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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado

Landlocked Santa Clara is located in the center of Cuba, just 70 km northeast of Cienfuegos. Che Guevara fans flock here to see numerous sights devoted to him. He liberated the city in 1958, marking the end of the Batista regime.

We took a pedicab from our hostal to one of the Che memorials--Monumento a la Toma del Tren Blindado ("Taking of the Armoured Train").

In 1958, at the Battle of Santa Clara, Che Guevara and 300 rebels derailed the train carrying Batista's forces. The bulldozer that was used to raise the rails, crashing the armored train, is on display. Batista's troops surrendered shortly thereafter.

The open-air monument can be seen from the sidewalk. Admission is 1 CUC to walk around the monument and see the interior of the train cars with exhibits about the Battle and an additional 1 CUC to use a camera. It's open Mon-Sat 9 am-5 pm. 

While we were at the monument, the train that travels the length of Cuba from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, passed by. It takes nearly 18 hours to travel the 870 km (520 miles) route. You have to have a lot of patience to ride the train.

Just 4 blocks down the street was Che with Baby statue. It seemed to be a popular spot because everyone wanted to know if we had seen the Che with Baby statue. At first, we thought it was a statue of Che as a baby until we found him holding a baby. It seemed so out of place in front of the Comite Provincial building.

2017 03 09

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