Robaina's plantation

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Statues & Monuments of Havana

               Cuba seems to be fixated with statues and monuments because they appear to be everywhere you turn and nowhere is that most evident than in Havana. I wrote a similar piece a couple of years ago but except for a couple of statues (I couldn't resist) this is a whole new batch. Usually (I'm thinking of myself and like minded people) one would think that a statue or monument would be, well....monumental. I mean to say that you would image the statue to be of somebody who achieved greatness during his life, or death. Although there is no end of laurels being given to the heroes of the various revolutions fought on this sun kissed land, there are also quite a few given to some that simply make you scratch your head and wonder....who the heck is/was that? I've been taking pictures in Havana for years and on each trip that usually includes a few statues, busts and/or monuments. I accumulate, organize and finally put together a post. At this time I will do my research and that's when I will read up on the history of a building, square, object or in this case, the person or people immortalized in the statue or monument. It's a great way to understand a country and an interesting way to see how it's society thinks. Many of the non-Cuban heroes have made their mark in the arts as writers, poets, composers as well as having been revolutionaries with a just cause in their respectful countries or continents. Although I'm not showing them on this post, so not to repeat myself, they even have a statue dedicated to a flamenco dancer and one of a well known street person. As I said, it's interesting to see where their values lie. All the information below was taken from Wikipedia, I find it to be very informative and the opening paragraph usually says it all without turning each person into a novel.

1. General Emiliano Zapata; Emiliano Zapata Salazar  (8 August 1879 – 10 April 1919) was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, the main leader of the peasant revolution in the state of Morelos, and the inspiration of the agrarian movement called Zapatismo (From Wikipedia).
2. Ramón Emeterio Betances y Alacán (April 8, 1827 – September 16, 1898) was a Puerto Rican nationalist. He was the primary instigator of the Grito de Lares revolution and is considered to be the father of the Puerto Rican independence movement. Since the Grito galvanized a burgeoning nationalist movement among Puerto Ricans, Betances is also considered "El Padre de la Patria" (Father of the [Puerto Rican] Nation). Because of his charitable deeds for people in need, he also became known as "El Padre de los Pobres" ("The Father of the Poor") (From Wikipedia).
3. Lt. General José Antonio de la Caridad Maceo y Grajales (June 14, 1845 – December 7, 1896) was second-in-command of the Cuban Army of Independence  (From Wikipedia).
5. Juan Pablo Duarte Díez (January 26, 1813 – July 15, 1876) is one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic. He was a visionary and liberal thinker, who along with Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Matías Ramón Mella, is widely considered to be the architect of the Dominican Republic and its independence from Haitian rule in 1844. He would help create the political-military organization La Trinitaria to fight against the Haitian occupation, achieve independence, and create a self-sufficient nation established on the liberal ideals of a democratic government (From Wikipedia).
7. Ángel Agustín María Carlos Fausto Mariano Alfonso del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Lara y Aguirre del Pino (October 30, 1897– November 6, 1970), known as Agustín Lara was a Mexican composer and interpreter of songs and boleros. He is recognized as one of the most popular songwriters of his era. His work was widely appreciated not only in Mexico but also in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Spain. After his death, he has also been recognized in the United States, Italy and Japan (From Wikipedia).
8. Juan Guitéras y Gener (or Juan Guiteras) (January 4, 1852 – October 28, 1925), was a Cuban physician and pathologist specializing in yellow fever (From Wikipedia).
10. José Antonio Saco (May 7, 1797 – September 26, 1879) was a statesman, deputy to the Spanish Cortes, writer, social critic, publicist, essayist, anthropologist, historian, and one of the most notable Cuban figures from the nineteenth century (From Wikipedia).
11. Pedro Vargas Mata (San Miguel Allende, 29 April 1906 - Mexico City on 30 October 1989) was a Mexican singer and actor, from the golden age of Mexican cinema. He was known as the "Nightingale of the Americas" (From Wikipedia).
12. Santiago Ramón y Cajal  (1 May 1852 – 17 October 1934) was a Spanish pathologist, histologist, neuroscientist, and Nobel laureate. His original pioneering investigations of the microscopic structure of the brain have led to his being designated by many as the father of modern neuroscience. His medical artistry was legendary, and hundreds of his drawings illustrating the delicate arborizations of brain cells are still in use for educational and training purposes (From Wikipedia).
14. Máximo Gómez y Báez (November 18, 1836 in Baní – June 17, 1905 in Havana) was a Dominican Major General in the Ten Years' War (1868–1878). He was also Cuba's military commander in that country's War of Independence (1895–1898) (From Wikipedia).
15. Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel or Froebel (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) was a German pedagogue, a student of Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He created the concept of the "kindergarten" and also coined the word now used in German and English. He also developed the educational toys known as Froebel Gifts (From Wikipedia).
16. Rabindranath Tagore (also written Ravīndranātha Thākura (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. Sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal", Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of the modern Indian subcontinent (From Wikipedia).
17. Francisco Morazán ( born October 3, 1792 – September 15, 1842) was a Honduran politician who was President of the Federal Republic of Central America from 1830 to 1839. Before he was president of Central America he was head of state of Honduras, He rose to prominence at the legendary Battle of La Trinidad on November 11, 1827. Since then, and until his execution in 1842, Morazán dominated the political and military scene of Central America. In the political arena, Francisco Morazán was recognized as a visionary and great thinker, as he attempted to transform Central America into one large and progressive nation. He enacted liberal reforms in the new Federal Republic of Central America, including freedom of the press, speech and religion. Morazán also limited church power by making marriage secular and abolishing government-aided tithing (From Wikipedia).
18. The University of Havana or UH (in Spanish, Universidad de La Habana) is a university located in the Vedado district of Havana, Cuba. Founded on January 5, 1728, the University of Havana is the oldest university in Cuba, and one of the first to be founded in the Americas. Originally a religious institution, today the University of Havana has 15 faculties (colleges) at its Havana campus and distance learning centers throughout Cuba. Statue of Alma Mater is on the main steps of the university  (From Wikipedia).
19. José Julián Martí Pérez (January 28, 1853 – May 19, 1895) is a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. In his short life, he was a poet, an essayist, a journalist, a revolutionary philosopher, a translator, a professor, a publisher, and a political theorist, and supporter of Henry George's economic reforms known as Georgism. Through his writings and political activity, he became a symbol for Cuba's bid for independence against Spain in the 19th century, and is referred to as the "Apostle of Cuban Independence." He also wrote about the threat of Spanish and US expansionism into Cuba. From adolescence, he dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual independence for all Spanish Americans; his death was used as a cry for Cuban independence from Spain by both the Cuban revolutionaries and those Cubans previously reluctant to start a revolt (From Wikipedia).
20. The Monument to the Victims of the USS Maine (Spanish: Monumento a las víctimas del Maine) was built in 1925 in on the Malecón boulevard at the end of Línea street, in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana, Cuba, built in honor of the American sailors that died in the explosion of the USS Maine in 1898, which served as the pretext for the United States to declare war on Spain thus starting the Spanish–American War. The ship had anchored at Havana three weeks prior at the request of American consul Fitzhugh Lee (From Wikipedia).
21. Calixto García Iñiguez (August 4, 1839 – December 11, 1898) was a general in three Cuban uprisings, part of the Cuban War for Independence: Ten Years' War, the Little War and the War of 1895, itself sometimes called the Cuban War for Independence, which bled into the Spanish–American War, ultimately resulting in national independence for Cuba (From Wikipedia).
22. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (19 May 1881 – 10 November 1938) was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey. His surname, Atatürk (meaning "Father of the Turks"), was granted to him in 1934 and forbidden to any other person by the Turkish parliament (From Wikipedia).
23. José Carlos Mariátegui La Chira (14 June 1894 – 16 April 1930) was a Peruvian journalist, political philosopher, and activist. A prolific writer before his early death at age 35, he is considered one of the most influential Latin American socialists of the 20th century. Mariátegui's most famous work, Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality (1928), is still widely read in South America. An avowed, self-taught Marxist, he insisted that a socialist revolution should evolve organically in Latin America on the basis of local conditions and practices, not the result of mechanically applying a European formula (From Wikipedia).
24. José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras (25 February 1778 – 17 August 1850), known simply as José de San Martín, was an Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern part of South America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. Born in Yapeyú, Corrientes, in modern Argentina, he left his mother country at the early age of seven to study in Málaga, Spain (From Wikipedia).
25. José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda or popularly known as José Rizal (19 June 1861 – 30 December 1898) was a Filipino nationalist during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain. He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after an anti-colonial revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out. Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence. He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines, and is implied by Philippine law to be one of the national heroes. He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere, and El Filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays (From Wikipedia).
26. Dr. José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia y Velasco (January 6, 1766 – September 20, 1840) was a Paraguayan lawyer and politician, and one of the first leaders of Paraguay following its independence from Spain. He is considered to be the ideologue and main political leader who brought forward the independence of Paraguay from the Spanish Empire, the United Provinces of the River Plate and the Empire of Brazil (From Wikipedia).
27. Benito Pablo Juárez García (21 March 1806 – 18 July 1872) was a Mexican lawyer and politician of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca who served as the president of Mexico for five terms: 1858–1861 as interim, then 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872 as constitutional president. He resisted the French occupation of Mexico, overthrew the Second Mexican Empire, restored the Republic, and used liberal measures to modernize the country (From Wikipedia).
28. Hans Christian Andersen ( Danish: often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen; 2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875) was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children; his stories, called eventyr in Danish or "fairy-tales" in English, express themes that transcend age and nationality (From Wikipedia).
29. The Christ of Havana (Spanish: Cristo de La Habana) is a large sculpture representing Jesus of Nazareth on a hilltop overlooking the bay in Havana, Cuba. It is the work of the Cuban sculptor Jilma Madera, who won the commission for it in 1953 (From Wikipedia).
30. Luís Vaz de Camões (1524 or 1525 – 20 June [O.S. 10 June] 1580), is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet. His mastery of verse has been compared to that of Shakespeare, Vondel, Homer, Virgil and Dante. He wrote a considerable amount of lyrical poetry and drama but is best remembered for his epic work Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads). His collection of poetry The Parnasum of Luís de Camões was lost in his lifetime. The influence of his masterpiece Os Lusíadas is so profound that Portuguese is sometimes called the "language of Camões" (From Wikipedia).
31. Juan Clemente Zenea, writer, Cuban born, Bayamo , Granma (February 24, 1832). It is recognized for having great influence in Cuban literature in Romanticism, marking a new line in the Latin American poetry (From Wikipedia).
32. America Arias, was a major contributor to the cause of Cuban independence, born in Sancti Spiritus province of Santa Clara ,Cuba. She came from a distinguished and wealthy family & married at an early age with José Miguel Gómez, a commander of the Liberation Army and protagonist of the Ten Years' War (From Wikipedia).
33. Christopher Columbus (Italian: Cristoforo Colombo; Spanish: Cristóbal Colón; Portuguese: Cristóvão Colombo; 31 October 1450 and 30 October 1451 in Genoa – 20 May 1506 in Valladolid) was an Italian explorer, navigator, colonizer and citizen of the Republic of Genoa. Statue in the courtyard of the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales at the Plaza de Armas in Habana Vieja (From Wikipedia).
34. Simón Bolívar; in full Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830), was a Venezuelan military and political leader who played an instrumental role in the establishment of Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia as sovereign states, independent of Spanish rule (From Wikipedia).
35. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes del Castillo (April 18, 1819, Bayamo, Spanish Cuba – February 27, 1874, San Lorenzo, Spanish Cuba) was a Cuban planter who freed his slaves and made the declaration of Cuban independence in 1868 which started the Ten Years' War (From Wikipedia).

General Emiliano Zapata

Ramón Emeterio Betances y Alacán

Antonio Maceo Grajales

Michaíl Christodulu Muskos (1913- 1977)

Juan Pablo Duarte


Agustín Lara

Juan Guiteras


José Antonio Saco

Pedro Vargas

Santiago Ramón y Cajal


Máximo Gómez

Friedrich Fröbel

Rabindranath Tagore

Francisco Morazán

Alma Mater

 Jose Marti

The Maine Monument

Calixto García

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

José Carlos Mariátegui

José de San Martín

José Rizal

José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia

Benito Juárez

Hans Christian Andersen

Crist of Havana

Luís de Camões

Juan Clemente Zenea

América Arias

Christopher Columbus

Simon Bolivar

Carlos Manuel de Céspedes