Ban Ki-Moon mingles with locals and experiences Cuba like a tourist
During a recent visit to Cuba to attend the second summit of CELAC, United Nations Secretary Genral, Ban Ki-Moon, also took time to learn about the city's cultural riches with a tour around Old Havana, which included a haircut in a barbershop. Just like any other tourist on holiday to Cuba he mingled with the locals, strolled the cobbled streets of the colonial quarter and took in the vibrant atmosphere.
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, who is currently in Cuba as of last Sunday, recently embarked on a tour of Havana, just like any tourist on a holiday would.
Having come to the largest Caribbean nation with the purpose of attending the second edition of the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Estates (CELAC), Ban Ki-Moon also took some time to explore the city, learn more about the country’s economic situation and world renowned health care as well as mingle with the locals.
One of his first cultural pursuits was a tour around Old Havana, which he explored with his wife, Yoo-Taek Coon and with the guidance of Havana’s historian, Eusebio Leal, the person behind the restoration of many of the old town’s colonial relics and the creation of the Habaguanex chain of hotels, which are housed within old restored mansions, refurbished without taking away any of its initial features and colonial décor.
Of Havana’s colonial quarter he said:
“I am very impressed by the efforts made to restore the old town," adding how the UN Development Programme and other UN Agencies were “very closely to help the Cuban Government and people to preserve this area,”.
During his tour he also learnt about the socio-cultural projects in Old Havana, driving the private sector in a poor and crumbling neighbourhood of the old town to give more jobs to locals, improve the local economy and train youngsters so that they can give back to the local community. He even had his hair cut in a traditional barbershop.
His time in the capital city also included a visit to the Latin American School of Medicine, where he met with the 1015 foreign students from all over Latin America, who receive free training in the form of a scholarship. He talked about the importance of Cuba’s efforts to train foreign doctors, praising how the Caribbean island had made:
“A great contribution to be in the main line of health in the world, and be at the forefront of South-South cooperation. I have seen a common factor in various remote communities: Cuban doctors or doctors trained in Cuba who are there helping to save lives.”
“Cuba has a long history of cooperation. Cuban doctors are the first to arrive and the last to leave.”
“They were in Haiti facing the challenges of cholera, a disease that in the XXI century should not be a death sentence because it is preventable and curable.”
“Cuba can teach the world about your health system based on primary care, with significant achievements as a low infant mortality, increased life expectancy and universal coverage.”
During his visit, he also met with former Cuban president Fidel Castro for 55 minutes, where he discussed, food security, climate change and nuclear proliferation. He also met a number of Cuban officials including Fidel’s younger brother and current President Raul Castro, with whom he discussed the U.S. embargo and human rights on the island.
On this note, Samantha Power, Washington's U.N. ambassador posted a tweet urging world leaders visiting Cuba to meet with "everyday Cubans" and independent groups "to learn what's really happening …"
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
Discover the crystal clear waters of Varadero and slip into total relaxation this summer
- Enjoy a grilled feast with a restaurant on the beach
- Within close proximity to such famous attractions as the Ecological Reserve at Varahicacos
- Close to one of the best windsurfing and kitesurfing spots in Cuba
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 28th Aug 2017
Expect Luxury, comfort and relaxation!
- Enjoy spa treatments, water and land sports and more for a fun-filled break
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 31th Aug 2017
- Relish fantastic eating and drinking options 24 hours a day
- Enjoy complimentary perks, including a bottle of sparkling wine, a romantic dinner for two, plus a 30 min massage per couple.
Ideal for trendy couples - stay at a chic and sleek hotel in the heart of vibrant Havana and then Stay next to Cuba's famous Varadero beach
- Exclusive Couples offer - Welcome Cocktail, 1 hour free Wifi Access in Havana plus a bottle of wine on arrival, 30-minute massage and a Romantic Dinner in Varadero
- Book now and get a free upgrade to the sea view at Blau Varadero - limited availability
- Be swept away by the amazing views of Havana from Capri's rooftop pool
- Blau Vardero offers something for everyone with as little or as much as you want to do on offer including a spa
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing summer 2017 beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
Start your holiday at The Melia Habana Hotel, located in the heart of the elegant Miramar district, overlooking the sea....
Are you searching for an adventurous holiday filled with culture, authenticity and charm? Then why not enjoy a twin...
Beyond its sober elegance of Mudejar roots and the presence of round arches and red clay tile roof, it is known for its...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...