Royal couple visit UK-linked sites on second day in Cuba

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Prince Charles drives a vintage car with his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, during a cultural event in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The heir to the British throne arrived in Cuba Sunday with an agenda including visits to historic sites, a solar park, organic farm, bio-medical research center, a meeting with entrepreneurs, a cultural gala and a dinner with Cuba's president. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAVANA (AP) — Prince Charles and his wife Camilla briefly drove a classic British car, visited a statue of John Lennon and cut the ribbon on a British renewable energy project Tuesday, the royal couple's second full day visiting Cuba.

They began their public schedule with a short drive in a 1953 MG alongside a park that hosts a statue of Lennon that draws thousands of tourists a year. A local rock band played Beatles songs at the Yellow Submarine, a nearby bar and cultural center.

The couple strolled around the park, sat on a park bench next to the statue of Lennon, and talked with local residents and British residents of Havana.

Charles later inaugurated the first phase of a $250 million dollar British-led renewable energy project in the Mariel free-trade zone outside Havana, part of an effort to bring solar and alternative energy sources to the island.

Solar Mariel, a wholly owned British company, is expected to begin providing power to the Port of Mariel and local communities by the end of 2019, and once other phases of the project are complete, will add renewable energy to Cuba's power grid.

The Cuban Government hopes to have as much as 24 percent of the island's energy needs met by alternative energy sources by 2030, reducing oil-based power generation on the island.

The royal couple was expected to assist a gala dance performance at the Alicia Alonso Theater late Tuesday.