Question about Presidential suite at Habana Hilton in 1959
Posted: 26 September 2005 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Our family vacationed at the Habana Hilton in early 1959. I remember our suite being the “presidential” suite on the top floor. Could these possibly have been the rooms used by Castro?

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Posted: 26 September 2005 10:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Fidel Castro came to power on January 1, 1959. The Presidential suite was probably in “honor” of President Batista.

Also, since the Habana Hilton was most likely built with mob money under Batista and not Castro, I’m guessing the suite refers to President Batista.

Now the hotel is called Habana Libre.

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Posted: 27 September 2005 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Most large hotels have a Presidential, or Royal, Suite. All it means is that this is the suite that a foreign head of state could use when visiting. It’ the best in the house, in other words. Fit for a Queen or president.

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Posted: 27 September 2005 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I believe James is refering to Fidel’ stay at the Hotel during the first few days after his arrival to Habana in early january 1959. Although I do not remember for certain, it is likely he would have stayed at the presidential suite.

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Posted: 27 September 2005 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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JesusP—Were you around the hotel then? I was 11 and the stay is part of my best memories. We had our photo taken at the Copacabana.  The revolutionary soldiers were in the lobby, fully armed. They spoke to me and called me Jaime(spelling?).

I hope for the day I can return straight from the U.S.

James

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Posted: 27 September 2005 11:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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James, I lived close to the hotel, in the Vedado section and I remember very clearly that Fidel stayed there when he first arrived in Habana from the Sierra. I can tell you that I went back two years ago for the first time in 42 years and I was surprised at how little things have change, the buildings and houses still look grand and elegant although somewhat deteriorated. I hope your wish to return comes true soon. That time you talk about was very exciting for all cubans ( I was 18 years old then)
Saludos

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Posted: 28 September 2005 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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JesusP—Thanks so much for the personal remembrances.

James

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