The Director of the Havana Historian’s Office, renowned Cuban intellectual Eusebio Leal, who died Friday morning, leaves a great legacy in the lives of Cubans.
Havana, Cuba.- He was born in the Cuban capital on September 11, 1942, and served as the historian of the City of Havana. Self-taught, at the age of 16 he began working in the municipal government, like other young people interested in history, he was welcomed by the then historian of Havana Emilio Roig and guided on his calling. He presented academic proficiency exams at the Philosophy and History School of the University of Havana, which allowed him to enter the higher education center by a Rector’s decree to study there in 1974, concluding his studies and getting a Bachelor of History degree in 1979.
Doctor in Historical Sciences and with a Master’s Degree in Archaeological Sciences, City Historian and Director of the World Heritage Restoration Program, he was distinguished in a particular way for restoration works in the Historic Center of Havana, declared by UNESCO in 1982 a World Heritage Site. Director of the Museum of the City and of the City Historian’s Office, he undertook important works, such as the restoration of the Palace of the Captains General, former Government House, currently the headquarters of the Museum of the City of Havana. In 1981 he was given the responsibility of conducting the works of the Historic Center of Havana.
During his lifetime, he received numerous decorations and scientific degrees from various universities and governments and authorities around the world, such as the Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, appointed by the President of the French Republic; the Order of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, from Venezuela; the Grand Cross of the Order of Carlos III in Spain; the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabel la Católica, also in Spain; the Order of Arts and Letters of France, as well as many others.
He was a member of the Cuban National Assembly, of the Cuban Communist Party, an honorary member of the Cuban Academy of Sciences, an honorary member of the National Union of Historians of Cuba and an honorary member of the Cuban Writers and Artists Association (UNEAC).
Cuba: Official mourning declared for the death of Eusebio Leal
On the occasion of the death of Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of the City of Havana, the President of the Republic Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez has decreed an official mourning period - from 00:00 hours to 24:00 hours on August 1, 2020.
During the official mourning, the Cuban flag will be lowered to half-staff at public buildings and military institutions.
According to an official note, in agreement with Leal's family, his ashes will be preserved so that when the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control, a well-deserved tribute to acknowledge his extraordinary contributions will be held at the Havana Capitol, a landmark building he restored for the nation.
Cuba's authorities offer condolences for Eusebio Leal's death
Cuba's Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla offered their condolences on the Historian of Havana Eusebio Leal death, it was announced on Friday morning.
"We feel deep sorrow for your death. We will miss your words full of love for your country, but you will live forever in the hearts of all Cubans, our friend Eusebio Leal," Valdés live-tweeted.
Bruno Rodríguez, on the other hand, described the renowned intellectual and researcher as an unrepeatable man in history.
"We are deeply saddened by Eusebio's death, exceptional protagonist of our foreign policy. Few lived with such passion and were deeply involved in a country like Cuba. Havana, Cuba and the world will preserve the indelible mark of an unrepeatable man in history," Bruno Rodríguez wrote on the microblogging platform.
Hours earlier, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel regretted Leal's death and remembered him as the Cuban who saved Havana on behalf of Fidel Castro, in recognition of his active work.
Gone today is the Cuban who saved Havana on Fidel's request, and he did it so passionately that his name is no longer his but a synonym of the City. Our beloved Leal has died. #EusebioLealPorSiempre pic.twitter.com/1KW0NcaFMD— Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB) July 31, 2020
"Let's celebrate his wonderful journey through life, too brief for those who loved him for his work and for himself. We must continue on those tracks, the patient and infinite work of saving the heritage of our #Cuba, the one he really loved," the Cuban president posted.
Let's celebrate his wonderful passage thru life, too short for those who loved him due to his work & himself. We must follow in those footsteps, the patient & never ending work of saving heritage of our #Cuba that he loved so much and devoted his life to. #EusebioLealPorSiempre pic.twitter.com/f7qOWxwOwz— Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB) July 31, 2020
Cuban ambassador to US describes Eusebio Leal as a giant
Washington.- Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas on Friday described the Historian of Havana Eusebio Leal as a giant, and also recalled some of his official visits to the United States.
Another giant is leaving us: Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler died, the diplomat live-tweeted, after spreading the news of the renowned intellectual whose work -in favor of history- is a paradigm in Cuba and abroad.
Back in 2018 @SmithsonianMag referred to Dr Eusebio Leal as "a fearless historian who remade the city (of Havana) into a stunning World destination" American experts on Historic Preservation always welcomed him with respect and recognition https://t.co/OwnAx0Q6cH— José Ramón Cabañas (@JoseRCabanas) July 31, 2020
In another publication, Cabañas highlighted Leal's culture of detail, who for the reopening of the Embassy of Cuba in Washington D.C., on July 20, 2015, he brought the same Cuban flag that was lowered in January 1961, when bilateral relations broke off.
"History gathers everything he fought in silence for that day to come," Cabañas wrote. The diplomat recalled, in addition, that in November 2015 Leal visited Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, after being invited to attend the annual Convention of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
On behalf of relatives and friends, we thank all those people and institutions in US who have sent condolences for Dr Eusebio Leal passing. No doubts he will remain as a fundamental pieces of those cultural bridges that has been built between #Cuba and US pic.twitter.com/3zOZtAHk97— José Ramón Cabañas (@JoseRCabanas) July 31, 2020