The main aim is to promote the idea of tolerance and mutual understanding between countries, cultures and religions and to communicate a vision of a future peaceful world. Barrio Chino was once Latin America's largest and most vibrant Chinese community,    incorporated into the city by the early part of the 20th century. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers were brought in by Spanish settlers from Guangdong , Fujian , Hong Kong , and Macau via Manila , Philippines  starting in the midth century to replace or work alongside African slaves.
The first Chinese-born arrived in Havana on June 3, The strip is a pedestrian-only street adorned with many red lanterns, dancing red paper dragons and other Chinese cultural designs, there is a great number of restaurants that serve a full spectrum of Chinese dishes — unfortunately that 'spectrum' is said by many [ who? The district has two paifang , the larger one located on Calle Dragones. China donated the materials in the late s. The smaller arch is located on Zanja strip. The Cuban's Chinese boom ended when Fidel Castro's revolution seized private businesses, sending tens of thousands of business-minded Chinese fleeing, mainly to the United States.
Descendants are now making efforts to preserve and revive the culture. The museum houses one of the largest collections of paintings and sculpture from Latin America and is the largest in the Caribbean region. The museum was the Presidential Palace in the capital; today, its displays and documents outline Cuba's history from the beginning of the neo-colonial period.
Several museums in Old Havana houses furniture, silverware , pottery , glass and other items from the colonial period. One of these is the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales , where Spanish governors once lived. The Casa de Africa presents another aspect of Cuba's history, it houses a large collection of Afro-Cuban religious artifacts.
Havana's Museo del Automobil has an impressive collection of vehicles dating back to a Cadillac.
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While most museums of Havana are situated in Old Havana, few of them can also be found in Vedado. There are also sculptural pieces by Giuseppe Moretti ,  representing allegories depicting benevolence, education, music and theatre. Other important theatres in the city includes the National Theater of Cuba , housed in a huge modern building located in Plaza de la Revolucion , decorated with works by Cuban artists. The National Theater includes two main theatre stages, the Avellaneda Auditorium and the Covarrubias Auditorium , as well as a smaller theatre workshop space on the ninth floor.
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The Karl Marx Theater with its large auditorium have a seating capacity of 5, spectators, is generally used for concerts and other events, it is also one of the venues for the annual Havana Film Festival. The city has long been a popular attraction for tourists. Between and , Havana hosted more tourists than any other location in the Caribbean. A pamphlet published by E.
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Kropp Co. With the deterioration of Cuba — United States relations and the imposition of the trade embargo on the island in , tourism dropped drastically and did not return to anything close to its pre-revolution levels until The revolutionary government in general, and Fidel Castro in particular, initially opposed any considerable development of the tourism industry, linking it to the debauchery and criminal activities of times past.
In the late s, however, Castro changed his stance and, in , the Cuban government passed a foreign investment code which opened a number of sectors, tourism included, to foreign capital. Through the creation of firms open to such foreign investment such as Cubanacan , Cuba began to attract capital for hotel development, managing to increase the number of tourists from , in to , by the end of that decade. Havana has also been a popular health tourism destination for more than 20 years. Foreign patients travel to Cuba, Havana in particular, for a wide range of treatments including eye-surgery , neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease , and orthopaedics.
Many patients are from Latin America, although medical treatment for retinitis pigmentosa , often known as night blindness , has attracted many patients from Europe and North America. Havana has a diversified economy, with traditional sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, transportation and communications, and new or revived ones such as biotechnology and tourism. The city's economy first developed on the basis of its location, which made it one of the early great trade centres in the New World.
Sugar and a flourishing slave trade first brought riches to the city, and later, after independence, it became a renowned resort. Despite efforts by Fidel Castro's government to spread Cuba's industrial activity to all parts of the island, Havana remains the centre of much of the nation's industry. The traditional sugar industry, upon which the island's economy has been based for three centuries, is centred elsewhere on the island and controls some three-fourths of the export economy.
But light manufacturing facilities, meat-packing plants, and chemical and pharmaceutical operations are concentrated in Havana.
Other food-processing industries are also important, along with shipbuilding, vehicle manufacturing, production of alcoholic beverages particularly rum , textiles, and tobacco products, particularly the world-famous Habanos cigars. The port also supports a considerable fishing industry.
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Havana, on average, has the country's highest incomes and human development indicators. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba re-emphasized tourism as a major industry leading to its recovery. Tourism is now Havana and Cuba's primary economic source. Havana's economy is still in flux, despite Raul Castro's embrace of free enterprise in After the Revolution, Cuba's traditional capitalist free-enterprise system was replaced by a heavily socialized economic system. In Havana, Cuban-owned businesses and U.
In Old Havana and throughout Vedado there are several small private businesses, such as shoe-repair shops or dressmaking facilities. Banking as well is also under state control, and the National Bank of Cuba , headquartered in Havana, is the control center of the Cuban economy. Its branches in some cases occupy buildings that were in pre-revolutionary times the offices of Cuban or foreign banks. In the late s Vedado, located along the atlantic waterfront, started to represent the principal commercial area. It was developed extensively between and , when Havana developed as a major destination for U.
Vedado is today Havana's financial district, the main banks, airline companies offices, shops, most businesses headquarters, numerous high-rise apartments and hotels, are located in the area. By the end of official Census, According to the official census the Cuban census and similar studies use the term "skin colour" instead of "race".
There are few mestizos in contrast to many other Latin American countries, because the Native Indian population was virtually wiped out by Eurasian diseases in colonial times. Havana agglomeration grew rapidly during the first half of the 20th century reaching 1 million inhabitants in the census. The con-urbanization expanded over the Havana municipality borders into neighbor municipalities of Marianao, Regla and Guanabacoa. Starting from the s, the city's population is growing slowly as a result of balanced development policies, low birth rate, its relatively high rate of emigration abroad, and controlled domestic migration.
Because of the city and country's low birth rate and high life expectancy,   its age structure is similar to a developed country, with Havana having an even higher proportion of elderly than the country as a whole. There is a population of internal migrants to Havana nicknamed "palestinos" Palestinians ,  sometimes considered a racist term,  these mostly hail from the eastern region of Oriente.
The city's significant minority of Chinese , mostly Cantonese ancestors, were brought in the midth century by Spanish settlers via the Philippines with work contracts and after completing 8-year contracts many Chinese immigrants settled permanently in Havana. There is a population of several thousand North African teen and pre-teen refugees. Roman Catholics form the largest religious group in Havana. Its patron saint is San Cristobal Saint Christopher , to whom the cathedral is devoted. The Jewish community in Havana has reduced after the Revolution from once having embraced more than 15, Jews,  many of whom had fled Nazi persecution and subsequently left Cuba to Miami or moved to Israel after Castro took to power in The city once had five synagogues , but only three remain one Orthodox , and two Conservative : one Conservative Ashkenazi and one Conservative Sephardic , Beth Shalom Grand Synagogue is one of them and another that is a hybrid of all 3 put together.
The years after the Soviet Union collapsed in , the city, and Cuba in general have suffered decades of economic deterioration. The generic term " slum " is seldom used in Cuba, substandard housing is described: housing type, housing conditions, building materials, and settlement type.
The National Housing Institute considers units in solares a large inner-city mansion or older hotel or boarding house subdivided into rooms, sometimes with over 60 families  and shanty towns to be the "precarious housing stock" and tracks their number.
Shanty towns are scattered throughout the city except for in a few central areas. Buildings in Old Havana and Centro Habana are especially exposed to the elements: high humidity, the corrosive effects of salt spray from proximity to the coast, and occasional flooding. The camellos operated on the busiest routes and were trailers transformed into buses known as camels, so called for their two humps. The Metrobus consists of 17 main lines, identified with the letter "P" with long-distance routes. In the Cuban government invested millions of dollars for the acquisition of 1, new Yutong urban buses.
The airport is Cuba's main international and domestic gateway, it connects Havana with the rest of the Caribbean , North , Central and South America , Europe and one destination in Africa.
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