Robaina's plantation

Friday 3 January 2020

Universidad de La Habana (University of Havana) Havana

                 On January 5, 1728, the first university of Cuba, one of the first Universities in the Americas (the oldest is the National University of San Marcos in Lima, founded in 1551), was founded by the Dominican friars belonging to the Order of Preachers. It was named the "Royal and Pontifical University of San Gerónimo de La Habana " and located in the Convent of San Juan de Latrán, found at O'Reilly and Mercaderes streets in Old Havana during this period. At that time the universities needed regal or papal authorization and this institution was authorized by Pope Innocent XIII and King Felipe V of Spain.
               What began as a religious institute, became secularized in 1842, and after some reforms changed its name to "Real and Literary University of Havana" in 1850. When Cuba gained her independence from Spain with help from the United States, Major-General John R. Brooke, the military governor of Cuba at that time, on January 3, 1899, delegated to the rector of the University, all the powers of administration that once belonged to the Spanish Empire. Thus begins a new stage in the development of the institution and changes it's name to the Universidad de La Habana.
             With this new transition, modern teaching ideas were brought to the institution but conditions in the old building were not conducive to the best outcome, the existing space was not suitable. On May 1, 1902, the University transferred to it's current location on Aróstegui Hill (Pyrotechnics Hill) in the Municipality of Vedado. Most of the University's building were built between 1904 and 1940. In January 1928, US President Calvin Coolidge was in Havana for the VI Pan American Conference and was present for Cuba's President Gerardo Machado's inauguration of several works including the 88-step stairway of the University of Havana. The Alma Mater, made by Czechoslovak artist Mario Karbel, had been added in 1919....the art deco library was added in 1936. When Fulgencio Batista took over the government in 1952, the university became a centre of anti-government protests....Batista closed the university in 1956. When Fidel Castro took over on January 1st, 1959, he reopened the doors of the Havana University. However, until January 1st 1962, he made the university go through a period of reformation in order to eliminate "anti-revolutionary ideas". From that moment onward the university became an important arm of the Revolution to create a new Cuba.
              Today, the University of Havana consists of 17 faculties and 15 research centers in different fields such as: economics, exact sciences, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. It currently has an enrollment of over 60 thousand students distributed amongst 32 races. The University has trained 1560 young people from third world countries, representing 65 nations. It's Faculties include:
Law School, Economy, Accounting and Finance, School of Distance Education, Geography, Mathematics and Computing, Philosophy, History and Sociology, Psychology, Biology, Arts and Letters, Foreign Languages, Physics, Chemistry, School of Social Communication, Tourism, School of Pharmacy and Food & Restoration and Conservation. Some of it's featured students include:
Felix Varela....(November 20, 1788 – February 18, 1853) was a Cuban Catholic prelate and independence leader in his homeland who is regarded as a notable figure in the Catholic Church in both his native Cuba and the United States.
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes.....(April 18, 1819 – February 27, 1874) was a Cuban revolutionary hero. Cespedes, who was a plantation owner in Cuba, freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868 which started the Ten Years' War (1868–78), which ultimately led to Cuban independence. Because of his actions during the Independence War, he is known in Cuba as the "Father of the Fatherland".
Julio Antonio Mella....(25 March 1903 – 10 January 1929) was a founder of the "internationalized" Cuban Communist Party. Mella studied law in the University of Havana until he was expelled in 1925 and is considered a hero by the present Cuban government. Some Cubans view him as a victim of the Stalin-Trotsky struggle. His biography varies with the source consulted.
Fidel Castro Ruz....(13 August 1926 – 25 November 2016) was a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who governed the Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers from 1976 to 2008.
Raul Castro....(born 3 June 1931) is a Cuban politician who is currently serving as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the communist state, succeeding his brother Fidel Castro in April 2011.
Eduardo Chibás.....(August 15, 1907 – August 16, 1951) was a Cuban politician who used radio to broadcast his political views to the public. He primarily denounced corruption and gangsterism rampant during the governments of Ramón Grau and Carlos Prío which preceded the Batista era. He believed corruption was the most important problem Cuba faced.

The University was declared a National Monument on October 10 , 1978.

University of Havana
Calle L entre San Rafael y 27

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