A Russian diamond for Havana’s Capitol

A Russian diamond for Havana's Capitol HAVANA, Nov. 7 (DDC) The Russian institute Bering-Bellingshausen for the Americas (IBBA), based in Montevideo, proposed the Russian diamond factory in Smolensk to give the Cuban government a diamond for the Capitol in Havana, Sputnik News reports.

“To commemorate the joint history between Russia and Cuba we have suggested to the Smolensk factory to give Havana a diamond to be on the Capitol, it will be called ‘The Faithful’ to underline the fact that we are faithful to the joint history of sacrifices , challenges, successes, and sometimes failures and tragedies, of everything that has happened in the Russian-Cuban relationship, “said Sergey Brilev, president of IBBA.

The director also spoke of the “first dawn” of relations between Moscow and Havana and “that Cuban Russian friendship in the 60s and 70s.”

About this relationship he said that “it was quite tumultuous but also legendary and that is why we want to commemorate it with the diamond ‘El Fiel’ that the Smolensk factory will make under the auspices of the IBBA in Havana.”

Brilev added that in the Capitol of Havana “there is a large diamond that belonged to the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, and that has a very special story because it appeared and disappeared.”

The history of the Capitol diamond goes back to the first decades of the 20th century and includes several Republican presidents. On this piece several mysteries have been woven, from its origins to its theft in 1946 and its appearance shortly afterwards.

Currently, the emblematic building in Havana is under repair. Moscow is in charge of the restoration of the gold layer of the building’s dome.

In an article on October 17, the official newspaper Granma reported on the repairs of the Capitol and noted that “in the roundabout of the Hall of the Lost Steps, on the second floor of the building, the space where the 25 carat diamond, which symbolically marked the zero kilometer of the national road network “.

According to the official press, the precious stone is currently in the National Bank of Cuba and will return to its place when the repairs are completed.

It is not clear where the diamond that the Russians would give would be placed, if the other stone is returned from the National Bank to its place where it should mark the zero kilometer.

Opened in 1929, of neoclassical style, the Capitol was until the arrival of Castro in 1959 the headquarters of the bipartisan Congress of the time and, as such, a symbol of the old order for the new authorities.

In the last decades the Capitol was occupied by the Academy of Sciences and then by the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment.

In November 2016, the National Assembly of People’s Power began moving to the north wing of the building.