“Hasta que se seque El Malecón.”

Malecon19Malecon20Malecon21The Malecón is the 8km stretch of ocean-side boulevard in Havana. It stretches from Old Havana out to Miramar, and is quite a drive. Ocean swells crash against the wall; people fish or sunbathe from the wall; young people meet friends there. All along the boulevard you can see spectacular views of Havana and out across the ocean.

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Most of the buildings along the Malecón are in ruins, but they give you a sense of what this area would have looked like in the early 1900s when the road was started or in the 1950s when it was completed.

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Today there are restaurants all along the Malecón, opposite the ocean. In recent years, Cuban citizens have been allowed to open certain types of private businesses, and this new entrepreneurial economy is taking off. Before these changes, everything was owned and run by the state. The state still runs a lot of the island – water bottling, beer production, airports, roads, media outlets, and anything else considered public property, but this is changing slowly.

When I was in Cuba, the next Fast and Furious (Rapido y Furioso) movie was filming along the Malecón. I can tell you with certainty: Cubans love Vin Diesel. It seemed like the whole city turned out to watch the filming.

Title quote: Song title and chorus for the earworm by Jacob Forever.

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