The US building in Havana

The US building in Havana

The US Special Interests building in Vedado, just off the Malecon. In the absence of a United States embassy in Cuba this heavily fortified and guarded building is where Cuban citizens go to apply for US Visas.

It is notable for displaying news which is unfiltered and not censored by the Cuban government on electronic billboards situated behind the windows of one of the floors. It is also the focus for regularly staged protests and is famous for the anti-American propaganda billboards displayed opposite.

I was told that because of the scrolling news (also about human rights), which the US showed and were visible from the Malacon, the Cuban government started to put up the 138 black flags with a white star in front of the building. They symbolise the people who have died as the result of violent acts against Cuba since its 1959 revolution - more than 3,400 of them.

If there wouldn't be such a poticial brisance in the whole thing, this whole behaviour, from both sites, could be just laughable.

Here are a few billboards from the past. I guess these won't stand there any longer, as the old president is finally no longer active.

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