Cuba Libre – Santa Clara

Chapter 9 of the Cuba Libre story brings us very nearly to the end of our trip.  We will spend the last few days of the holiday in the ‘all inclusive’ resort of Varadero, but this post covers our time in Santa Clara, on the way to Varadero.

The last battle of the Cuban Revolution was at Santa Clara and it is the last resting place of Che Guevara.

As we passed this house on the way to Santa Clara, I couldn’t help thinking about the lack of building regulations in Cuba.  You would certainly need a clear head before coming downstairs in the morning.

Wot No Building Regs?

The first stop today was at the Che Guevara Mausoleum.  It is also known as the Ernesto Guevara Sculptural Complex.  Centrepiece of the complex is a 22 ft high bronze statue of Che.  He was buried here with a number of his fellow guerillas in October 1997 after his body had been returned from Bolivia.
Che Guevara Mausoleum
Che
Onwards to Victory
Che Guevara Mausoleum
Che Guevara Mausoleum

This shot was spotted on the way from the mausoleum into the centre of Santa Clara.
Wall Art

Parque Vidal lies at the centre of Santa Clara and we spent a little time exploring the area around the park.
Teatro la Caridad

Teatro la Caridad (Charity Theatre) is one of many legacies of Marta Abreu de Estévez, that can be found all over the city.  A statue in her memory can be seen below.
Marta Abreu de Estevez

The Hotel Santa Clara Libre is the ‘ugly duckling’ of the buildings that surround Parque Vidal.  Its one claim to fame is the bullet holes that have been preserved, which date from the revolutionary battle of Santa Clara.
Battle Scars
Banco de Credito y Comercio

Banco de Credito y Comercio
Glorieta in Parque Vidal

The Glorieta (gazebo) in Parque Vidal, built in 1911 is still regularly used for concerts.
Promenading in Parque Vidal

These young ladies still appear to be promenading in the way that they would have in the past.  Whether this is true or not, the park is still well used as a meeting place.
Bodega in Santa Clara

Inside another bodega.
Bread Delivery

Bread deliveries.
The Heroic Bulldozer

Finally, this bulldozer was used by Che Guevara’s men to destroy the railway lines and derail a train full of Batista’s men and supplies.  This led to the decisive capture of Santa Clara by the rebels, at which point General Batista fled the country, giving the rebels overall victory.

Chapter 10 will very briefly cover our final stop at Varadero before flying back to the UK.

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