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Images of Cuba

Cuba: June 4-27, 1998
Most of the following images are pictures and souvenirs collected during my three weeks at the Universidad de La Habana. I apologize for the quality of the photos. Instead of a quality SLR I only brought a few disposable cameras, much to my regret. Nevertheless, I think Cuba's beauty comes through quite well in some of these shots.

Images provided by friends, fellow students, and website guests are noted.

Photographs
Star José Martí International Airport. The largest airport on the island is located just west of Havana.
Star The Malecón, Havana's famous seaside promenade. While the salty ocean and sandy breezes have not been kind to the sea wall and nearby homes, this is a beautiful place to walk, catch some sun, and hang out with the locals.
Star Monument to the "Maine", Statue in remembrance of the American sailors who died on the explosion of the "Maine" in 1898. This was the straw that brought the United States into the Second War of Cuban Independence, known egocentrically in the US as the "Spanish-American War." Intrigue and conspiracy theories surround the cause of the explosion.
Star Some fellow students from my summer program at the Universidad de La Habana; Paul, Majeid, Fiana, Fawn, & Will.
Star Cojímar, a small town located east of Havana. Nearby is the former residence of Ernest Hemingway. This area is the setting of and inspiration for the writer's work, "The Old Man and the Sea."
Star La Cabaña del Morro at sunset, the fort opposite the harbor from Old Havana. Colonial-style ceremonies marking the symbolic closing of the gates of the harbor are held nightly at nine. This is a great spot to converse with off-duty soldiers.
Star Varadero, the best beach in the Havana area (actually in neighboring Matanzas province), perhaps in all of Cuba. It lies on a peninsula that was part of the DuPont estate until Cuba nationalized it in the early 1960s. This is mainly a tourist trap, but Cuban families on vacation do abound.
Star Straw, stone, and wood buildings juxtaposed with a modern hotel in Varadero. Unfortunately the wide open skies are quite similar to the gaping caves in the land. Luckily someone warned me before I might have been accidentally forced to examine one of these holes in intricate detail.
Star Mogotes in the western tobacco growing province of Pinar del Rio. These hills are formed from the underlying rock that has remained as the fields around them have eroded over the years.
Star Billboard across from the US Interests Section in the Swiss embassy located at the Malecón in Vedado. It declares "Señores imperialistas, No les tenemos absolutamente ningun miedo!" or "Señores imperialistas, we have absolutely no fear of you!"
Star Vedado, the western district of the city of Havana, as seen facing towards the Malecón and the Caribbean. It is where the Universidad de La Habana is located. This particular shot is from the law school building, which incidentally is where Fidel Castro studied in his time at the University. The taller building on the right is the Habana Libre hotel, a hive of tourist activity.
Star Universidad de La Habana, the University steps. Intentionally or not, they resemble the steps and the exact statue as can be found at Columbia University's old library on the main quad.
Star Che with a cigar. This is part of a room full of black and white Che shots in the Museum of the Revolution, which was once the Presidential Palace.
Star The symbolic coffin of Che Guevara I can't quite remember if this is the one used to transport Che's remains when they were found in Bolivia and returned in 1997.
Star The Eternal Flame, outside in the back courtyard of the Museum of the Revolution.
Star Hulk of an American U2 Spy Plane shot down before the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is also in the outdoor section of the Museum.
Star The View looking east from the Museum towards the entrance to the harbor.
Star Che Collage at La Cabaña del Morro, in his former office when stationed here shortly after the triumph of the Revolution. It is composed not only of Che photos, but also pictures of various revolutionary events and individuals.
Star Plaque presented by the Government of Argentina on the date of Che's (official) birthday, June 14th, of 1997 at the aforementioned office.
Star The Capitolio, state capital modeled on the American capitol building, albeit on a smaller scale and better adapted to its urban surroundings.
Star A Closer View of the Capitolio.
Star Statue of José Martí in Central Park next to the capital building. A major diplomatic crisis ensued in the early twentieth century after drunken US Marines decided it was a good idea to relieve themselves on this statue.

Stamps (in chronological order)
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' José Martí, part of a 1868-1968 series showing the martyrs and watershed events of Cuban history, with important contextual backgrounds, died 1896. Here remembered with the "Grito de Baire."
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' La Invasion. I'm not quite sure of the significance of this man or place. Please write if you know.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Grito de Yara. I'm not quite sure of the significance of this man or place. Please write if you know.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Grito de Lares. I'm not quite sure of the significance of this man or place. Please write if you know.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Baragua. Here General Antonio Maceo refuses surrender to the terms provided by the occupying Spanish forces late in the ill-fated first Cuban War of Independence. The war itself was lost, but this rejection of Spanish rule was a significant point of pride and impulse for the second War some years later.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Frank País. I'm not quite sure of the significance of this man or place. Please write if you know.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' El Morillo. I'm not quite sure of the significance of this man or place. Please write if you know.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Moncada Barracks. Commemorates the 1953 debacle after which Fidel Castro was imprisoned (he later wrote the speech "History Will Absolve Me" for his court defense), and from which his July 26th guerrilla movement derived its name.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Estudiantiles. I believe this is a man by the name of Echevarria, who died in the student uprisings late in the Revolution. Significant as they were as a new facet of a previously peasant-based war, these uprisings also held important lessons in urban guerrilla warfare.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Clavellinas. I'm not quite sure of the significance of this man or place. Please write if you know.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Isle of Pines. The silhouette of the Isle of Pines (now the Isle of Youth) is overlayed with a rejection of the Platt Amendment - a trailer on the Cuban Constitution of 1902 (repealed in 1933) that allowed the United States to intervene militarily in Cuba's internal affairs. The words "Anti-Imperialist Struggle" extend this long-time fight by Cuba against Imperial dictation from abroad.
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Camilo Cienfuegos, Here Cienfuegos is remembered as a leader of the "Revolutionary Struggle."
Star 'Cien Años de Lucha: 1868-1968' Che Guevara, in the same series, died 1967. Here remembered with the "First Declaration of Havana."
Star 'Dia del Guerrillero' Series #1. This and the following stamps are from 1968 and commemorate the one year anniversary of Che's death on October 8, 1967; A national holiday afterwards known as "Dia del Guerrillero (Heroico)." They each highlight a passage or quote from his writings and speeches.
Star 'Dia del Guerrillero' Series #3. This piece contains a phrase from Che's Message to the Tricontinental (OSPAAAL) in 1967 - to "Create two, three...many Vietnams."
Star 'Dia del Guerrillero' Series #9. The ninth in the series, I'm still not sure where the text comes from. Please write if you know.
Star 'Dia del Guerrillero' Series #10. The tenth in the series, I'm still not sure where the text comes from. Please write if you know.
Star 'Dia del Guerrillero' Series #13. One of the final stamps in the series, this one simply states "Hasta la Victoria Siempre" from Che's Farewell Letter to Fidel and Cuba.
Star Che Guevara, on the coolest stamp in my collection, it's not even canceled. Stamp year 1968.
Star Plaza de La Revolución. To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Plaza de La Revolución. As this predates the triumph of Castro's forces in 1959, I assume that the Martí monument that is the subject of this stamp was originally built in this spot in 1953.
Star Leonid Brezhnev and Fidel Castro. To commemorate a 1974 visit of Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev.
Star Josí Martí and Vladimir Lenin, A tribute to the fathers of both communist states. I can just imagine how bonkers those fools in Miami must have gone when they saw this.
Star Vladimir Lenin. To commmemorate the 50th anniversary of Lenin's death.
Star Fifteenth anniversary of the disappearance of Camilo Cienfuegos, one of the central figures in the Revolutionary struggle. He was lost at sea in a plane crash over the Caribbean north of Cuba shortly after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959. Stamp year 1974.
Star In memoriam of the death of Chilean president Salvador Allende who died in the coup which brought that punk ass Pinochet to power in 1973. Stamp year 1974.
Star Thirtieth anniversary of the Moncada garrison attack, the 1953 debacle after which Fidel Castro was imprisoned (he later wrote the speech "History Will Absolve Me" for his court defense), and from which his July 26th guerrilla movement derived its name. Stamp year 1983.
Star José Martí. Commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the "Versos Sencillos."
Star Generales. Commemorating the generals who fell in the Cuban Wars of Independence.
Star Generales 2. Commemorating the generals who fell in the Cuban Wars of Independence.
Star Fortieth anniversary of the Granma landing. This ship brought the core of the guerrilla movement to Cuba from Mexico in 1956. Stamp year 1996.
Star Stamp celebrating the 50th anniversary of Cuba's membership in the United Nations. 1947-1997.
Star Che broadcasting on Radio Rebelde. This 1998 stamp commemorates the 40th anniversary of the guerrilla radio station. Tell me this wouldn't have made a great cover for Rage Against the Machine's single "Guerrilla Radio."

Postcards & Pictures
Star   A General Cuban Postcard. ["Vista Parciales"]. This card features, at left, the illuminated sculpture of Che at the Plaza de la Revolucion; at top right, monument to Afro-Cuban independence hero general Antonio Maceo on the Malecón; at bottom right, a statue of José Martí in Parque Central.
Star Vedado from the Air. ["La Habana, Vista Aérea"]. My friend James sent me this on his return to Cuba a year after we studied there together. The aerial shot is roughly from above the Plaza de La Revolución and the monument to José Martí. In the right corner is the University. The tall building on the right is the Habana Libre hotel with the Hotel Naciónal right behind it. The grassy area in the middle is the Copelia ice cream pavilion.
Star Wall size picture of Che in his former office at La Cabaña. ["Cuba: La Habana '94." By O. Ronny Leva Bartolo].
Star Fidel and Che with Others staring into the camera during the guerrilla campaign. [En Plena Guerra, 1957]. This has got to be my all time favorite picture.
Star Co-ed Guerrilla Column led by Fidel in a recreation a year after the triumph of the Revolution. ["Al Turquino con Fidel," 1960. Sierra Maestra, Oriente. By Raul Corrales].
Star Fidel giving a speech, flanked by Che and Camilo Cienfuegos. Perhaps more than any other, this image provides a graphical representation of the relative weight of the three guerrilla commanders. ["Che, Fidel y Camilo, Tres Comandantes," 1959. By Raul Corrales].
Star Raul Castro, Augusto Martínez Sanchez, Che, Juan Almeida, and Ramiro Valdez, at the Plaza de La Revolucion in 1959. [By Raul Corrales].
Star Close up of Che. ["1ra comparencia del CHE en la TV cubana," 14 septiembre 1959. By Raul Corrales].
Star Campesinos on Horseback. ["Caballaria." Central Preston, Mayari, Oriente, 1960. By Raul Corrales]. A common print from the early days of the Revolution.
Star Women Soldiers. ["Primeras Milicianas." Ciudad Liberdad 1960, La Habana. By Raul Corrales]. A symbol of the gender-blind commitment to the defense of the Revolution. Moreover, this is a dramatic statement of the radical new opportunities available for women in Revolutionary Cuba, both past and present.
Star Older Man with Rifle. Another of my favorite images. ["Malagon, 1er. Miliciano." Pinar del Rio. By Raul Corrales].
Star Younger Men with Stogies and Rifle. ["Dos Trabucos." Octubre de 1962, Santo Domingo, Las Villas. By Raul Corrales].

Miscellaneous & Other
Star Soviet-Cuban space program pin, called "Interkosmos." A symbol of socialist solidarity in scientific endeavor.
Star One Peso Bill with the portrait of José Martí. Series 1995.
Star One Peso Bill Reverse with engraving of the "Entrada a La Habana 8 de Enero de 1959," the date of the guerrilla column's entrance as victors in January of that year.

from: Moreover &
Cuba Information Access

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» "For this great mass of humanity has said, "Enough!" and has begun to march. And their march of giants will not be halted until they conquer true independence — for which they have vainly died more than once. Today, however, those who die will die like the Cubans at Playa Girón. They will die for their own true and never-to-be-surrendered independence."
» Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
At the United Nations

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» Camilo Cienfuegos
(1932-1959)
Granma expeditionary; became Rebel commander and headed Antonio Maceo Column No. 2, leading march westward from Sierra Maestra to Las Villas Province; became Rebel Army chief of staff in January 1959; plane lost at sea on October 28, 1959.