Santa Clara

During our breakfast in this nice Casa Particular in Santa Clara, Oliver came up with a slight change in our plans: our next stop has got to be Remedios. He read about it in Lonely Planet and it is supposed to be worth a visit. We tried calling a place to stay there, but they were full. He said to come anyway as he had an aleternative in mind for us. Having had good experiences this way before, we agreed to do so. But first, we need to explore Santa Clara, quite an important town for the history of Cuba.

We walk by quite a lot of well made murals. On the 40th anniversary of the Cuban humorist publication Melaito a handful of the most acknowledged Cuban satirists, gathered in Santa Clara to declare War on war with a big public Mural. The mural is a protest against international terrorism and the political and economic aggression of the U.S. as well as a show of support to the Cuban Five serving unjust sanctions in U.S. prisons – one wall was reserved for Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, one of the five, who is also a cartoonist.

Santa Clara was the site of the last battle in the Cuban Revolution in late 1958. Che Guevara‘s soldiers destroyed railroad tracks and derailed a train full of troops and supplies sent by Batista. This victory for Castro’s troops is seen as the decisive moment in the Cuban Revolution as Batista fled Cuba less than 12 hours later. So we paid a visit to the site where the train was derailed.

Later on, we paid a visit to a cigar factory where it was nice to see how the workers of the very same factore make cigars for all the brands Cuba is known for. Unfortunately no photos allowed. From this factory we walked to the mausoleum which houses the remains of Che Guevara and sixteen of his fellow combatants killed in 1967 during the Bolivia campaign.  Quite impressive, but also nice and cool inside!

After having visited the mausoleum, we return to our Casa and pack. Time to drive to Remedios!

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