The U.S. government offered to purchase the island, but Spain refused.  In 1868, revolutionaries led by f Carlos Manuel de Céspedes declared Cuban independence. The Ten Years' War followed, a costly struggle to both Spain and Cuba.  A truce ended the war in  in 1878 and Spain granted concessions to the Cubans.

In 1886 slavery was abolished. 

In 1893 blacks and whites received equal civil status.

Hotel Plaza in La Habana

The Soviet Union crumbled under the costs of it's military organization, and Cuba lost a steady source of money, fuel and machinery.  Fidel Castro declared a "Special Period", and the Cuban people did their best to endure the hardships that followed.  To help alleviate the financial crisis, the Cuban goverment began to invest in tourism - including a major renovation of Old Havana.  Our hotel, the Hotel Plaza, was once a place where American jazz greats and actors stayed.