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Some information of Cardenas' history courtesy of Wikipedia:

Cárdenas was founded in 1828, with the help of several old aristocratic Spanish-Cuban families from the nearby provincial capital of Matanzas and in 1861 already had 12,910 inhabitants. The completion of the railroad in 1841 led to further development. Cárdenas was one of the first cities in Cuba to have electric service, public transportation (trams), telegraph and telephone.

The city was peculiar in not being laid out in the traditional central-plaza Spanish custom, but rather, inspired on a North American perpendicular grid pattern, modeled on the city of Charleston, South Carolina, with the help of American (Confederate) landscape engineers.

In 1850 Venezuelan General Narciso López landed here on a filibustering expedition, and held the town for a few hours, abandoning it when he saw that the people would not rise to support him in his efforts to secure Cuban independence.

In May 1898, during the Spanish–American War, three notable battles were fought at Cardenas. However, credit for the republican victories goes mainly to the local Cuban patriot forces, led, among others, by General Carlos M. de Rojas.

In the late 19th century and early 20th Century, Cárdenas was one of the main sugar-exporting towns of Cuba, and had received a great influx of European immigrants, including from Ireland, France, Italy and Corsica - many Cárdenas families were known for having foreign-sounding surnames, such as Jones, Larrieu, Smith, Villa-Giorgi and Sterling, among others.

The Cuban Flag was first raised over Cuban soil in this once picturesque, genteel and historic city of straight and narrow streets (the "Charleston of the Caribbean"), horse-drawn carriages, industry and "cangrejos" (blue crabs).

Cárdenas is also the home of the famous Elián González, a child at the centre of a political controversy between Cuba and the United States in 2000.

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Additional Photos by Caleb Ficner (kwekwekan) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 127 W: 10 N: 168] (1028)
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