A Soviet-era legacy, Lada cars awaken passions for Cubans

HAVANA (AP) — Uncomfortable, wasteful, tough, rustic. All are descriptions heard about the old Russian-built Lada cars cruising the roads in Cuba, where it is common to see a driver standing next to the raised hood of one pondering what has gone wrong this time. Yet, despite the flaws, Ladas arouse passions. The car is the island’s most visible Soviet-era legacy. And in a land where transportation is scarce, Ladas are a status symbol for their owners, even if they must perform engineering miracles — sometimes at high monetary cost — to keep them going.