The Palace And His New Majesty

/ 8 March, 2015

“The true story of Cuba is the story of their very much winding transculturations”.[1]   The cultural mix characterizes our society almost like no other. This is undoubtedly a truth loudly and clearly defined by Fernando Ortiz to declare we are a transculturate people. Although this is a common phenomenon to many cultures to a greater or lesser extent, it means to Cuba that nothing is totally incorruptible in our identity. We are, indeed, the infinite sum of previous statements of causes and effects, a rhizomatic growth with no history for mankind.
This lineage, full of circumstantial changes – “by the very complex transmutations of cultures verified here ” [2]– has influenced the shaping of social being until today, due to the plurality of discourses involved in the diegesis which defines us. El Palacio del Segundo Cabo is reinvented to entertain with its new role permutations existing between the Old Continent and Cuba over five centuries of relations, after a complex process of development and cultural heritage rescue as a result of a cooperative project among the Havana City Historian Office, the European Union, and UNESCO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Havana.

As understanding Center for Cuba-Europe relations, El Palacio del Segundo Cabo is a space for intercultural dialogue between the “two worlds which have discovered and clinked each other”[3]. The experience, while unprecedented in our context, was essential to revitalize the institutional dynamics of Cuban culture.

As a palace, the building is a witness to history wrought by their edges and steps walked and retraced many times in the foundational core of Havana villa. The architectural masterpiece of Baroque breath alternated its time in destinations such as Post Office Managing House, office and residence of the Deputy Inspector Segundo Cabo, home of Senate, Supreme Court, Academies of History, Language, Arts and Letters, National Council of Culture and finally the Cuban Book Institute.

Today as interpretive center, El Palacio, with its perennial majesty is an attempt to tell the true story of cultures on which our present is rebuilt. Although the story is unfinished, since other places are still to be found to propose the inclusion of other cultures into a whole polysemous, El Palacio del Segundo Cabo fills a long wait in the constructive work of what is national, to its history and culture.


[1] Fernando Ortiz. Contrapunteo cubano del tabaco y el azúcar. La Habana, Ed. Ciencias Sociales, 1983, p.86.

[2] Ibídem.

[3] Ibídem, p.88.



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