The Queen of Spain visited Cuba during the Special Period


This Monday, when the plane of the Kings of Spain lands at the Jose Marti International Airport, it will be the First visit to Cuba of the monarch Felipe VI, but not that of his wife, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano.

The queen was already on the Island in May 1994, when she was still a young journalism student of 22 years who wanted to know the places where she lived and frequented her literary idol: Ernest Hemingway.

According to a newspaper information The Spanish, the then student of the Complutense University of Madrid arrived in Havana with several friends, happy to be able to visit the places where the great American writer had been inspired to write The old man and the sea.

According to the publication, the current queen developed a very complete guide to everything that was not to be missed. So, together with two of her friends, she visited the Ambos Mundos Hotel, where Hemingway resided and wrote some of her works, as well as the restaurants El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio, in which, like typical tourists, they drank daiquiris and daisies, respectively.

Letizia Ortiz was also at Finca Vigia, a house that the writer bought in the San Francisco de Paula neighborhood, and where he spent his last years in Cuba. The place, which is now a museum dedicated to Hemingway, pleased the visitor very much, since it remains practically the same as when he inhabited it, and especially for its library, which stores more than 9,000 copies of books.

In addition, tourists went to the Cathedral and the wall of the seawall, where several photos were taken. They also took ice cream in downtown Coppelia, where the newspaper mentions, the young Letizia lost a bracelet of great sentimental value to her.

In total, the group of tourists of which he was part was three days in the capital and another three in Varadero, in an all-inclusive hotel.

Upon his return to Madrid, the future journalist commented that he had really enjoyed his stay in Cuba and that he wanted to repeat the experience.

Although your dream will come true this Monday, the characteristics of this trip are very different. This will be his first state visit to Cuba as queen consort, an event that takes place on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Havana.

As revealed by a source of the Royal House, the queen would have liked have an encounter with the Cuban dissent, something that was already officially reported that will not happen. The kings will only have a private audience with representatives of non-related civil society, "although not confronted" with the government. This is a meeting similar to the one that President Pedro Sanchez had when he visited Havana in 2018 and He talked with artists, intellectuals, bloggers and entrepreneurs.

"What the Queen has asked is to meet Leonardo Padura, who was Princess of Asturias Award a couple of years ago and with whom she maintains a good friendship," said the source.

Felipe VI and his wife will not be in Havana on November 16, the city's anniversary day, to not coincide with the dictators Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega, who already confirmed their attendance at the official events of the event.

However, the trip of the kings has been questioned by several Spanish parties and opposition leaders of the Island, who see it as a gesture of sympathy towards the Cuban regime.

In response, both President Sanchez and Foreign Minister Josep Borrell have reiterated that the actual visit "is not a manifestation of support to nothing".

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