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Primary school children playing in one of the public courts in Havana, Cuba.

Scanned from slide, cropped, incrased sharpness, applied Neat Image.

Havana is the capital city, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city is one of the 15 Cuban provinces. The city has 2.1 million inhabitants, the largest city in Cuba and the second largest in the Caribbean region, after Santo Domingo.

King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592 and a royal decree in 1634 recognized its importance by officially designating it the "Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies". The Spaniards began building fortifications, and in 1553 they transferred the governor's residence to Havana from Santiago de Cuba on the eastern end of the island, thus making Havana the de facto capital. The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana's harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish-American War.

Present day Havana is the center of the Cuban government, and various ministries and headquarters of businesses are based there.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havana

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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 105 N: 604] (3931)
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