Smithsonian National Postal MuseumTitle: The Pichs CollectionSan Carlos Institute
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Smithsonian National Postal Museum The Pichs Collection, Exploring Cuba's History Through Postage Stamps
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Postal History
Aviation History

A New Regime

After the people’s revolution against the Batista government, Fidel Castro officially took office as President of Cuba on 16 February 1959. Political realities created a crisis for the national airline, as supplies of spare parts were abruptly stopped, while air agreements and operating rights to some countries were canceled.

In particular, Cuba’s new friend and ally, the Soviet Union, was a long way away. But methods were found to overcome the difficulties, and Cubana continued to serve the nation, albeit in different directions and with different equipment.

In February 1961 an agreement was reached with the Czechoslovak airline, C.S.A., to operate the Britannias on a service from Havana to Prague while the Constellation service was maintained to New York. Service was resumed to Madrid.

Soviet piston-engined Ilyushin Il-14s were put into service on domestic routes in October 1961, and on 23 December 1962 Ilyushin Il-18 four-engined turboprops started service on the Mexico City route and also between the main cities of Cuba (fig. 30).


fig. 30
fig. 30

Aviation History

The Birth of Air Transport in Cuba

The Start of Pan American Airways

Pan American Dominates the Caribbean

A National Airline for Cuba

Cubana Develops International Routes

A New Regime

Maintaining International Links

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