Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Goose-stepping among the dead

One of Cuba's oldest cemeteries is in Santiago de Cuba on the island's eastern end. Saint Ifigenia Cemetery opened in about 1868 and contains a memorial to José Martí , a national hero in Cuba.

Military recruits march outside José Martí's memorial. Imagine what this job must be like when temperatures hit 90 degrees.

Note: While visiting the cemetery, I was under the impression that this was where Marti's remains are buried. After this post was published, a friend in Havana told me the remains are actually at the University of Havana. I haven't confirmed that, but plan to check with the school.
Rebels killed in the July 26, 1953, attack on the Moncada barracks are in the monument and tomb of Carlos Manuel Céspedes, a landowner who declared Cuban independence in 1868.

Emilio Bacardi Moreau is buried at the cemetery. He ran the Bacardi Rum Co. and was the appointed mayor of Santiago.

Emilio Bacardi's first wife was Maria Lay Berlucheau, a French Cuban from Santiago. She died at just 33.

Cuban Cemetery Data - links to several cemeteries and a list of some of the people buried in them
July 2008 article on the first Cuban cemeteries
Sept. 23, 2008 - Goose-step wars: Cuban recruits vs. ex-Monty Python star

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