Monday, July 20, 2015

Cuba in 1932

The United States reopened its embassy in Havana today, 54 years after it closed. Here is the New York Times' report, with a very moving video clip by Wayne S. Smith, one of the last living diplomats to see the embassy close in 1961:

U.S. Embassy in Cuba Reopens After More Than 50 Years

In 1932 Branson and Elsie Decou visited Cuba. It was a turbulent time: the dictator Gerardo Machado was struggling to maintain power in the midst of an economic downturn. (He would be ousted in a US-supported coup the following year.) The DeCous photographed historic sites in Cuba, such as the 16th-century Morro Castle, and also newer sites, such as the new national highway and the Hershey Company sugar refinery.

Branson DeCou images of Cuba, 1932.

Havana street scene, with "Café La Puertorriquena", other cafés and shops
University of California, Santa Cruz. McHenry Library, Special Collections, DC1.815.0038L

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