Celebrating Marti in Santiago de Cuba

Photo feature by Janis Hernandez

The Moncada Garrison is now a school and museum.
The Moncada Garrison is now a school and museum.

HAVANA TIMES — On the eve of the 160th birthday of our national hero, Jose Marti, traditional marches with torches were held in all provinces of the country. Santiago de Cuba was no exception.

The march here took place starting at Marti’s mausoleum at the Santa Iphigenia cemetery and proceeded to old Post 3 of the former Moncada Garrison, which today is the July 26 Elementary School and a museum.

A concert took place there by the group Moncada, a band whose name is a tribute to the famous epic of 1953. Now marking 40 years of existence, the group originally emerged out of the movement of amateur artists associated with the Federation of University Students (FEU).

I thought this might be a good reason to shoot a photo essay, though featuring photos of the march risked ending up being more of the same – in the past, some of my colleagues already covered that procession in Havana.

The epic band Moncada in concert in Santiago de Cuba.
The epic band Moncada in concert in Santiago de Cuba.

Therefore, I opted to take photos of the concert along with some other details, such as the dumpsters full of torches after the march was over.

People commented that the march hadn’t attracted the same participation that it had in previous years. As usual university and high schools students had been invited to attend.

Nor did a large audience turn out for the concert. Taking place nearby had been the “Santiago nights” celebrations, whose reggaeton dancing and the sale of food and drinks could out compete any concert.

Moncada gave an excellent performance, featuring old songs from their repertoire and newer ones, the modest audience enthusiastically chanted, danced and applauded.

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One thought on “Celebrating Marti in Santiago de Cuba

  • “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy. ”

    “Freedoms, like privileges, prevail or are imperiled together You cannot harm or strive to achieve one without harming or furthering all.”

    “Man loves liberty, even if he does not know that he loves it. He is driven by it and flees from where it does not exist.”

    Marti was truly a great man. May his words come true in his homeland.

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