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Saturday, 30 November, 2002, 11:20 GMT
Cuba remembers Churchill legacy
Winston Churchill
Churchill: Cuba always on his lips

An exhibition is taking place this weekend in Havana commemorating the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's links with Cuba.

Sir Winston visited the island twice, and also had a legendary affection for Cuba cigars - once saying that Cuba was always on his lips.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro
Anti-communist Churchill is now celebrated by Castro's Cuba
On display there are old letters and sketches penned by a young Winston in 1895.

He had come to Cuba as a reporter to observe the War of Independence here.

He visited again as a victorious war leader in 1946, by then chewing on his trademark Cuban cigar.

Smoking advertisement

The exhibition is being opened by Churchill's granddaughter Celia Sandys.

She sees no problem in one obvious irony: the fact that Cuba, now a communist state, celebrates her anti-communist grandfather.

"My grandfather's legacy transcends national politics and boundaries, and people regard him as a great leader and someone to be admired and therefore they are not looking into these details, they are looking at the greater picture," she said.

And whatever his politics, Sir Winston remains something of a hero in Cuba for his phenomenal consumption of Cuban cigars.

He smoked around 9 a day for most of his life.

Advertising may be banned here, but Sir Winston is the best advertisement there has ever been for Cuba's most famous export.

See also:

24 Nov 02 | Entertainment
14 Oct 02 | Business
31 Oct 02 | Country profiles
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