In the John Lennon Park at 17th and 6th, is a sculpture of the former Beatles member , sculpted by Cuban artist José Villa Soberón. On a marble tile at the foot of the bench there is an inscription: “Dirás que soy un soñador pero no soy el único” John Lennon, it is the Spanish translation of the English lyrics, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one,” from the song “Imagine”.
The sculpture of Lennon (like many statues with glasses around the world) doesn’t always wear he’s signature round-lens glasses, which have been stolen, or vandalized, several times. However, during the day, a delightful older gentleman often sits next to the bench, and places the glasses on the statue when he sees interested people approach.
The statue was unveiled December 8th 2000, the 20th anniversary of Lennon’s murder. There is a book about the statue by Cuban author Ernesto Juan Castellanos John Lennon en La Habana with a little help from my friends, about the ban that John Lennon and The Beatles suffered in Cuba during the 1960s and 1970s.
Why a statue in Havana after the ban of the Beatles? “I share his dreams completely. I too am a dreamer who has seen his dreams turn into reality”. –Fidel Castro. When Lennon was harassed by the US government in his later life, Cubans considered him a rebel, and therefore a victim, and therefore worthy of consideration.