Havana celebrates 500th anniversary facing dire challenges

In this Nov. 10, 2019 photo, tourists sit on the terrace of newly opened Hotel Paseo del Prado in Havana, Cuba. The city will celebrate its 500th anniversary on Nov. 16. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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HAVANA (AP) — Havana is an architectural jewel box where buildings collapse from lack of maintenance.

It’s a coastal capital facing a sea nearly devoid of boats, thanks to U.S. sanctions and Cuban prohibitions.

Its leaders denounce global capitalism as they build chain hotels for foreign tourists.

This metropolis of conundrums and contradictions will celebrate its 500th anniversary Saturday facing some of its toughest challenges, from climate change to the U.S. boycott to stagnation in its communist economy.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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