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Fidel Lives On in Havana

Updated: May 11

Plaza de la Revolucion is a large square (five sq miles) in Havana Cuba. Construction of the square began during the reign of Batista and was originally called the Civic Square. The name change took place after the revolution. Fidel Castro held many events at this square, sometimes addressing more than a million Cubans gathered here. Walking around the square, I could only imagine what that would have been like. Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis held their papal masses here on their visits to Cuba. On one side of the square stands the Jose Marti Memorial.

Jose Marti Memorial

Jose Marti Memorial

Jose Marti was not only a Cuban hero but also a prominent person in literature of Latin American. He has come to symbolize Cuba's fight for independence from Spain. He led a life devoted to liberty and to Cuban independence.

Behind the square is the seat of the Cuban government and the Communist party. Across the square are the offices of Communications and the Ministries of the Interior. These two building fronts hold steel memorials to two prominent men of the Cuban Revolution: Camilio Cienfuegos and Che Guevara. Their respective memorials are adorned with the quotes "Vas bien, Fidel" (You're doing fine, Fidel" and "Hasta la Victoria Siempre" (Until the Everlasting Victory, Always.)

Che Guevara

Camilio Cienfuegos

We arrived in Havana on Yacht Day, the local celebration of Fidel Castro's arrival and successful revolution in Cuba. He arrived on the yacht Granma with 81 fellow revolutionaries and I am sure a large number of weapons. Fidel, his brother Raul, Camilio and Che (from above) were all on board.

Their singular purpose was to overthrow Batista and that was completed on January 1, 1959. These four became famously known as the Granma yacht expeditioners. Cubans celebrate "Day of the Cuban Armed Forces" or Yacht Day on December 2. However, because of Fidel's recent death, this year the celebration was postponed until January 2, our arrival date and yes the festivities were held at this square. Wonder what my Mother would think of me celebrating her birthday in Cuba. I guess that times change.

Yacht Day Fidel Castro

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