Villa Clara, Cuba

Isla de la Juventud and Villa Clara, Cuba

Isla de la Juventud (Cuba)

The island of youth, this means the name of Isla de la Juventud translated. In the past, Isla de la Juventud was known as Isla de Pinos, i.e. a pine island. The Cuban island is the seventh largest island in the Caribbean and the largest of the Cuban Minor islands. Politically, it is a specialty. Because the Isla de la Juventud is not an independent province of Cuba, but a special administrative area. About 15,000 people live in Nueava Gerona. The city is the capital of Isla de la Juventud and also an important center for culture, economy and industry. It is also the largest city on Isla de la Juventud.

The history of Isla de la Juventud

On the basis of archaeological excavations it could be established that the first population group on Isla de la Juventud must have been the Guanahatabey Indians. As nomads, they lived near the coast and set up their accommodation and accommodation in the caves there. In the further course of the story, the Ciboney from the area of ​​today’s Venezuela arrived here. They settled Isla de la Juventud around the 3rd century AD and shared the island with themTaino who came from Jamaica.

Before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in June 1494, the island was called Siguanea. This is the name given by the native residents of the island who lived here. When Columbus passed here on his second expedition to the so-called New World, he docked and gave today’s Isla de la Juventud the name La Evangelista. The beautiful archipelago was considered a haven for pirates from the 16th to the 18th century. Famous warriors and pirates such as Francis Drake, John Hawkins and Thomas Baskerville but also Henry Morgan, who spread fear and terror on the seas, traveled to Isla de la Juventud to either hide there or to spend a few quiet days.

At that time the island was also called The Parrot Island and it was used as the template for the famous novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The region called Isla de Pinos in the following years later became a prison island. José Marti served his prison sentence here in the 19th century. Later he was followed from 1953 to 1955 by the Moncadistas around Fidel Castro.

During the time of guerrilla warfare, the island was again a popular “parking lot” for revolutionaries. This was simply banished to the Isla de la Juventud. This is how Armando Hart was brought here. The ruins of the former prisons can still be visited today. There was room for over 6,000 prisoners.

Economy on Isla de la Juventud

When the Cuban revolution was over, agriculture started to take off on the island. Cuba wanted to be able to feed itself and be competitive for the export of certain products. To make this development possible, numerous young people came to Isla de la Juventud. Most of them came from third world countries.
In total, several thousand people reached the island to find work in agriculture. Back then, around 1978, the name of the island was finally changed to Youth Island. This is also due to the fact that numerous young people tried to create a better life for themselves.

Villa Clara in Cuba

The province of Villa Clara is located in central Cuba. The capital of the province is Santa Clara. The tourist tourism is pronounced quite sparse in Villa Clara, but this, together with the greater economic mainstay, the sugar cane, a major source of income for Villa Clara.

Before 1975, today’s independent province of Villa Clara was part of the Las Villas province, which also included the cities of Santa Clara and Sancti Spiritus.
The Rio Sagua la Grande is the largest river in the province and flows into the Atlantic at Villa Clara.

The capital Santa Clara

As the capital of Villa Clara, Santa Clara occupies the administrative position. More than 210,000 people live here. The city extends at the foot of the Escambray Mountains. Santa Clara is also a provincial center for business and agriculture.

Sights in Villa Clara

The province, like many regions of Cuba, is rich in historical buildings and monuments. Particularly worth seeing is the 19th century church in Santa Clara. Many revolutionary monuments shape the cityscape. The hotels from the 19th century also have the typical architecture of the time and are well cared for so that they are preserved. The tomb of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, with an attached museum, is located in Santa Clara and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Cuba.
Many of the historical squares and the impressive buildings of the theater are well-visited places for tourists.

The story of Villa Clara

According to Barblejewelry, the Cuban Revolution was directed against the Batista regime. It was then that Villa Clara became one of the most important locations. Because on December 29, 1958, the Argentine Che Guevara and his guerrilla group took the capital of the province. The group around Che Guevara had previously been able to stop and take over an armored weapon transport. Thus they were adequately supplied with ammunition and weapons.

Today it is said about the capture of the city of Santa Clara by the guerrilla fighter Che Guevara that this was one of his greatest military achievements. For more than two years the guerrillas fought in the mountains against the Batista army, which was supported by the Americans and also outnumbered. The capture of the city of Santa Clara was the breakthrough to combat in the flat areas. As a result, the way to the capital Havana was now free for the fighters. The dictator Batista left the country on January 1, 1959.

Che Guevara later also withdrew, was not seen for a long time and was considered lost for a while. He fought in the Congo and Bolivia, where he died. His remains were returned to Cuba. He was in 1997 in a mausoleum created for him buried and now rests at the cities of his greatest military triumph. Here you can now visit his resting place. Many people are still enthusiastic about him today and revere his actions and actions. Che Guevara is still considered one of the absolute heroes of Cuba today. And so it is hardly surprising that his grave or burial site is one of the most visited sights in the country.

Villa Clara, Cuba