Tuesday, November 27, 2018

July Carnival Trip to Santiago and Guantanamo (with option of Baracoa and Holguin)


July Trip to Santiago de Cuba
and Guantanamo

(Optional Extension to Baracoa and Holguin)

Enjoy the Caribbean’s Biggest Carnival    

Engage with Cuban and US History



Photo by Kelly, Compass and Camera travel blog
Read her post about Carnaval


Saturday, July 20   
Evening flight on American Airlines from Miami to Santiago (hotel or bed and breakfast)

Sunday, July 21  The Spanish Legacy    
Basilica del Cobre (Cuba’s patron saint) and Morro fortress; orientation presentation at Museum of Carnival; attend opening night of Carnival

Monday, July 22  The Independence Wars and US Intervention   
Maceo Memorial honoring a leader of the mambisi independence struggle; learn about US supporters like Clara Barton of US Red Cross and Dynamite Johnny O'Brien; memorial at San Juan Hill to Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders;  museum of the Cuban-Spanish-American war for the local side of the story; swim at the beach with a Spanish wreck; dinner at seaside seafood restaurant; carnival fair in a neighborhood

Tuesday, July 23  The Revolution   
Biran, the large plantation owned by the father of Fidel and Raul Castro; Moncada Barracks museum (site of the failed first stage of the Cuban revolution); gravesites of independence leader Jose Marti and Fidel Castro; dinner at Terrazas La Caridad, a paladar that also roasts its own coffee; enjoy music and dancing or carnival

Wednesday, July 24  Cultural Focus   
Dance class at Artex; Asociasion Cubana de Artesanos Artistas and Casa de Diego Velazquez; light lunch on roof of Casa Granda; ceramics museum near ICAP;  presentation at Centro Cultural Africano on slavery and its current impact; performance by Café Caliente; roast pig dinner at Centro; enjoy music and dancing or carnival

Thursday, July 25  Guantanamo                                                            
The origin of Cuba’s traditional music, including Tumba Francesa and the Museum of Changui; lunch in paladar el Karey; Zoolagico de Piedra; evening of music and dance at cultural center of Artex
Friday, July 26   Caimanera
The Cuban town adjacent to the US base*; meet community leaders and artists; lunch at Caimenera; discuss local culture and the history of the Guantanamo base during lunch meeting with UNEAC and professors from University of Guantanamo; return to hotel or casa particular in Santiago; enjoy music and dancing

Saturday, July 27   
La Gran Piedra natural reserve and botanical garden; personally explore the city; attend final night of Carnival

Sunday, July 28
Drive in morning to Holguin, midday flight to Miami; or personal day in Santiago and fly to Miami 8:45 p.m.


In Santiago, choose to stay at the newly renovated Imperial Hotel or at a casa particular (bed and breakfast).


* Learn the Cuban perspective on the base from the video "All Guantanamo is Ours"





***************

Addition of Holguin and Baracoa    (subject to interest)

Sunday, July 28  Holguin
Drive to Holguin; visit the three plazas of Holguin and the cross on the hill overlooking the city; night of music and dance with Cuban friends

Monday, July 29  Holguin
Indigenous gravesite museum and the replica of a Taino village; company town of United Fruit and the church in Banes; site where Dynamite Johnny O’Brien landed with arms and soldiers for the mambisis; landing site of Columbus; enjoy the beach with Cuban friends; night of music and dance with Cuban friends

Tuesday, July 30  Baracoa
Drive to Baracoa; museum and beach of Cajobabo where Jose Marti and Maximo Gomez landed in 1895; lunch in paladar of Jose; meet President of UNEAC and/or historian of Baracoa Alejandro Harmant; pre-Colubus archeological museum Cuevas de Paraiso; swim at Duaba river; dinner in paladar Marco Polo or La Colonia; sociocultural project Atabey (painting, music, sculpture); Casa de la Trova

Wednesday, July 31  Baracoa
Sendero del Cacao; Rancho Toa; boat to Tibaracon del Toa;  swim or hike; lunch at Rancho Toa Almuerzo Campestre; coconut farm and production center; dinner with university professors; music and dance at Terraza Artex, discoteca el Ranchon or discoteca El Parque

Thursday, August 1
Drive to Holguin airport; midday flight to Miami or travel independently by bus to Camaguey, Santa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Bay of Pigs, Matanzas, Havana, and/or Pinar del Rio 



From Wikipedia:

The Americans decided to invade Cuba and to start in Oriente, where the Cubans had almost absolute control. They cooperated by establishing a beachhead and protecting the U.S. landing in Daiquiri. The first U.S. objective was to capture the city of Santiago de Cuba in order to destroy Linares' army and Cervera's fleet. To reach Santiago, the Americans had to pass through concentrated Spanish defences in the San Juan Hills and a small town in El Caney. Between June 22 and 24, 1898, the Americans landed under General William R. Shafter at Daiquirí and Siboney, east of Santiago, and established a base.
The port of Santiago became the main target of naval operations. The U.S. fleet attacking Santiago needed shelter from the summer hurricane season, thus nearby Guantánamo Bay, with its excellent harbor, was chosen for this purpose and attacked on June 6 (1898 invasion of Guantánamo Bay). The Battle of Santiago de Cuba on July 3, 1898 was the largest naval engagement during the Spanish–American War, resulting in the destruction of the Spanish Caribbean Squadron (Flota de Ultramar).
Resistance in Santiago consolidated around Fort Canosa,[18] All the while, major battles between Spaniards and Americans took place at Las Guasimas on June 24, El Caney and San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898, outside of Santiago.[19] after which the American advance ground to a halt. Spanish troops successfully defended Fort Canosa, allowing them to stabilize their line and bar the entry to Santiago. The Americans and Cubans forcibly began a bloody, strangling siege of the city[20] which eventually surrendered on July 16, after the defeat of the Spanish Caribbean Squadron. Thus, Oriente was under control of Americans, but U.S. General Nelson A. Miles would not allow Cuban troops to enter Santiago, claiming that he wanted to prevent clashes between Cubans and Spaniards. Thus, Cuban General Calixto García, head of the Mambi forces in the Eastern department, ordered his troops to hold their respective areas. He resigned over being excluded from entering Santiago, writing a letter of protest to General Shafter.[14]


Program revised 1/19/19 and subject to change.  

John McAuliff, Fund for Reconciliation and Development   director@ffrd.org    917-859-9025

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