In a former life they were the "comandante's" cars: A fleet of black, boxy, Soviet-made limousines that for years were at the disposal of Fidel Castro.

Today the limos have been decommissioned and repurposed as Havana taxi cabs, at the service of tourists who want a little slice of history to go with their ride across town.

The cars were produced by Russian manufacturers GAZ and ZIL in the 1960s and '70s. Those sent to Cuba reportedly included a ZIL-111 convertible model that was the first of its kind to roll off the assembly line, a personal gift to Castro from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.