Photos of Bayamo, where Cuba’s independence movement started, Cuba

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Bayamo, where Cuba’s independence movement started

Bayamo is the capital city of the Granma Province (taking its name from the yacht Granma, used by Che Guevara and Fidel Castro to land in Cuba with 82 guerrillas on 2 December 1956 on its coast) and one of the largest cities in the Oriente region. Bayamo was the second of the seven cities founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar and established on 5 November 1513. During much of the 16th century it was one of the most important agricultural and commercial settlements of the island.

Castro poster, Bayamo
 
Parque Céspedes, Bayamo
 
Perucho Figueredo monument, Bayamo
 
Statue of Céspedes, Bayamo
 
San Salvador Major Parish Church, Bayamo
 
Plaza del Himno Nacional, Bayamo
 
Ventana de Luz Vázquez, Bayamo
 
Statue of Francisco Aguilera, Bayamo
 
Torre de San Juan Evangelista, Bayamo
 
Horse-drawn carriages, Bayamo
 
Monument, Plaza de la Patria, Bayamo
 
Monument, Plaza de la Patria, Bayamo
 
Poster, Plaza de la Patria, Bayamo
 
Horse-drawn carriages, Bayamo
 
Paseo Bayamés, Bayamo
 
Los Beatles, Bayamo
 
Parque Museum “Ñico López”, Bayamo
 
Fabrica de los Coches, Bayamo
 
Fabrica de los Coches, Bayamo
 
Fabrica de los Coches, Bayamo
 
Quiet street, Bayamo
 
Loading a horse drawn cart, Bayamo
 
Horse drawn cart, Bayamo
 
Castro poster, Bayamo
 
In the Sierra Maestra
 
Sierra Maestra
 
Village near Comandancia La Plata
 
View near Comandancia La Plata
 
Kitchen, Comandancia La Plata
 
 
Bedroom, Casa de Fidel
 
Casa de Fidel, Comandancia La Plata
 
Casa de Fidel, Comandancia La Plata
 
Fruit for sale, Alto de Naranjo
 
View, Alto de Naranjo
 
View to Embalse Paso Malo
 

This is where the independence movement started by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, a Cuban planter who freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868. The Cuban national anthem, “La Bayamesa”, was sung for the first time here in 1868. Now it is a quiet, easygoing and slow-paced town, in more ways than one: there are about 500 licensed horse-drawn carriages serving as public transport, generally following fixed routes. About 39% of the people here rely on it. There is a factory, Fabrica de los Coches, where wooden horse-drawn carts are produced and serviced.

About 50 kilometres south west of Bayamo is the Sierra Maestra, with in the mountains about 10 kilometres further, the Comandancia de La Plata, the camp established by Fidel Castro in 1958 after a year on the run in the mountains. Well camouflaged and remote, Batista's soldiers never found it. Located within the Pico Turquino National Park, it can be visited, involving a run by fourwheel drive over an incredibly steep road to Alto de Naranjo and a hike a couple of kilometres to the hideout that has been left largely as it was.