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Jersey City, New Jersey
July 9, 2004
From journal Havana Cuba - Habana Vieja
April 14, 2002
The Plaza de la Revolucion is rather dull wide expanse of concrete surrounded by some rather drab 1950's modernist blocks which now host much of the country's current communist governmental infrastructure including President Castro's office in the large building behind the tower. The whole area however come alive on May 1st, June 27th and other occasions when Fidel steps out to give one of his legendarily long speeches and this whole area is crammed with thousands of enthusiastic supporters who still regard the man as a revolutionary hero.
The 140-meter concrete tower that can be seen from throughout the district acts as a handy landmark. Out front is an enormous statue of Jose Marti the poet and revolutionary hero who is regarded as the father of the country and who died on April 11 1895 in the first battle of the war of independence against the Spanish. The star shaped base of the tower holds an un-inspired museum, entrance $3, to his life including a number of artifacts including his colt six re3volver and Winchester rifle. For an additional $2 you can ride the elevator to the top of the tower for views all the way out to the Caribbean Sea.
Easily the most famous sight to see here is on the south wall of the Ministry of the Interior, a dull concrete office block on the north side of the plaza which is enlivened by a mural of Argentinean Doctor and Cuban Revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The mural a blackened steel frieze based on the famous Korda photo taken during a rally in Havana in 1960 that became a de-riggeur fixture of any student flat in the 60's and 70's. The simple memorial is suitable tribute to the unassuming hero and like the man himself holds a special place in the heart of the Cuban people
This is hardly a must see when compared to the spectacular architecture of the old town and the fantastic vistas of the Malecon, but if you happen to be in the area, the tower does offer great views of the city and who can resist the chance to pose for a photo in front of the Memorial Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
From journal Havana Ball