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News > Latin America

What Is the History Behind Cuba's Plaza de la Revolucion?

  • Fidel Castro during the First Declaration of Havana.

    Fidel Castro during the First Declaration of Havana. | Photo: CubaDebate

Published 28 November 2016

The plaza has witnessed massive demonstrations in support of the Cuban Revolution, May 1 celebrations, as well as the country's historical anniversaries.

The famous Plaza de la Revolucion Jose Marti was the center of tributes to historical leader Fidel Castro Monday, as tens of thousands of Cubans, some wrapped in red, white and blue Cuban flags, paid final respects in Havana to Fidel Castro, who led the revolution and resisted U.S. imperialism for almost 60 years.

'Hasta Siempre Comandante': Cuba Mourns Fidel

The plaza has a unique historical value for having been the scene of many of the main events of the Cuban Revolution, including the first rallies of the victorious revolution in 1959. It has celebrated acts of solidarity with other countries, anniversaries of the assault on the Moncada Barracks, the triumph of the Cuban Revolution and other important events in Cuba.

It was called Civic Plaza until the construction was finished on July 16, 1961. The idea of a revolutionary plaza paying tribute to Jose Marti emerged in the 1940s when Cuba applied for an international competition of historical monuments to pay tribute to the Cuban independence.

One of thousands of revolutionary celebrations at the Plaza de la Revolucion.​

The jury eventually decided that the third award — Jose Marti's monument project — would be built, instead of the first award, as 1952 was celebrating the centenary of the leader's birth.

The work was built thanks to the popular generosity and the admiration of the Cuban people for Marti.

The esplanade of the plaza is surrounded by the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior which shows on its façade the famous image of Che Guevara.

Another building near the Plaza de la Revolucion is the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications that exhibits the image of the fallen hero of the Camilo Cienfuegos.

However, the main monument is the one of Jose Marti standing 370 feet high until the tower and 466,000 feet until the lighthouses and flags, constituting the highest point in the city of Havana.

Some of the most notable events in the plaza have been: the first parade of the popular militias integrated by workers and peasants on May 1, 1959; the Cuban people approved the First Declaration of Havana in September 1960; and the event for the first anniversary of the Committees in Defense of the Revolution on Sept. 28, 1961.

The people gathered in the Plaza de la Revolucion to give massive support for the foreign policy of the revolutionary government, approving the Second Declaration of Havana on Feb. 4, 1962.

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