Saturday, December 15, 2018

May FAM Trip to Santiago and Guantanamo (Baracoa and Holguin optional)

FAM Trip on Inaugural Miami – Santiago American Airlines Flight
Santiago only May 3—7      With Guantanamo May 3 – 10    (Potential extension to Holguin and Baracoa)

[This trip is designed for travel professionals (agents, tour operators, journalists), especially those considering sending groups or clients for the July Carnival trip.]


Friday, May 3
Fly from Miami to Santiago on inaugural American Airlines flight; arrive 7:45 p.m. stay at Hotel Imperial or in casas particulares

Saturday, May 4  The Spanish Legacy
Basilica del Cobre (patron saint) and Morro fortress; lecture at Museum of Carnival; meet with representative of American Airlines; hotel visit; dinner at Terrazas La Caridad, a paladar that also roasts its own coffee; enjoy traditional Cuban music and dance

Sunday, May 5  The Independence Wars and US Intervention
Maceo Memorial honoring a leader of the mambisi independence struggle; bust of founder of the Red Cross Clara Barton who assisted victims of Spanish; discussion of Dynamite Johnny O'Brien from New York who smuggled arms and troops; memorial at San Juan Hill to Teddy Roosevelt’s casualties; museum of the Cuban-Spanish-American war for the other side of the story; swim at the beach with the Spanish wreck; Playa Siboney seafood restaurant; enjoy traditional Cuban music and dance

Monday, May 6  The Revolution
Biran, the large plantation owned by the father of Fidel and Raul Castro; Moncada Barracks museum (site of the first stage of the Cuban revolution); gravesites of Jose Marti and Fidel Castro; meet representative of Cubanacan; hotel visit; enjoy traditional Cuban music and dance

Tuesday, May 7  Cultural Focus
Dance class at Artex; Asociasion Cubana de Artesanos Artistas and Casa de Diego Velazquez; light lunch on roof of Casa Granda, free time; ceramics museum near ICAP; hear talk by Marta Emilia Cordies Jackson and colleagues at Centro Cultural Africano on slavery and its current impact; [private arrangement: performance by Café Caliente, roast pig;] enjoy traditional Cuban music and dance

(Option of early departure on 8:45 p.m. flight from Santiago to Miami).

Wednesday, May 8  Guantanamo
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

Thursday, May 9   Caimanera
Cuban town adjacent to the US base*; meet community leaders and artists; return to Guantanamo city to discuss local culture and the history of the base during lunch meeting with UNEAC and university professors; return to hotel or casa particular in Santiago

(Option of 8:35 p.m. flight from Santiago to Miami)

Friday, May 10 Santiago
La Gran Piedra national monument and botanical garden; personal time in Santiago; 8:35 p.m. flight to Miami

(Those who prefer a same day connection home have the option of driving to Holguin on Friday morning or remaining in Santiago Friday night and driving to Holguin on Saturday for midday flights to Miami)

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

Learn the Cuban perspective about the base from the video “All Guantanamo is Ours” 


Potential visit to Holguin and Baracoa 
(to be arranged subject to interest)

Saturday, May 11

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

Sunday, May 12

The indigenous gravesite museum and the replica of a Taino village; the company town of United Fruit and the church in Banes; the site where Dynamite Johnny O’Brien landed with arms and soldiers for the mambisis; landing site of Columbus; enjoy the beach at Guardalavaca with Cuban friends; night of music and dance with Cuban friends

Monday, May 13  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-Columbus 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

Tuesday, May 14  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 tourism specialists and university professors; music and dance at Terraza Artex, discoteca el Ranchon or discoteca El Parque

Wednesday, May 15

Drive to Holguin airport; fly 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.

[See proposed July Carnival program here.]

Read the post and view pictures of Carnival by Kelly, Compass and Camera travel blog.


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]

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

John McAuliff  Fund for Reconciliation and Development  917-859-9025

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