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Eusebio Leal: Farewell to an All-Time Cuban

Eusebio Leal: Farewell to an All-Time Cuban

Everyone has learned by now because great news, whether good or bad, runs like a river down a sloping course when they are broken. Eusebio Leal Spengler, historian of Havana, the city that will miss him in every corner of its historical center, has died.

Similes and epithets abound at times like these, but the truth is that the great ceiba of the Templete is in pain and sorrow today, the same one that saw him jubilantly celebrate every anniversary of the city, including the very special 500th birthday in 2019. 

Stones and men will always remember you. How much they will miss your word and your stories, your very peculiar way of drawing crowds close to the history of Havana and all of Cuba. 

"I do not aspire to anything, I do not even aspire to that which they call posterity; I do not aspire to anything, I only aspire to have been useful. And I ask forgiveness of all those who, throughout my life, in the necessary search for what I believed to be my truth, may have offended; and for my own mistakes that I committed with the youthful passion in which every man and every people seeks its own paths. I believe that in the end I found it, and that the light I see now, there, in the midst of the darkness of the sunset, is finally the way". -Eusebio Leal Spengler, historian of Havana

Eusebio Leal Spengler was born in Havana on September 11, 1942. He was Doctor in Historical Sciences of the University of Havana, Master in Studies on Latin America, the Caribbean and Cuba, specialist in Archaeological Sciences.

He studied at the University of Havana in 1975 for a degree in History. He has studied post-graduate studies in Italy on the restoration of Historical Centers by means of a scholarship granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic.

He began working in 1959 at the Metropolitan Administration of Havana and in 1967 was appointed Director of the Museum of the City of Havana, succeeding Dr. Emilio Roig de Leushenring, whose disciple he was.

He assumed the restoration works of the Government House, the former Palace of the Captains General and the Chapter House, which were completed in 1979. In 1981 he is given the responsibility of leading the investments of the restoration works approved by the City Government on May 5th of that year.

On April 16, 1986 he is assigned the responsibility of the works in the Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabaña and, later, in the Castle of the Three Kings of El Morro. According to the declaration of UNESCO the perimeter of the old walls and the System of Fortifications for the defense of the city was registered in the Index of the World-wide Patrimony in 1982 with number 27.


Eusebio Leal SpenglerEusebio Leal Spengler was the recipient of the 2008 Excelencias Award
Eusebio Leal Spengler was the recipient of the 2008 Excelencias Award


Historian of the City of Havana. Honorary President of the Cuban Committee of ICOM and Honorary President of the Cuban Committee of ICOMOS and of the Civil Society Heritage, Community and Environment; Dean of the Faculty of the "Colegio Universitario San Gerónimo de La Habana", Title of Professor of Merit of the University of Havana, president of the Network of Offices of the Historian and Conservator of the Heritage Cities of Cuba, Honorary President of the Economic Society of Friends of the Country, president of the Group of Parliamentarians of Cuba- Mexico Friendship.

He has written essays, prologues and articles on Cuban history, art, restoration and other general subjects. He is the author of the following books: Regresar en el tiempo, Detén el paso caminante, Verba Volant, Fiñes, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes El Diario Perdido, La Luz sobre el Espejo, Poesía y Palabra (I y II), Para no Olvidar( I,II y III), Fundada Esperanza, Patria Amada,Bio-Bibliografía (I, II,III y IV),Legado y Memoria, Hijo de mi Tiempo and Aeterna Sapien.

Source: Caribbean News Digital