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La Cuba del Espiritu Cubano
Educational Program

La Mula

click to enlargeAbove us to the north and in the clouds, are the Sierra Maestra, Mt Turquino, 6749 ft, the highest point in Cuba and the cloud shrouded, mountain fortified headquarters of the Liberation Army.  To the south is the Caribbean Sea, plunging to a depth of 23,179 feet in the Cayman Trench not far away.  There is generally not much in between except a ledge for the road so the scenery is very dramatic -- even with the heavy cloud cover.  Many considered this the most spectacular road they had ever ridden, surpassing Big Sur.

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At the start of the revolution Batista had some garrisons in towns like El Jigue.  These were vulnerable to surprise attacks, which the Liberation Army took advantage of.  In 1957, Fidel's troops attacked El Jigue, on the La Plata River, for one of their first decisive victories and an important opportunity to increase and upgrade their firepower.

Another relic of military activity along the coast is caves dug straight into the bedrock.  These were to house and protect tanks that used to be stationed along the coast in case of attack.  The Cubans pointed out that these were purely defensive and that Cuba has no significant offensive capability.

Somewhat in the same vein, by some Cuban count, there have been over 300 assassination attempts against Fidel and Cuba has never been involved in aggression against any other country.  No question that Fidel has been the target of dirty tricks, but I don't have enough information to believe that they have averaged one every month and a half.

Along the way we passed thatched huts called bohíos and saw coffee growing on mountain slopes. The farmers' compounds were spotless. Dogs, pigs and chickens ate every smidgen of organic matter and what they left was swept clean daily.

click to enlargeWe spent the afternoon sharing time at a camp used by Cuban schools  for environmental education and recreation.  Students from Santiago de Cuba come for the day and guests from further away can stay over night.

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