No 'chinos' in Havana's Chinatown

Like many other Cuban-Americans, we grew up listening to stories of pre-Castro Cuba.  My father was a young banker in the 1950s who was eventually promoted to a large branch in Havana.  He worked "downtown," as we would say here. One of my favorite stories was about the Chinese in Cuba and the well known "barrio chino," or, loosely translated, Chinatown.  It turns out that there was an important population of Chinese immigrants in Cuba.  They came to work in the first 30 years of the 20th century.  Like other bank customers, they would drop by my dad's branch to make deposits and do banking business.  Some even sent money back to their families in China.  These people had a reputation for working hard, and their word was as good as gold, as my father used to say.  "Never lost a centavo [a cent] with my Chinese clients," added my father. The Puerta de los Dragones in Havana's Chinatown. My...(Read Full Post)