Parque Central


Havana's Parque Central is at the center of the city. El Capitolio rises just to the south. The famous Malecón is a fifteen minute walk north and the heart of Habana Vieja is just east, its unofficial starting line at El Floridita at the head of Calle Obispo.

A statue of the Cuban poet José Martí rises in the center of the park, marking the spot where Fidel Castro gave numerous speeches about the causes and struggles of la revolución. It was also very nearly the sight of his assassination, according to Carlos Eire who relays the fantastical story of his older cousin who plotted to fly and crash a plane onto Castro and the statue of José Martí and nearly pulled it off in the remarkable book Waiting for Snow in Havana.


Today, if you get to the park at the right hour and tune your ear to Spanish, you can hear many conversations between old men discussing the changing city of Havana. Mostly, however, you'll hear a lot of opinions about baseball.