Revolution & Sunset in Santiago de Cuba
Santiago de Cuba is a very important place in Cuba for what happened on the morning of the 26th July 1953. Fidel Castro led a group of over 100 rebels on an attack on an army barracks, generally accepted to be considered the start of the Cuban Revolution.
The attack itself was more or less a complete failure and most of the rebels were either killed or captured and then executed shortly afterwards. Fidel and his brother Raul were both captured and after trial were sentenced to 13 years in prison. Although, they were eventually released as a P.R. exercise by Batista, we all know what happened after that…..
The barracks is now a school and has a small museum as well. After the revolution in 1959, Castro ordered that all barracks be turned into a school or hospital. Apparently on his return to the barracks in Santiago de Cuba, he was angry that the bullet holes and damage to the barracks had been covered over. So he ordered that the ‘filling’ be removed to show the damage done to the building.
Who Is Jose Marti?
Not too many people outside of Cuba will have heard of Jose Marti but in Cuba he is very important and regarded highly as Fidel (if not more so).
Jose Marti was a poet who started the first war of independence, which failed, against the Spanish in the 1800’s and he has a very large tomb in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in the city.
Many other famous people are buried here, including Emilio Barcardi and Compay Segundo – one of the founding members of the Buena Vista Social Club.
Sunset at Castillo del Morro
This was possibly my favourite evening in Cuba. Going to an old Spanish military fort and UNESCO world heritage site at the very bottom of Cuba.
The fort itself is a maze of beautiful walls, canons and amazing views. My first night in Santiago de Cuba might have been strange, but tonight was just perfect and I was able to get a brilliant view of the sunset. I took so many pictures at this place that I could easily have created a slide show but here are some of my favourite ones instead:
Goodbye Santiago de Cuba
It is safe to say that I didn’t really enjoy my first day in Santiago de Cuba but today was so much better. Looking back it was one of the highlight of my time in Cuba for sure! I would love to return but I am not sure that I could live with the heat and humidity! Next stop, back to Havana and then Vinales….