Dee Plomassy in Cuba
Dee: Hola! Let’s explore the intriguing island of Cuba.
Here’s Castillo de la Punta, one of Havana Bay’s huge Spanish fortresses. Of course, Cuba’s been independent from Spain since 1899. But the country is still on the defensive. It’s not exactly chummy with its non-communist neighbors in the Western Hemisphere. Isn’t it sad how we focus on our differences, but not on our similarities?
See that huge statue on top of the marble temple next to Castillo de la Punta? That bronze horseman is none other than General Maximo Gomez, leader of Cuba’s troops in their war of independence from Spain. You might say he’s the George Washington of Cuba.
Here we are in Paseo de Marti. Marti’s Street if you don’t speak Espanol. It’s named for Jose Marti, probably the greatest hero of Cuban independence. Marti was a poet and writer, whose work inspired readers to revolution. It just goes to show you its ideas that really changed the world.
Malecon Plaza along the beach has a fascinating combination of modern buildings, ancient houses, and big flamboyant hotels from the 1950s, when Cuba was a gambling paradise for American tourists. The US banned tourism to Cuba after the Communist revolution of 1959, but Malecon is still a favorite hangout for many who love the sea.
Here on Havana Bay is one of the biggest forts in the Caribbean – Moro Castle, built back in 1610 by the Spanish. Spain controlled Cuba on and off for almost 400 years, building huge fortresses like this one. They trusted big walls and big guns more than they trusted negotiation.