IS OBVIOUSLY NOT A CHURCH.

DANIEL: IT'S NOT.

IT WAS THE CAPTAIN'S PALACE IN THE 18TH CENTURY.

GEOFFREY: THE PALACE OF THE CAPTAIN.

SO THAT'S LIKE THE MAYOR OR THE...

DANIEL: IT WAS LIKE THE MAYOR.

IT WAS LIKE THE PRESIDENT

BECAUSE HE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE WHOLE ISLAND.

GEOFFREY: SO THIS IS LIKE THE WHITE HOUSE.

DANIEL: LIKE THE WHITE HOUSE.

GEOFFREY: IT'S VERY GRAND.

WAIT A MINUTE.

THIS DOESN'T LOOK LIKE COBBLESTONE.

DANIEL: NO.

EXACTLY.

IT'S WOOD.

THIS IS WOOD.

GEOFFREY: A WOODEN STREET.

DANIEL: A WOODEN STREET.

GEOFFREY: WHY A WOODEN STREET?

DANIEL: THE WIFE OF ONE OF THOSE CAPTAINS

HERE IN THE 18TH CENTURY, SHE USED TO TAKE NAPS,

AND THE HORSES OVER THE STONE MAKE A LOT OF NOISE,

AND HE BUILT THIS FOR HER.

HAPPY WIFE, HAPPY LIFE.

GEOFFREY: THE LAST SPANISH GOVERNOR

LEFT AFTER THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR IN 1898.

THAT WAS FOLLOWED BY AN AMERICAN OCCUPATION.

CUBA FINALLY ACHIEVED INDEPENDENCE IN 1902,

THE START OF THE REPUBLICAN ERA.

THAT CAME TO AN END IN 1959, WITH FIDEL CASTRO'S REVOLUTION,

ALIGNMENT WITH THE SOVIET UNION,

AND A U.S. LED TRADE EMBARGO.

I KNOW IT'S LIKE CUBAN HISTORY SO LOOK AT THIS.

THERE'S BANK NOTES FROM THE REPUBLICAN ERA.

YOU SEE A LOT OF SOVIET STUFF TOO.

YOU KNOW, THERE'S LINEN.

DANIEL: YEAH.

AND THIS IS LIKE COMIC BOOKS THAT THEY USED TO SELL

DURING THE FIRST DAYS OF THE REVOLUTION TO THE KIDS,

AND THEY USED TO HAVE THOSE THINGS

AND COLLECT AND PUT IT THERE.

GEOFFREY: LET ME LOOK IN THAT.

"REVOLUCION CUBANA."

THIS WAS HOW KIDS WERE TAUGHT ABOUT THE REVOLUTION.

YOU WOULD COLLECT THE CARDS.

DANIEL: LIKE THE BASEBALL CARDS.

[ENGINE]

GEOFFREY: TIME TO GO.

HI!

HI EREINA!

EREINA: HOW ARE YOU?

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

THIS IS OUR RIDE?

EREINA: YES.

GEOFFREY: OKAY.

HOLA.

WHERE'S THE SEAT BELTS?

EREINA: READY?

THERE'S NO SEAT BELTS.

GEOFFREY: NO SEAT BELTS?

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: THIS IS A COCOA TAXI.

THE FARES ARE LESS EXPENSIVE THAN FOR OLD AMERICAN CARS

THAT MAKE UP SO MANY OF THE TAXIS HERE,

AND REALLY, WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO DRIVE AROUND HAVANA

IN A BRIGHT, YELLOW COCONUT?

THIS IS DULCE.

HELLO, DULCE.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD.

DULCE: I'M THE BEST DRIVER IN THE WORLD.

YOU KNOW IT IS BECAUSE WE COME

FROM TWO VERY HARD DANCE HISTORY CULTURES.

GEOFFREY: TWO DANCE CULTURES?

EREINA: YES.

THE AFRICAN ONE AND THE SPANISH ONE.

BOTH TOGETHER, THEY ARE A VERY DANCE RICH CULTURE.

GEOFFREY: THIS IS YOUR SCHOOL.

OKAY.

EREINA IS FAMOUS FOR HER PASSIONATE FLAMENCO.

SHE FOUNDED HER OWN SPANISH DANCE COMPANY SEVERAL YEARS AGO.

EREINA: THIS IS THE NATIONAL BARRE SCHOOL.

GEOFFREY: THE GOVERNMENT PAYS EREINA

AND HER DANCERS SMALL SALARIES,

JUST LIKE ALMOST EVERY CUBAN,

FROM PARKING ATTENDANTS TO DOCTORS,

BUT OTHER COSTS OF HER COMPANY HAVE TO BE RAISED PRIVATELY

FROM SPONSORSHIPS AND INTERNATIONAL TOURS.

EREINA: HERE WE HAVE 3 FLOORS AND 20 STUDIOS

TO TEACH CLASSIC BALLET IN CUBA.

GEOFFREY: IS THIS A RENOVATION?

EREINA: THEY ARE RENOVATING THE BUILDING ALL THE TIME.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

GEOFFREY: TELL ME WHAT'S DIFFERENT

ABOUT EREINA RODRIGUEZ, ABOUT YOUR COMPANY.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT'S DIFFERENT?

EREINA: WE ARE CREATING A NEW VISION OF THE FLAMENCO.

THAT IS WHY MY DANCERS ARE ALL TRAINING

AND GRADUATED IN CLASSIC BALLET.

THEN MY STYLE BRINGS TOGETHER ALL THIS SPANISH STYLE,

THE CLASSIC BALLET TRAINING,

AND THE CONTEMPORARY VISION OF THE FLAMENCO.

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: THE CONNECTION WITH THE MUSICIANS, WITH THE DANCERS,

SO COMPLEX.

EREINA: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MUSICIANS AND THE DANCERS

HAS TO BE REALLY DIRECT.

WE, THE DANCERS, ARE THE ORCHESTRA DIRECTORS.

[MUSIC]

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: WHAT DID THE LATIN INFLUENCE

ADD INTO THE SPANISH DANCE?

EREINA: WE ARE MORE SOFT, MORE, YOU KNOW, SENSUAL.

GEOFFREY: MORE SENSUAL.

EREINA: WE USE... THAN THEY ARE,

AND WE USE MORE OF THE HIPS.

WE'RE CHARACTER, WE ARE MORE HAPPY DANCING, YOU KNOW?

[SPANISH MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: SUNSET ON THE MALECON,

AND IT SEEMS LIKE ALL OF HAVANA HAS COME OUT TO PLAY.

IS IT ALWAYS LIKE THIS EVERY NIGHT ON THE MALECON?

EREINA: EVERY NIGHT, EVERY NIGHT.

PEOPLE COME TO THE... YOU KNOW?

IT'S LIKE A HAVANA LIVING ROOM.

GEOFFREY: IT'S LIKE YOUR LIVING ROOM IN HAVANA.

[SPANISH MUSIC]

LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE OUT THERE.

EREINA: EVERY LOVER IN HAVANA HAS COME TO THE MALECON.

GEOFFREY: AND THE FAMILIES TOO.

EREINA AND I ARE MEETING DANIEL AND ROBERTO FOR DINNER.

IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE'S HOUSE.

EREINA: YES. IT'S A PALADARES.

IT'S THAT.

GEOFFREY: IT WAS SOMEONE'S HOUSE.

HERE'S THE DOORBELL.

PALADARES ARE SMALL FAMILY RUN RESTAURANTS,

OFTEN IN PRIVATE HOMES.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

THEY OPERATED ILLEGALLY UNTIL THE LATE 1990S

WHEN THE GOVERNMENT FINALLY APPROVED THEM.

THIS ONE, CALLED ESPERANZA,

STILL HAS THE ATMOSPHERE OF A FAMILY HOME.

[OVERLAPPING CONVERSATION]

I'M LEARNING THAT MAKING TIME FOR GOOD FOOD, GOOD FRIENDS,

AND GOOD CONVERSATION IS A KEY INGREDIENT

OF CUBA'S NATIONAL CHARACTER.

DANIEL: IT'S A SOCIETY THAT IS ALIVE

WITH A LOT OF CONTRADICTIONS AND--

BUT WITH A VERY RICH CULTURE.

WE ARE PROUD TO BE CUBAN.

AT LEAST, I FEEL PROUD TO BE CUBAN.

GEOFFREY: WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD?

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

ROBERTO: I MEAN FOR ME, I FEEL PROUD TO BE CUBAN

BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN THROUGH MANY DIFFICULT MOMENTS.

WHEN WE FEEL REALLY BAD, SOMETIMES WE LAUGH,

WE SMILE ABOUT OUR BAD THINGS.

GEOFFREY: YOU SMILE ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS.

ROBERTO: SO THAT'S A CUBAN THING.

GEOFFREY: SEEING THE HUMOR IN DAILY FRUSTRATIONS

IS A DEFINING CUBAN QUALITY

THAT'S GOTTEN THEM THROUGH MANY HARD TIMES.

BUT THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER NOW.

AFTER DECADES OF A STATE RUN ECONOMY,

GOVERNMENT REGULATION ON PRIVATE BUSINESS

WAS RELAXED IN 2010, OPENING THE DOOR

TO A FLOOD OF YOUTHFUL ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

[MUSIC]

THIS CREATIVE SPIRIT IS BUBBLING OVER AT LA FABRICA DE ARTE,

THE ART FACTORY, WHERE EREINA BRINGS ME AFTER DINNER.

IF YOU'RE YOUNG IN HAVANA, LA FABRICA IS THE PLACE TO BE.

IT'S A SERIES OF ART GALLERIES,

BARS, AND MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE SPACES,

ALL LOCATED IN AN OLD COOKING OIL FACTORY,

JUST OFF THE MALECONE.

[MUSIC]

THE CROWD IS AS YOUNG AND FASHIONABLE

AS YOU'LL FIND ANYWHERE, EXCEPT THEIR SMART PHONES,

DON'T GET CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET.

IF THEY DID,

WE MIGHT HAVE SEEN THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR TOMORROW.

THE NEXT MORNING,

A TROPICAL STORM BATTERS THE CITY WITH TORRENTIAL RAINS,

AND HEAVY SEAS BREAK OVER THE MALECONE SEAWALL.

SEVERE FLOODING IN CENTRAL HAVANA IS INCREASINGLY COMMON,

AND THAT ADDS TO THE DETERIORATION

OF THE OLD BUILDINGS.

WHENEVER THERE'S A HEAVY RAIN, BUILDINGS CAN COLLAPSE.

IF CITIES ARE LIKE LIVING ORGANISMS,

THE CENTRAL DISTRICT IS HAVANA'S BEATING HEART.

IT HAS THE HIGHEST POPULATION DENSITY IN THE CITY.

I MEAN, IT'S JUST AMAZING AS YOU GO ALONG HERE,

ALL THESE DIFFERENT STYLES.

LIKE, ONE AFTER THE OTHER.

DANIEL: THE WHOLE PLACE WAS BUILT IN DIFFERENT PERIODS.

GEOFFREY: DANIEL IS HELPING ME SEE IT

THROUGH AN ARCHITECT'S EYES.

DANIEL: AND HERE YOU WILL FIND

A LOT OF BUILDINGS THAT DON'T HAVE THE ROOF.

GEOFFREY: BUT IT'S STILL--

THERE'S LIKE A RESTAURANT IN THE GROUND FLOOR.

DANIEL: AND IT'S A HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR ARCHITECTS

BECAUSE WE NEED TO RECONSTRUCT ALMOST THE WHOLE CITY.

FOR MANY YEARS, THEY DIDN'T DO IT

BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT WAS USING THAT MONEY

TO DEVELOP OTHER CITIES.

HAVANA WAS A WEALTHY CITY,

AND THEY TRIED TO DEVELOP OTHER CITIES,

AND THEY STARTED TO BUILD MORE HOSPITALS,

AND COLLEGES, AND SCHOOLS.

GEOFFREY: THIS WAS DURING WHICH PERIOD?

DANIEL: THE REVOLUTION PERIOD.

GEOFFREY: THE PRADO IS THE GRAND BOULEVARD

THAT DIVIDES CENTRAL HAVANA FROM THE OLD CITY.

IT'S WHERE THE OLD CITY WALLS ONCE STOOD,

AND THIS IS WHERE YOU'LL FIND SOME OF HAVANA'S GRANDEST

AND BEST RESTORED BUILDINGS.

DANIEL: YOU CAN DIVIDE OUR HISTORY IN THREE MOMENTS.

THE COLONIAL PERIOD, SINCE THE CONDITION OF THE CITY IN 1519,

UNTIL THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY.

GEOFFREY: SO FROM THE 1500S TO THE 1800S, COLONIAL?

DANIEL: YEAH.

AND WE KEEP TODAY, LIKE, 12 PERCENT OF THE CITY

THAT WAS BUILT DURING THAT TIME.

GEOFFREY: 12 PERCENT?

DANIEL: THEN THE REPUBLICAN PERIOD BEGINNING

OF THE 20TH CENTURY UNTIL 1959.

GEOFFREY: AND THAT'S WHEN IT'S AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY?

DANIEL: IT WAS AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY

WITH A LOT OF HELP FROM THE U.S.

GEOFFREY: "HELP."

DANIEL: "HELP," FROM THE U.S.

BUT DURING THOSE DAYS,

80 PERCENT OF THE CITY WAS BUILT.

80 PERCENT.

GEOFFREY: HUGE EXPANSION.

DANIEL: YES.

1920S WAS ONE OF THOSE GOOD TIMES FOR THE CITY.

IT WAS THE END OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR,

THE PRICE OF THE SUGAR WAS VERY HIGH, AND THE U.S.

HAD A PROVISION FOR ALCOHOL,

AND THE MAFIA STARTED TO COME HERE.

THEY USED THAT MONEY TO BUILD A LOT.

WE USED TO NAME THAT TIME IN OUR HISTORY "THE FAT COWS"

OR THE "DANCE OF THE MILLIONAIRES."

GEOFFREY: DURING THESE BOOM TIMES,

THE BACARDI COMPANY BUILT THIS ART DECO SHOW PIECE

AS THEIR FAME SPREAD ALL OVER THE WORLD,

AND PROHIBITION WEARY AMERICANS FLOCKED TO A COUNTRY

THE BACARDI COMPANY PROMOTED AS "THE LAND OF RUM."

SO WHAT'S THE THIRD PERIOD?

DANIEL: THE THIRD PERIOD IS THE REVOLUTION PERIOD.

GEOFFREY: CASTRO?

DANIEL: YES, AND IN THAT PERIOD

ONLY 8 PERCENT OF THE CITY WAS BUILT.

THAT EXPLAINS TO YOU MANY OF THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE TODAY.

THE CITY WAS CRUMBLING, POPULATION WAS GROWING.

GEOFFREY: EL CENTRO, THE OLD COMMERCIAL DISTRICT,

HAS SUFFERED SOME OF THE WORST DETERIORATION.

DANIEL: IT'S LIKE THREE TIMES THE SIZE OF ALL HAVANA,

AND WE HAVE 400,000 PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE.

GEOFFREY: 400,000?

JUST A BLOCK AWAY FROM THE PRADO,

IT'S LIKE ENTERING A DIFFERENT CITY.

DANIEL: AND THEY ARE WORKING RIGHT NOW

TO CHANGE THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THIS AREA

BECAUSE WATER IS THE PROBLEM HERE,

LIKE IN MANY OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS.

GEOFFREY: I MEAN, LOOK AT THIS. IT'S ALL TORN UP HERE.

DANIEL: WE USED TO LOSE 50 PERCENT OF THE WATER

THAT WE USED TO PUMP TO AREAS LIKE THIS ONE.

GEOFFREY: BECAUSE OF LEAKING PIPES?

DANIEL: EXACTLY.

GEOFFREY: YOU USED TO LOSE 50 PERCENT OF THE WATER.

JEEZ.

DANIEL: YOU CAN SEE THE LOSS LIKE THIS ONE.

THEY BUY THE SPACE IN SMALL UNITS.

THEY DIVIDE THOSE UNITS IN TWO LEVELS.

YOU CAN SEE THERE.

GEOFFREY: OH, YEAH.

LOOK, YOU CAN SEE LIKE A CEILING, LIKE A LOFT.

DANIEL: LIKE A LOFT.

WE DON'T USE THAT NAME FOR THAT LEVEL.

WE USE BARBECUES.

GEOFFREY: BARBECUES.

DANIEL: BECAUSE THE HEAT GOES UP.

GEOFFREY: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A BARBECUE?

DANIEL: YES.

GEOFFREY: IS IT REALLY HOT?

DANIEL: IT IS HOT.

GEOFFREY: IN HAVANA,

IT'S NOT JUST THE OLD BUILDINGS THAT NEED CONSTANT CARE.

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF THESE PRE-1960S AMERICAN CARS

ON THE CITY'S STREETS.

KEEPING THEM RUNNING FOR SO MANY DECADES

IS JUST ONE OF THE MANY CHALLENGES

FACED BY CUBANS SINCE CASTRO'S REVOLUTION.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

I HAD THIS CAR.

THIS WAS MY FAMILY HAD THIS CAR WHEN I WAS A KIDS.

1960.

I TOTALLY REMEMBER THIS.

YOU SEE THIS?

IT'S A ROCKET SHIP.

YOU MAKE THESE PARTS?

LOOK HOW CLEAN THAT IS.

IT'S LIKE BRAND NEW.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

DANIEL: HIS FATHER WAS A MECHANIC FOR GENERAL MOTORS

BEFORE THE REVOLUTION.

GEOFFREY: OH, FOR GENERAL MOTORS.

BEFORE THE REVOLUTION?

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

SO YOU'VE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE YOU WERE EIGHT?

DANIEL: ALMOST EVERYONE WHO OWNS A CAR FROM THE 1950S,

HE IS A MECHANIC,

BECAUSE THEY ALMOST NEVER HAD A PLACE LIKE THIS ONE

WHERE THEY CAN GO AND FIX THE CAR.

GEOFFREY: BUT IT'S APPROVED, RIGHT?

IT'S LIKE PRIVATE BUSINESS NOW?

OR NO?

DANIEL: YES, IT IS A PRIVATE BUSINESS.

GEOFFREY: IT'S ONLY IN RECENT YEARS

THAT CUBA'S COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT

HAS STARTED LEGALIZING THOUSANDS OF THESE SMALL BUSINESSES

ALL OVER THE ISLAND,

ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR ECONOMIC VALUE.

FOR ROBERTO, IT'S NOT THE CAR THAT MATTERS,

IN HIS CASE A RUSTED FIAT, IT'S WHERE IT TAKES YOU.

HE'S BROUGHT ME TO A MUSICAL SHRINE

IN CENTRAL HAVANA, STUDIO AREITO,

ONE OF THE OLDEST SURVIVING RECORDING STUDIOS IN THE WORLD.

THAT IS THE SMALLEST CAR I'VE EVER RIDDEN IN.

AND HOW ABOUT THIS?

ROBERTO: OH, THIS IS SIENTE.

IT'S AN OLDER STUDIO.

GEOFFREY: I'M REALLY EXCITED.

YOU CAN JUST FEEL THE HISTORY.

SO MANY LEGENDARY CUBAN AND AMERICAN MUSICIANS RECORDED HERE

IN THE 1940S AND '50S.

BENNY MORE, NAT KING COLE, JOSEPHINE BAKER,

TO NAME JUST A FEW,

AND IT HASN'T CHANGED MUCH SINCE THEN.

ROBERTO: SO LOOK AT THIS.

GEOFFREY: OH MY GOSH.

LOOK AT THIS OLD WOOD.

OH, AND IT GETS REALLY QUIET.

ALL OF A SUDDEN, IT'S QUIET.

SO TELL ME ABOUT CUBAN MUSIC.

ROBERTO: IN SCHOOL WE LEARNED HOW TO PLAY BACH, BEETHOVEN,

ROMANOFF, ALL THOSE GREAT ONES,

AND THEY EXPLAINED BECAUSE WE HAVE OUR CLASSICAL TRAINING,

BUT A REALLY STRONG AFRICAN INFLUENCE.

NOW, I WANT TO TEACH YOU HOW TO PLAY SOME--

MAYBE AFRO THINGS, YOU KNOW?

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: THIS IS ALSO WHERE RY COODER RECORDED

THE BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB.

THAT WAS THE ALBUM 20 YEARS AGO THAT INTRODUCED MUCH OF AMERICA

TO CUBAN MUSIC FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.

ROBERTO HIMSELF TOURED WITH THEM

AND RECORDED WITH THEM IN THIS STUDIO.

[MUSIC]

ROBERTO: IF YOU WANT TO PLAY A LITTLE BIT WITH THE TEMPO.

DO IT AGAIN, ONE, TWO, THREE.

[MUSIC]

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A JAM IN HERE NOW.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE GOING TO PLAY.

GEOFFREY: AND I GET TO SIT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE.

ROBERTO: YEAH, YOU CAN SIT THERE.

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: GETTING A MASTER CLASS

IN AFRO-CUBAN RHYTHM FROM ROBERTO

IS ENOUGH TO MAKE ME WANT TO QUIT MY DAY JOB,

[MUSIC]

BUT SOON ENOUGH, I GET A DOSE OF REALITY.

[MUSIC]

[MUSIC]

KEEP GOING.

ROBERTO: YEAH. SEE, THIS IS A JAM.

GEOFFREY: WITH FIDEL CASTRO'S DEATH,

AND A MORE POSITIVE AMERICAN RELATIONSHIP

WITH CUBA DEVELOPING

AFTER MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY OF STRAINED RELATIONS,

I'VE COME TO MEET AMERICAN CHARGE D'AFFAIRES,

JEFFREY DE LA RENTES, IN HIS OFFICIAL RESIDENCE.

[MUSIC]

ALTHOUGH WE NOW HAVE AN EMBASSY AGAIN IN HAVANA,

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS STOPPED SHORT

OF APPOINTING AN OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR.

THIS EAGLE WAS ONCE PART OF A MEMORIAL

TO SURVIVORS OF THE USS MAINE.

THAT WAS THE AMERICAN BATTLESHIP

THAT BLEW UP IN HAVANA HARBOR IN 1898.

IT SPARKED THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR

THAT BEGAN AMERICA'S HEAVY INFLUENCE ON CUBAN AFFAIRS.

HOW WAS AMERICA INVOLVED IN CUBA BEFORE THE REVOLUTION?

IN THE REPUBLICAN PERIOD?

JEFFREY: IT CAN BE DESCRIBED AS COMPLEX.

TWO COUNTRIES, 90 MILES APART

WITH VERY STRONG FAMILY AND CULTURAL TIES,

AND YET WE'VE HAD A VERY CHALLENGING RELATIONSHIP.

YOU SEE EVIDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES EVERYWHERE YOU GO.

I FEEL THAT CUBANS HAVE MORE IN COMMON WITH AMERICANS

THAN THEY DO WITH THE REST OF LATIN AMERICA.

I'M TALKING ABOUT INGENUITY, SORT OF A ZEST FOR LIFE,

AND BASEBALL, AND A VARIETY OF OTHER CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

THAT ARE VERY, VERY STRONG.

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: A PASSION FOR BASEBALL HAS LINKED CUBA AND AMERICA

SINCE THE 1870S.

WHAT KID DOESN'T DREAM OF MAKING IT BIG IN THE MAJORS?

THIS IS JORGE.

HE'S A FORMER BASEBALL PLAYER.

HE VOLUNTEERS HIS TIME TO DO THIS.

HE SAYS IT KEEPS THE KIDS OFF THE STREETS,

AND THE THING I LIKE THE BEST IS HE'S WEARING A CUBS HAT,

AND I'M FROM CHICAGO.

FROM FORMER GREATS LUIS TIANT TO TONY PEREZ,

TO TODAY'S SUPERSTARS, JOSE ABREU AND YASIEL PUIG,

AMERICANS HAVE ENJOYED THE PASSION AND TALENT

THAT CUBAN BALLPLAYERS HAVE FOR OUR SHARED NATIONAL PASTIME.

SOME OF THE ARMS ON THESE BIG KIDS,

WATCH FOR THEM IN THE MAJORS.

AFTER HALF A CENTURY OF EMBARGO,

IT'S EASY TO FORGET HOW CLOSE CUBA AND AMERICA ONCE WERE.

[MUSIC]

FROM THE 1920S TO THE 1950S,

HAVANA WAS AMERICA'S TROPICAL PLAYGROUND,

SENSUAL AND SOPHISTICATED,

WITH AN UNDERLYING AURA OF FORBIDDEN PLEASURES.

NIGHTCLUBS LIKE THE LEGENDARY TROPICANA

CREATED A STYLE OF CABARET

IMITATED IN LAS VEGAS AND ALL OVER EUROPE.

WHILE IN GREAT HOTELS LIKE THE NACIONAL AND RIVIERA,

MAFIA KINGPINS CONTROLLED GAMBLING CASINOS

THAT ATTRACTED HOLLYWOOD STARS AND HIGH ROLLERS

FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

AMERICA'S RELATIONSHIP WITH CUBA WAS NEVER CLOSER

UNTIL JANUARY 1959.

JEFFREY: HOW COULD TWO COUNTRIES

THAT WERE SO CLOSE GEOGRAPHICALLY

AND HAD SUCH STRONG TIES BASED ON FAMILY AND CULTURE

END UP IN THE SITUATION THEY WERE?

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: AFTER CASTRO'S REVOLUTION

SWEPT AWAY AMERICAN INFLUENCE,

THE SOVIET UNION BECAME CUBA'S NEW PATRON.

HERE, BEHIND HAVANA'S 16TH CENTURY FORTRESS EL MORRO

IS A DISPLAY OF 20TH CENTURY MILITARY MIGHT.

IT'S A STARK REMINDER OF HOW CLOSE

THE WORLD CAME TO NUCLEAR WAR IN 1962.

I'M STANDING RIGHT UNDER ONE OF THE MISSILES OF OCTOBER.

IT'S CHILLING TO THINK HOW CLOSE WE CAME.

AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION IN 1991,

CUBA WENT INTO AN EXTENDED ECONOMIC CRISIS.

IT BECAME KNOWN AS THE SPECIAL PERIOD.

HAVANA'S OLD CITY HAD BEEN

DECLARED A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE IN 1982,

BUT DURING THE DECADE LONG ECONOMIC CRISIS,

MOST RESTORATION WAS PUT ON HOLD.

DANIEL, GOOD MORNING.

DANIEL: GOOD MORNING, GEOFFREY.

GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

GEOFFREY: LATER IN THE MORNING,

DANIEL AND I MEET UP IN CATHEDRAL PLAZA,

SO HE CAN SHOW ME

WHAT RESTORATION TEAMS ARE UP AGAINST

AS THEY STRUGGLE TO PRESERVE HAVANA'S COLONIAL LEGACY.

DANIEL: IT WAS A SINGLE FAMILY BUILDING.

GEOFFREY: AND DOES SOMEONE STILL LIVE HERE?

DANIEL: WE HAVE 22 FAMILIES IN THIS BUILDING RIGHT NOW.

HALF OF THE BUILDING HAS COME DOWN AND THE OTHER HALF--

GEOFFREY: HALF OF THE BUILDING HAS COME DOWN?

DANIEL: --HAS COME DOWN, YES.

IT'S A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE THAT EVEN IN A COMMUNIST COUNTRY,

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION WORKS.

THOSE FAMILIES, USING THE GROUND FLOOR,

THEY CREATE EIGHT PRIVATE RESTAURANTS THERE,

ONE BAKERY, AND THREE SHOPS.

GEOFFREY: SO THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE INNER COURTYARD?

DANIEL: YES. YOU WILL SEE THAT THE COURTYARD WAS BIGGER.

THEY DID THIS--

GEOFFREY: THIS WAS ALL THE WAY AROUND.

DANIEL: YES. THEY BUILT THIS LATER.

GEOFFREY: SO WHO BUILT THIS?

DANIEL: THE SAME NEIGHBORS.

THE PEOPLE WHO WERE RENTING THOSE UNITS IN THE 1960S,

THAT FAMILY WAS GROWING,

AND THEY HAD THREE GENERATIONS RIGHT NOW.

THEY NEED TO BUILD MORE SPACE, AN EXTRA KITCHEN, A BATHROOM.

GEOFFREY: SO THEY LITERALLY JUST BUILD OUT IN THE COURTYARD.

DANIEL: THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THAT THEY NEED MORE SPACE,

AND THAT'S WHY THEY LOOK TO THE OTHER SIDE.

GEOFFREY: YEAH. BUT THIS IS NOT BUILT TO ANY KIND OF CODE.

DANIEL: NO, NOT REALLY.

AND YOU CAN SEE THE WIRING HANGING EVERYWHERE.

GEOFFREY: YEAH, LOOK AT THAT.

OH, THERE'S NO ROOF.

DANIEL: IN THAT AREA THERE,

THAT ONE IS THE AREA THAT IS CONDEMNED.

GEOFFREY: SO THEY HAD BUILT A LITTLE BRIDGE

TO GET OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE?

IT'S VERY RESOURCEFUL.

DANIEL: MANY PEOPLE THINK THAT IT'S ROMANTIC

TO LIVE IN A CITY LIKE HAVANA,

AND YOU CAN SEE THAT IT'S NOT ROMANTIC AT ALL

TO LIVE IN A PLACE LIKE THIS ONE,

AND WE HAVE BUILDINGS LIKE THIS ONE

THAT WAS COMPLETELY CONDEMNED.

AS YOU CAN SEE, IT GOES--

GEOFFREY: OH YEAH, THERE'S NO ROOF.

DANIEL: --THERE IS NO ROOF.

GEOFFREY: AND THERE'S TREES GROWING OUT OF THE BUILDING.

DO YOU WORRY ABOUT WALKING UNDERNEATH HERE?

DANIEL: YES. THAT'S WHY THE PEOPLE

WALK ON THE STREET ALWAYS.

GEOFFREY: THEY DON'T WALK ON THE SIDEWALK

BECAUSE THINGS FALL ON THEIR HEAD.

RESTORING BUILDINGS LIKE THIS MIGHT SEEM ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE,

BUT DANIEL TAKES ME TO ONE FORMER RUIN

THAT'S BEEN MAGICALLY TRANSFORMED

INTO A STATE RUN RESTAURANT.

DANIEL: I WANT TO SHOW YOU A TYPICAL COURTYARD IN HAVANA

IN THE 18TH AND EVEN 19TH CENTURY.

GEOFFREY: RESTORED, IT HELPS TELL THE STORY OF CUBAN HISTORY.

DANIEL: AND REMEMBER,

IT WAS A SINGLE FAMILY BUILDING IN THE 18TH CENTURY.

GEOFFREY: THIS WAS SOMEBODY'S HOUSE.

DANIEL: YES, SOMEBODY'S HOUSE, AND BUILDING LIKE THIS ONE,

THE GROUND FLOOR WAS ALWAYS FOR THE BUSINESS OF THE FAMILY.

IF THEY USED TO SELL TOBACCO OR SUGAR OR FISH,

THE GROUND FLOOR WAS USED FOR THAT.

AND THEN THAT MEZZANINE WAS THE PLACE FOR THE SLAVE.

THAT'S WHY YOU CAN SEE THOSE SMALL WINDOWS

THAT STILL HAVE BARS TO--

GEOFFREY: THE SLAVES WERE UP THERE.

DANIEL: AND THEN THE FAMILY WAS ON TOP.

GEOFFREY: THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A VERY WEALTHY FAMILY, RIGHT?

DANIEL: WE HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION

FROM THE 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY,

BECAUSE SPAIN WAS VERY ORGANIZED

DURING THOSE CENTURIES.

SPAIN, THEY HAVE A PLACE IN SEVILLE,

THAT THE NAME IS ARCHIVO DE INDIAS.

IT'S LIKE, ARCHIVES, WHERE THEY KEEP FOLDERS

WITH INFORMATION OF ALMOST EVERY BUILDING

THAT THEY BUILT IN LATIN AMERICA.

NOT ONLY DRAWINGS, EVEN RECORDS, WHO PAYS FOR THE BUILDING,

WHICH MATERIAL THEY USE,

WHETHER AN ACCIDENT HAPPENED OR NOT.

GEOFFREY: THAT'S LIKE A TREASURE TROVE

FOR A RESTORATION ARCHITECT.

DANIEL: AND WE HAVE THAT INFORMATION TODAY.

GEOFFREY: ALMOST EVERYTHING IN HABANA VIEJA

COMES UNDER THE CITY HISTORIAN'S OFFICE.

IT'S A VAST ORGANIZATION WITH ALMOST 10,000 WORKERS.

IN ADDITION TO RESTORATION, IT RUNS SCHOOLS, HOTELS,

HOSPITALS, STORES, AND RESTAURANTS,

AND IT PUTS THE MONEY IT MAKES BACK

INTO IMPROVING THE BUILDINGS AND THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

TOURIST DOLLARS, PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS,

AND FOREIGN INVESTMENT

ARE FUELING THE REBUILDING OF HABANA VIEJA,

BUT IT'S AN UPHILL BATTLE.

AFTER DECADES OF WORK,

TWO-THIRDS OF THE OLD CITY REMAINS UNRESTORED.

DANIEL: WE HAVE THIS BEAUTIFUL SQUARE

THAT I'M VERY PROUD OF THE WORK THAT THEY PUT IN.

GEOFFREY: BUT WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED SO FAR

IS TRULY WORTH CELEBRATING.

LIKE PLAZA VIEJA, THE OLD PLAZA.

DANIEL: IT'S ALWAYS MORE EXPENSIVE TO RESTORE

THAN TO TEAR DOWN AND BUILD A NEW ONE,

BUT IT WAS A DECISION THAT WE TOOK

TO SAVE THIS AREA FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

GEOFFREY: WHAT DO WE LOSE WHEN WE TEAR THIS DOWN?

DANIEL: HISTORY.

HISTORY, AND WHO WE ARE.

GEOFFREY: RESTORING HABANA VIEJA

IS LIKELY THE WORK OF MANY LIFETIMES.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

SO THE CITY HISTORIAN'S OFFICE RUNS SEVERAL CRAFT SCHOOLS,

WHERE YOUNG APPRENTICES

LEARN THEIR RESTORATION SKILLS FROM SCRATCH.

DANIEL: YOU CAN SEE THAT WE REUSE EVERYTHING HERE.

GEOFFREY: THIS IS ORIGINAL FROM 1928?

SO THIS IS FROM UP HERE?

DANIEL: FROM HERE.

IN THIS CORNER.

GEOFFREY: YOU HAVE TO RESTORE ALL OF OLD HAVANA.

PEOPLE DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS ANYMORE, RIGHT?

YOU HAVE TO TRAIN A WHOLE NEW GENERATION.

DANIEL: THAT WAS ONE OF OUR PRIORITIES HERE

TO CREATE A SCHOOL LIKE THIS ONE

TO TRAIN OUR PEOPLE TO WORK HERE.

WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO IMPORT LABOR.

GEOFFREY: YEAH.

IS IT A LOST ART?

DANIEL: WHEN THEY CREATED THE SCHOOL,

JUST ONE MAN WAS THE ONE

WHO KNEW HOW TO CREATE ALL THOSE THINGS.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

GEOFFREY: THESE ARE THE TOPS OF COLUMNS.

WILL THIS LAST AS LONG AS THE ORIGINAL STONE?

DANIEL: THEY EXPECT THAT IT'S GOING TO LAST LONGER.

GEOFFREY: JUST A STONE'S THROW AWAY

IS ONE OF HAVANA'S MOST IMPORTANT RESTORATION PROJECTS.

EL CAPITOLIO WAS DESIGNED

TO LOOK JUST LIKE THE U.S. CAPITOL

BY A CUBAN ARCHITECT TRAINED IN THE UNITED STATES.

AFTER MANY LETTERS OF PERMISSION

AND SEVERAL LAYERS OF BUREAUCRACY,

WE'VE BEEN ALLOWED IN.

THE CAPITOLIO HAS BEEN CLOSED OFF TO VISITORS

SINCE RESTORATION BEGAN IN 2013.

THE BUILDING HAD BEEN SLOWLY DECAYING SINCE CONGRESS

WAS ABOLISHED FOLLOWING THE REVOLUTION.

NOW, THIS MAGNIFICENT STRUCTURE

IS AGAIN BECOMING THE HOME OF CUBA'S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

AS I WALK THE STREETS OF HAVANA NOW,

I REALIZE THE BUILDINGS HAVE BECOME

MORE THAN JUST STONE AND MORTAR TO ME.

[MUSIC]

THANKS TO DANIEL,

I SEE CHAPTERS IN THE 500 YEAR LONG STORY

OF CUBAN HISTORY.

[MUSIC]

AND THEN I STUMBLE ACROSS A TINY TIME CAPSULE OF THAT HISTORY

IN ONE STORE, RIGHT OFF THE PRADO.

IT'S CALLED ME MEMORIAS.

FEMALE: IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ASK

OR IF YOU NEED ANY HELP, LET ME KNOW.

GEOFFREY: IF BUILDINGS SERVE AS THE CONTAINERS

AND BACKDROP FOR CUBAN CULTURE,

THESE ARE THE RELICS OF THE LIVES

ACTUALLY LIVED IN THOSE STREETS

FROM COLONIAL TIMES THROUGH COMMUNISM.

LOOK AT HOW BUSY HAVANA BAY WAS IN THE 1930S.

LOOK AT ALL THOSE BOATS.

LOOK AT THIS.

LOOK AT THE STREETS FILLED WITH PEOPLE.

IT'S LIKE EVERYTHING WE'VE SEEN ON OUR JOURNEY IN ONE PLACE.

IT'S BEAUTIFUL.

[MUSIC]

THIS INSPIRES ME TO HIT THE STREETS

OF TODAY'S HAVANA WITH EREINA.

MUSIC IS SO MUCH A PART OF HAVANA'S STREET LIFE,

I FEEL LIKE I'M DANCING THROUGH THIS WHOLE TRIP,

JUST LIKE EVERYONE AROUND ME.

[SPANISH MUSIC]

EREINA: HAVANA... IS A VERY GOOD PLACE TO WALK.

GEOFFREY: BUT LISTEN, THERE'S MUSIC BACK THERE,

THERE'S MUSIC UP HERE.

EREINA: YES. EVERYWHERE.

AT THIS TIME MORE OR LESS,

PEOPLE ARE GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE JUST TO GET SOME AIR,

TO TALK ABOUT THEIR DAY, DRINKING A BEER,

ENJOYING THE AFTERNOON.

GEOFFREY: WHEN WRITER ERNEST HEMINGWAY

FIRST CAME HERE IN 1939, HE STAYED IN A HOTEL NEARBY.

EREINA: AND THIS IS THE--.

IT'S WHERE HEMINGWAY USED TO DRINK THE MOJITO.

GEOFFREY: THIS IS WHERE HE HAD HIS FAVORITE MOJITO,

AND HE CONTINUED TO FREQUENT HIS FAVORITE BARS HERE

FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS.

NOW, CUBANS LEAVE THEM TO THE TOURISTS.

EREINA: NO CUBANS.

GEOFFREY: NO CUBANS GO IN THERE?

EREINA: NO, IT'S NOT A PLACE FOR CUBANS.

THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE CITY.

ALL OF HAVANA HAS THIS, YOU KNOW, MAGIC.

GEOFFREY: IT IS ALL OUT IN THE STREETS.

EREINA: YES. A LITTER OF KIDS.

YOU KNOW, THEY ALL ARE.

GEOFFREY: I HAVE TO SAY,

IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYBODY IN HAVANA KNOWS EACH OTHER.

EREINA: HAVANA IS A FAMILY.

GEOFFREY: LOOK AT UP THERE.

WHAT'S GOING ON UP THERE?

EREINA: IT'S A PRIVATE RESTAURANT.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

AND HERE IS THE FLORIDITA.

GEOFFREY: THE FLORIDITA?

EREINA: YES.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT HEMINGWAY USED TO SAY ABOUT IT?

GEOFFREY: WHAT?

EREINA: HE SAID, "THE MOJITO IN LA FLORIDITA"--

GEOFFREY: WHERE WE WERE.

EREINA: --"AND THE DAIQUIRI IN THE FLORIDITA."

GEOFFREY: THIS WAS HIS DAIQUIRI PLACE.

THERE'S HIS SIGNATURE RIGHT UP THERE.

EREINA: YOU WANT TO SEE INSIDE?

GEOFFREY: YEAH, MAYBE WE HAVE A DAQUIRI.

[MUSIC]

THERE'S MAYBE MORE TOURISTS HERE

THAN THERE WERE AT THE OTHER PLACE.

[MUSIC]

OH, MAN.

YOU KNEW EVERY MUSICIAN IN THAT PLACE.

EREINA: YES.

IT'S NORMAL.

DID YOU LIKE THE FLORIDITA?

GEOFFREY: TOO MANY TOURISTS.

WE'LL HAVE TO LOOK FOR HEMINGWAY SOMEWHERE ELSE.

LET'S GO.

[MUSIC]

NEXT MORNING, MY CURIOSITY ABOUT HEMINGWAY BRINGS ME TO COHEMA.

IT'S A SMALL FISHING VILLAGE, SEVEN MILES EAST OF HAVANA.

I'VE HITCHED A RIDE ON A BOAT

THAT'S ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF CUBAN INGENUITY.

IT'S POWERED BY AN ENGINE

RECYCLED FROM A CZECHOSLOVAKIAN FORKLIFT TRUCK.

I'M HERE TO MEET HUGO PEREZ.

HE'S A CUBAN AMERICAN WRITER AND FILMMAKER,

AND HE KNEW HEMINGWAY'S BOAT CAPTAIN,

GREGORIO FUENTES, WHO DIED IN 2002.

HI, HUGO.

HUGO: WELCOME TO COHEMA.

GEOFFREY: SO THIS IS HEMINGWAY'S FISHING VILLAGE.

HUGO: THE FISHERMEN HAVE COME IN AND OUT OF HERE

FOR A HUNDRED YEARS, COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS.

IT'S A SETTING FOR THE "OLD MAN AND THE SEA."

GEOFFREY: THE HEMINGWAY NOVEL.

HUGO: YEAH.

IT'S A PLACE THAT HEMINGWAY SPENT A LOT OF TIME.

SO HEMINGWAY LIVED IN CUBA

FROM 1938 TO SHORTLY BEFORE HIS DEATH IN '61.

GEOFFREY: OH, A LONG TIME.

HUGO: YEAH.

HE SPENT MORE TIME HERE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

AND REALLY CAME TO KNOW AND LOVE THIS COUNTRY,

AND HE LOVED FISHING.

HE AND HIS BOAT CAPTAIN, GREGORIO FUENTES, WOULD GO OUT.

I MEAN, SOMETIMES THEY WOULD JUST GO OUT FOR THE DAY,

BUT SOMETIMES THEY'D DO THESE TWO OR THREE-WEEK FISHING TRIPS

WHERE THEY WOULD MOOR AT SOME OF THE KEYS

IN THE NORTHERN COAST OF CUBA.

YOU KNOW, THEY'D CAMP OUT, THEY'D EAT WHAT THEY CAUGHT.

YOU KNOW, SO IT WAS REALLY,

IT WAS KIND OF LIKE A MAN'S MAN'S LIFE.

GEOFFREY: OUR NEXT STOP ON HUGO'S TOUR

IS THE HOUSE THAT HEMINGWAY BOUGHT WITH ROYALTIES

FROM "FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS."

FINCA VIGIA IS TEN MILES INLAND FROM COHEMA,

AND IT WAS HEMINGWAY'S PRIMARY RESIDENCE

FROM 1939 UNTIL HIS DEATH.

HUGO: WE'RE ON A HILL

THAT HAS THESE VISTAS FOR, YOU KNOW, 20 KILOMETERS.

GEOFFREY: AND HERE'S WHERE JOE DIMAGGIO

AND SPENCER TRACY PULLED UP IN THEIR LIMOS, RIGHT?

HUGO: YEAH.

GARY COOPER, AVA GARDNER.

SO WHEN COMPANY WOULD ARRIVE,

THEY WOULD GET ANNOUNCED BY THIS BELL HERE.

SO LET ME SEE IF I CAN...

[BELL RING]

THIS IS HEMINGWAY'S LIVING ROOM.

GEOFFREY: IT LOOKS LIKE HE JUST WENT OUT FOR LUNCH.

HUGO: IT DOES.

THEY'VE TRIED TO KEEP THE HOUSE, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE,

THE WAY THAT IT WAS

WHEN HEMINGWAY WAS LAST HERE IN 1960, '61.

[MUSIC]

YOU SEE THIS LITTLE BAR OVER HERE?

GEOFFREY: HERE?

HUGO: YEAH.

THAT WAS DESIGNED BY ERNEST HIMSELF.

HE TOOK PARTICULAR CARE WITH THE LITTLE BAR.

[MUSIC]

BOOKS EVERYWHERE.

EVERYWHERE.

THOUSANDS OF BOOKS.

EVERYTHING IN THIS HOUSE HE KILLED.

GEOFFREY: HE HAD HIS HUNTING TROPHIES,

AND THESE ARE HIS CATS' HUNTING TROPHIES.

HUGO: THESE ARE HIS CATS' HUNTING TROPHIES.

GEOFFREY: WHAT'S THAT WRITING ON THE WALL?

HUGO: YOU SEE THE SCALE IN THE CORNER, RIGHT?

SO HEMINGWAY WOULD WEIGH HIMSELF EVERY MORNING.

GEOFFREY: THAT'S HIS HANDWRITING?

HUGO: THAT'S HIS HANDWRITING,

AND HE WOULD WRITE THE DATE AND THE WEIGHT.

GEOFFREY: HOW DO YOU THINK HE'D FEEL

ABOUT EVERYBODY LOOKING INTO HIS PRIVATE WORLD?

HUGO: I DON'T THINK HEMINGWAY WOULD BE VERY HAPPY

ABOUT THAT KIND OF TOURISM INDUSTRY

THAT HAS FLOURISHED AROUND HIS LEGEND.

[MUSIC]

NOW, WE'RE GOING TO LOOK INTO HEMINGWAY'S BEDROOM.

GEOFFREY: OH, HE'D LOVE THAT, WOULDN'T HE?

EVERYBODY LOOKING INTO HIS BEDROOM.

HUGO: YEAH.

THIS IS ALSO THE ROOM THAT HE WORKED IN.

YOU'LL SEE--

GEOFFREY: THAT'S HIS TYPEWRITER?

HUGO: THAT'S HIS TYPEWRITER.

GEOFFREY: YOU KNOW, I GOT TO TELL YOU,

IF I LIVED IN THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE,

WHY WOULD I WANT TO STAND WITH MY BACK TO THE WINDOW

FACING A WALL TO DO MY WRITING, YOU KNOW?

HUGO: YOU KNOW, INTERESTINGLY,

HE HAD A WHOLE WRITING ROOM THAT WAS BUILT FOR HIM

IN THIS TOWER WITH AMAZING VIEWS OF THE LANDSCAPE,

AND YOU COULD SEE HAVANA FROM THERE,

BUT HE PREFERRED TO WRITE HERE,

BECAUSE HE THOUGHT THAT THE LANDSCAPE

WAS A DISTRACTION.

GEOFFREY: A DISTRACTION?

HUGO: IF YOU HAD THE LANDSCAPE,

YOU WOULD JUST STARE OUT AT THE LANDSCAPE.

GEOFFREY: BECAUSE IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL.

HUGO: IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL.

IN CUBA, HE'S CONSIDERED A NATIVE SON.

THEY CONSIDER HIM NOT AN AMERICAN WRITER,

BUT A CUBAN WRITER.

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: IT'S BACK TO COJIMAR TO PUT THE FINISHING TOUCHES

ON THE STORY OF HEMINGWAY'S LIFE IN CUBA.

HUGO: THIS MEMORIAL WAS BUILT IN 1961

BY THE FISHERMEN OF COJIMAR,

BUT THERE ISN'T ANY BRASS TO BE CAST INTO THE BUST.

SO THE FISHERMEN TAKE A COLLECTION AMONGST THEMSELVES

OF FITTINGS FROM THEIR BOATS THAT WAS MELTED DOWN--

GEOFFREY: OH, THAT'S GREAT.

HUGO: FOR THE BRASS THAT WAS USED TO MAKE THIS BUST.

GEOFFREY: IT'S BEAUTIFUL.

HUGO: WHEN THIS BUST WAS DEDICATED TO HEMINGWAY,

THERE WAS A CEREMONY,

AND ALL OF THE FISHERMEN IN THE VILLAGE

CAME OUT IN THEIR BOATS AND FILLED AT THE HARBOR.

ALL OF THEM, YOU KNOW, FACING TOWARDS HEMINGWAY

AND HEMINGWAY LOOKING OUT.

[MUSIC]

GEOFFREY: I'VE NOTICED HOW EMPTY THE SEAS ARE AROUND CUBA,

SO DIFFERENT FROM HEMINGWAY'S TIME,

BUT THIS TOO IS STARTING TO CHANGE.

IN HAVANA HARBOR,

GREAT CRUISE SHIPS ARE AGAIN FULL OF AMERICANS,

AS CUBA AND THE U.S.

WORK ON REPAIRING THEIR LONG ESTRANGEMENT,

AND THE PEOPLE OF HAVANA WELCOME THE RECONCILIATION.

WHILE MUCH OF WHAT TOURISTS SEE

IN THIS NEW CUBA WILL SURPRISE THEM,

ONE ATTRACTION IS AS FROZEN IN TIME

AS THOSE 1950S AMERICAN CARS.

LOOK AT THIS.

YOU GET A FLOWER, AND I GET A CIGAR.

GRACIAS.

THE TROPICANA IS AN OPEN AIR NIGHTCLUB FOUNDED IN 1939.

IT WAS A HIGH POINT FOR AMERICANS VISITING HAVANA

BEFORE THE REVOLUTION.

[SPANISH MUSIC]

AND IT'S CHANGED VERY LITTLE IN THE LAST 78 YEARS,

ALTHOUGH TODAY'S SHOW GIRLS ARE MORE LIKELY TO COME FROM

ONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S SCHOOLS OF DANCE.

SADLY, MY STAY IN HAVANA IS COMING TO AN END,

BUT ON THE LAST DAY,

THERE'S TIME FOR ONE FINAL MEETING

WITH MY THREE NEW FRIENDS AT THE HOTEL NACIONAL.

BUILT WITH MAFIA MONEY IN THE 1930S,

THIS HOTEL HAS HOSTED GANGSTERS, CELEBRITIES,

SHOW GIRLS, AND HEADS OF STATE OVER THE DECADES.

NOW, IT'S HOSTING US ON THE BACK TERRACE OVERLOOKING HAVANA BAY.

[OVERLAPPING CONVERSATION]

EREINA: FOR A GREAT FRIENDSHIP.

GEOFFREY: YOU KNOW, I DO FEEL LIKE I HAVE FRIENDS NOW IN CUBA.

ROBERTO: THAT'S GOOD.

WE'RE GOING TO ASK YOU A SIMPLE QUESTION.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT CUBA, ABOUT HAVANA?

EREINA: HAVANA.

DANIEL: THAT AND MORE BECAUSE--

GEOFFREY: THAT'S A LOT OF PRESSURE.

DANIEL: CUBA IS NOT ONLY HAVANA.

GEOFFREY: AND REMEMBER, YOU KNOW,

YOU TOOK ME TO BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED CATHEDRAL PLAZA,

RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, YOU KNOW,

A BUILDING THAT'S CONDEMNED IN ONE HALF,

22 FAMILIES LIVING IN THE OTHER HALF,

AND THEY DON'T WANT TO LEAVE.

THEY DON'T WANT TO MOVE.

YOU KNOW, AND I SORT OF FELT LIKE--

I STARTED TO UNDERSTAND HAVANA WITH MY HEAD.

WE DANCED IN THE STREETS.

SO I KIND OF STARTED TO UNDERSTAND IN MY BODY.

I SAT WITH YOU, TRYING TO GET THE RHYTHM,

AND I FEEL LIKE I GOT IT IN MY HEART.

ROBERTO: GOOD.

DANIEL: GOOD ANSWER.

GEOFFREY: I MEAN, SOMETHING REALLY HAPPENED TO ME.

ROBERTO: SO YOU HAVE EVERYTHING.

MIND, BODY, AND HEART.

THAT'S PERFECT.

EREINA: THAT'S PERFECT.

ROBERTO: THAT'S THE COMBINATION THAT YOU NEED TO SEE

HOW WE ARE CUBA, HOW WE ARE HAVANA.

DANIEL: WELL, IT'S ONLY A WEEKEND.

GEOFFREY: A LITTLE BIT OF A LONG WEEKEND, LIKE FOUR DAYS.

IT'S HARD TO UNDERSTAND A PLACE IN SUCH A SHORT TIME.

DANIEL: BUT IT'S A HUGE NUMBER OF CUBANS

THAT THEY DON'T LIVE LIKE US.

THEY DON'T HAVE THAT CHANCE.

THEY WANT MORE FOOD AND THOSE GROCERIES,

AND MORE OPTIONS THAN THE ONES THAT THEY HAVE TODAY.

IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THIS CITY,

IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THIS PLACE

AND FIGHT FOR THIS PLACE, AND WORK EVERY DAY,

AND TRY TO MAKE THIS PLACE BETTER.

I THINK WE MUST DO IT SLOWLY IF WE WANT TO CHANGE SOMETHING.

IT'S SOMETHING THAT DEPENDS ON US.

GEOFFREY: BUT CHANGE IS ALREADY HERE,

AND PEOPLE LIKE DANIEL, EREINA, AND ROBERTO

ARE A BIG PART OF IT.

[MUSIC]

ON MY LAST EVENING IN HAVANA,

I'M TAKING YET ANOTHER FORM OF CUBAN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION,

THIS TIME TO LA GUARIDA,

ONE OF THE FIRST AND MOST FAMOUS PALADARES IN THE CITY.

IT OPENED 20 YEARS AGO,

IN THIS CRUMBLING MANSION IN CENTRAL HAVANA.

ITS OWNER HAS BEEN SLOWLY RENOVATING THE ENTIRE BUILDING

TO SERVE HIS NEW INTERNATIONAL CLIENTELE

AND CUBA'S EMERGING MIDDLE CLASS.

ROBERTO HAS INVITED ME TO LA GUARIDA'S ROOFTOP PIANO BAR,

WHERE HE OFTEN PLAYS WITH HIS BAND WHEN HE'S BACK IN CUBA.

[MUSIC]

[MUSIC]

NOTHING LIKE A ROOFTOP TO GIVE YOU SOME PERSPECTIVE.

[MUSIC]

LOOKING OUT ACROSS CENTRAL HAVANA,

I'M STRUCK BY THE PARADOX.

UP HERE, A NEW GENERATION OF MIDDLE CLASS CUBANS

SWAY TO ROBERTO'S MUSIC, WHILE AS IF ON CUE,

ANOTHER CRUISE SHIP CARVES A LINE ACROSS THE HORIZON.

YET BELOW ME IS A CITY STILL CRUMBLING AND OVERCROWDED.

ONCE CALLED "THE JEWEL OF THE CARIBBEAN,"

HAVANA IS A FADED JEWEL NOW,

[MUSIC]

BUT ONE THING NEVER FADES,

AND THAT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE.

MY NEW FRIENDS HAVE SHOWN ME THE WARMTH AND HUMOR,

RESOURCEFULNESS AND RESILIENCE

THAT HAVE GOTTEN THEM AND THE CITY THEY LOVE

THROUGH SO MANY CHANGES IN THE PAST.

NO DOUBT IT WILL CARRY THEM THROUGH WHATEVER LIES AHEAD.

ANNC: Weekend in Havana is available on DVD.

To order, visit shopPBS.org, or call

1-800-PLAY-PBS.

This program is also available for download on

iTunes.

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