Bombardments, glamor and gangsters mark history of Cuba’s Hotel Nacional

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AFP

Havana (AFP) – In its 91 years, Havana’s majestic Hotel Nacional has borne witness to some of the biggest events of Cuban history. It was once bombed as part of a conflict between rival units of Cuba’s military, hosted a summit of mafia dons, was a key site of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and a holiday jaunt for Hollywood’s most eccentric figures. Yet for 20 months ending in mid-November, this building that mixes Art Deco and neoclassical elements along with Moorish tiles was deserted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Far from a death knell for the hotel, it was an opportunity to restore the f…

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