Little Havana, a community in Miami which has always been the emotional center of opposition to the Cuban regime of Fidel Castro, has been declared a "national treasure" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This was in partnership with partnership with Dade Heritage Trust, Live Healthy Little Havana and PlusUrbia Design.
"Little Havana is a symbol of the immigrant experience in America and a thriving, entirely unique place that thousands of people currently call home," said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, according to the Yahoo News. Little Havana remains the center of everything Cuban: from Cigars, Cuban music, café con leche, and Cuban salsa clubs. When former Cuban leader Fidel Castro died, Cuban exiles danced and rejoiced on the streets.
Just like other small towns, Little Havana faced pressure of eviction of its residents and the demolition of its old, historic buildings. The National Trust said these threats could lead to loss of its character, cultural richness and affordability. The organization has previously included Little Havana in its list of 11 most endangered historic places in 2015.
Although the The National Trust accepts urban resurgence and new cities springing up across the country, however, they also believe that these growth of new cities should not come at the expense of the vibrant historic little neighborhoods like Little Havana. They still want to ensure that it remains a healthy, important and an urban neighborhood with an affordable cost of living. With the declaration and input from local stakeholders, the private nonprofit organization is launching a long-term planning process to find ways to further preserve the neighborhood's character and historic architecture.
Mayor Tomas Regalado of Miami says that the historic designation enshrines the diverse culture and history of Little Havana. He also says Little Havana has been the destination of thousands of Latin American immigrants in the U.S..