“Che” Monument in Santa Clara, Cuba Welcomes Visitor # 4 Million

Angel Freddy Perez Cabrera  (granma.cu)

Che monument complex in Santa Clara.  Photo: Elio Delgado Valdes
Che monument complex in Santa Clara. Photo: Elio Delgado Valdes

HAVANA TIMES — Almost as a confirmation of the awesome force represented by the figure of Che Guevara, who continues to point the way for thousands of people on the planet after nearly 50 years since his capture and murder, this Thursday the monument that bears his name in Cuba’s city of Santa Clara reported it had received exactly four million visitors since its founding in December of 1988.

Elaine Faulner, an English tourist who had the honor of completing the figure with her visit, told the local press she felt fortunate on hearing the news, which caught her by surprise and filled her with joy.

“I’d been hearing about Che since I was small, but I’d never had the chance to come to this place, which is both impressive and moving,” said Elaine after receiving a gift from management.

Referring to her visit to Cuba, she said the island had struck her as a marvelous country, full of pretty places and an agreeable and hospitable people. “I take away many nice things from here, particularly this keepsake from the Che Guevara monument,” the tourist added.

According to Yaneski Gutierrez Fernandez, an expert employed by the complex, of the total number of visitors the monument has seen, 2,400,948 are foreign. Most of these foreign visitors come from Argentina, Italy, Canada, Spain, Germany and France. Most Cuban visitors come from Villa Clara and Havana.

Yaneski also pointed out that, though the flow of visitors has always been constant, the number of visitors began to grow sharply after the remains of Che Guevara and his comrades in arms were brought back to Cuba in October of 1997, as the 3,812,632 visits to this sacred site since demonstrate.

She added that this year has been one of the busiest, reporting more than 160,000 visitors as of yesterday, 35,637 of whom arrived in March, setting a record for the month.

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37 thoughts on ““Che” Monument in Santa Clara, Cuba Welcomes Visitor # 4 Million

  • Give up what? Telling the truth? Jamas!

  • Moses, give up. Ideologues are like owls, the more light you shed the worse they see.

  • Scholarly does not mean truthful but simply that a scholar or scholars have done a lot of research work, which is how they make their living. There is tons of examples of inaccurate, false and right down ridiculous scholarly works out there. Somebody has to pay for all those hours of research so do you think that if a scholar wrote something that his/her patron did not like they would get hired again? It could just be to prove the scholar’s own beliefs or to endear his/herself to a patron, private or institutional.
    The MPLA was the only resistance force to the Portuguese colonial occupation; the FNLA was made up of Zairian Army troops, African mercenaries and their CIA advisers. UNITA was made up from members of one tribe and its leader Jonas Sabimbi was their traditional king whose only goal was to break away from Angola to form his own “kingdom” and become another SA satellite, like Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. Neither fought the Portuguese during the struggle for liberation.
    What Angola is today has nothing to do with how we kicked the SA butt and preserved their sovereignty at the onset of the nation. Once we defeated the SADF/UNITA threat at Cuito Canaval (look it up in wikipedia), the Apartheid government agreed to surrender to the ANC if we Cubans pulled out because they were terrified of us, thought we might pay them a visit and return the favor. The job was done, the Soviets provided transport back home for our victorious troops and SA surrendered to Nelson Mandela. This Treaty you mentioned did not have to say anything about Apartheid because it was already defunct, these negotiations were just to save face and provide an orderly and safe exit for the white supremacists, just like the USA military had to do in Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The facts were that the Apartheid government could no longer resist the ANC militarily and had already agreed to hand over the government; it’s obvious that the ANC were not going to retain the Apartheid laws and policies. By forcing Pretoria to hand over the reins of power to the ANC, we defeated Apartheid.
    Your scholarly written, last paragraph starts out with platitudes: “the slaughter, the horrendous cost”, half-truths: “a proxies war”, and outright falsehoods: “nothing to show for it”. Your opinions about José dos Santos’ Administration are just that, yours; your info has proven incorrect before and you are obviously a very right-wing adversary of anything that smells of socialism, willing to say whatever, in a scholarly manner, to prove your point.
    I totally agree with you that everyone committed atrocities, another platitude, “they” always do in any war and it doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is. That statement, however, is there simply to give you credibility, which together with the other 2 platitudes provide the lubrication for the half-truth insertion and after, the falsehoods and opinions. The Angolan War was an attempt by SA and the USA to deny an emerging nation of its sovereignty, take their natural resources and exploit its human resources, no more, no less. We rescued the country, gave our blood for it and did not take anything from them in return but their gratitude. I am soooo proud of being Cuban!

  • A while ago at my gun club I met a middle-age, South African guy, an English-speaker and descendant who was born and went to school in Bloemfontein, Northern, SA where the large majority of white people were Boers who spoke Afrikaans. At that time, 1988, there was compulsory military service and he went in together with the rest of the boys from his secondary school graduating class in order to be trained together as a unit. He personally did not support Apartheid but had to keep it to himself and family because his town was a hot bed of racism. In 1989 his unit was sent to a gigantic, South African forward base inside Angola, which featured a military airport full of F-18 copies and USA attack helicopters they got from Israel, hangars and support buildings, paved and unpaved yards full of tanks, half-tracks and other military vehicles, barracks, kitchens, mess halls, metallurgy and machine works, storage buildings and tanks, a hospital, shops, snack bars, 3 bars and even 2 movie theaters. The base was protected by heavy guns emplacements all around and had 20+ thousand SA soldiers and support personnel They were there to support an offensive by UNITA against the Angolan Army at Cuito Canaval.
    My friend was beset by a common tropical parasite which caused him to pee blood every so often and then he had to be isolated as his urine carried the parasite and was resting in his hospital bed when the world as he knew it came to an end. Cuban Migs came in flying low from the South and the SA military thought they were “friendly” until bombs and rockets began to rain on the grounded planes and helicopters, on the tanks and AVs parked in neat rows, on the gun emplacements and the soldiers. The command center was hit right away, the storage tanks full of fuel were set ablaze, the armory was hit and exploded. In the middle of all this pandemonium, Cuban infantry charged in behind new, Soviet, mini-tanks and attack helicopters. The hospital was never hit but he was evacuated unto an ambulance with other patients and got out of the base heading towards Namibia. They arrived at a small SA military airport and were flown out back to SA.
    Meanwhile on the field, the Angolan army baited UNITA by breaking contact and seemingly fleeing, which lured the advancing SA proxies to give chase across two major rivers. Then the Angolan army blew the dams and cut off the retreat of UNITA forces who then called on their SA allies to come rescue them to no avail. The Angolan Army turned around and wiped UNITA’s forces in a decisive victory.
    Back in the SA forward base, there were 14,000 SA soldiers killed, wounded or captured, many ran south to Namibia where they were intercepted by SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization, the Namib armed resistance. There were 5000 SA troops that started from the coast to try to relieve their comrades but at the end they turned back to try to regain the coast and ended up surrendering to SWAPO and eventually being allowed return passage back home minus all their equipment. The SA Army was so weak after, all their best hardware and military units destroyed, that Cuban Migs overflew Bloemfontein and other northern towns with total impunity. Alarms were raised, high school boys given long guns and posted on street corners, panic ensued in the white supremacist community, people packing up to flee in case we, “mud-race Cubans and Kaffirs” were going to descend upon them, machetes in hand to murder them, steal their money and rape all the white women!!! My friend was evacuated further South for safety. The SA army lost a total of 23,000 men plus all the goodies in their Angola-Namibia disaster and could no longer fight the ANC, so they brought Mandela out of jail to surrender and ask for mercy. UNITA ceased to be a viable fighting force and Jonas Savimbi, its leader, was killed in battle shortly after. Angola remains to this day a socialist-democratic society, a country rich in resources but poor in development. Tomorrow, the USA gets caught shipping canons from Canada to South Africa through Grenada in 1976, contravening the UN sanctions they had signed.

  • Did you bother to read the material at the link? It is not an American or CIA account of the war. It is a scholarly book based on research conducted in Angola, South Africa & Cuba, in which hundreds of people were interviewed and key documents are quoted. It’s what really happened, not your partisan propaganda.

    Your account of the war in Angola is thrilling, the only problem is it does not accord with the facts, dates and events. Facts matter.

    Neto was never democratically elected. Cuba backed one rebel faction over the others. All sides committed war crimes and other atrocities in Angola. The government of Angola today is one of the most corrupt in Africa. Cuba pulled out because the USSR stopped bankrolling them. The SADF pulled out because the Cubans agreed to leave. Only after that did Pretoria begin negotiations with Mandela to end apartheid. The peace treaty between South Africa, Angola and Pretoria said nothing about ending apartheid. It wasn’t part of the deal, therefore Cuba’s claim to have defeated South Africa and end apartheid is without substance.

    The war in Angola was a side-show to the Cold War in which proxie armies of the superpowers fought it out. The Angolan people were slaughtered by all sides. One side won the fight, but at horrendous cost and without anything to show for it. Jose dos Santos rules over a corrupt kleptocracy while the Angolan people suffer. That’s what Cuba’s intervention in Angola achieved, nothing more and nothing less.

  • Gee Griff, you have the USA, knee-jerk version of the story and, of course, is backwards, We began to assist and train freedom fighters in Africa since El Ché went over in the 60’s, you are right about that and I’m very proud of it. But we did not “invade”; we helped the resistance to colonial rule in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Guiné Bissau and against Mobutu the Beast in the Democratic Republic of Congo ( then Zaire). When the Portuguese gave up colonial rule in and pulled out of Africa (1978), the Zairian Army under the banner of a CIA financed organization called the FNLA led by Holden Roberto, invaded Angola from the North and threatened Luanda. At the same time, UNITA troops led by a South African armored brigade came up from the South, took the Angolan ports of Namibe, Benguela and Lobitos to guarantee supplies and launched an all out attack towards the Capital. And that was precisely when we began to airlift troops to support the legally constituted and recognized government of Aghostino Neto and the MPLA.
    First we attacked the Zairian Army with the assistance of Patrice Lubumba’s old guard, the Gendarmerie du Katanga, and in 4 days we destroyed Roberto’s and Mobutu’s army and chased them back across the border, taking San Pedro do Congo, their headquarters. We then turned our attention to the SA armored brigade, called the Flying Brigade for its Blitzkrieg tactics, which was only 32 km from Luanda. We simply pulverized them with Migs and other Soviet, state of the art weaponry. Then we began the slow, arduous, bloody campaign to help Angola’s army to free the South of the country. Only then did the People of Angola have the chance to democratically elect Neto as their President. The SA Apartheid Government however, kept on supporting UNITA, providing them with $, refuge in and supply from Namibia (then the SA colony of South-West Africa), training, air support and intelligence, and tactical assistance for an 11-year struggle, which came to an end at Cuito Canaval. This is only the first of 3 History lessons I will offer you and the rest of our readership about our total triumph over White Supremacy, Colonialism and the USA in Africa. You already owe me one (# of people raised out of dire poverty by Communism…Remember?)

  • I was going to comment but it would not be worth my time as the response would,by necessity? Be very long. I do not understand the benevolent motives that are attributed to the Castro regime. Cuba, as you correctly pointed out, intervened in support of the Marxist MPLA, and as part of a larger (failed) strategy by Che to foment revolution in Africa in ghd 60s

  • See, I agree with you. Cuba is a great country to visit. It can suckered for Cubans who don’t have the money to travel and sightsee in their own country. Did you know Cubans, even if they have the money to do so can own seaworthy motor or sailboats? Well, not entirely true. They practically need Raul himself to give the ok. The approval process is that incredible. You are a Castro fan. Why do you think that is?

  • Although I agree with your daughter, I don’t think that many 11 year-olds would. The point isn’t which place is better. The point is that 4 million visitors in almost 30 years is no big deal. In fact, it is kinda pitiful.

  • How can the grave of a self-professed atheist be considered “sacred”? Was Che some sort of god?

    He was a racist and a murderer. The true monument to his life’s work is the corrupt and decadent Castro regime he helped to install in power through the barrel of a gun, and the subsequent ruination of Cuba.

  • You are misinformed about the history of the Cuban intervention in Angola. The Cuban army did not defeat the SADF at Cuito Canaval, nor did they destroy the White Supremacist Army of S.A.

    The SADF invaded Angola in response to the arrival of the Cuban army in support of the Marxist MPLA. The first Cuban troops arrived in Angola in 1965, not 1978 as the official Cuban history pretends.

    For a balanced, accurate and fully documented history of the Cuban intervention in Angola, read this book:

    http://www.cabinda.net/The-Cuban-Intervention-in-Angola.pdf

  • Great to have you on board Gomezz. Another perspective that educates me.
    Havana Times Rocks!

  • That’s great! Isn’t freedom of choice a wonderful thing!

  • Being against apartheid South Africa didn’t require that I support a Soviet-armed Cuban army. Look at it this way: you would have likely supported the end of WWII in the Pacific but does that mean you have to support the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? “Benign” police state? Is that possible? Ask the Ladies in White how benign the Castros are? We may disagree about their funding or who really gives them their marching orders, but in the end what is it that they do? They march peacefully armed with gladiola. Those ‘benign’ police harass and beat these defenseless women almost every weekend. Your cause and effect theory is wishful thinking. Totalitarian regimes oppress because of internal and not external threats.

  • Hell, I wasn’t even a citizen when I joined SNCC, then Stokely Carmichael kicked me out ’cause I wasn’t black enough and I ended up running SSOC/SCEF in my area cause they were doing a lot of work in SE Virginia and NE N. Carolina for integration and inter-racial union organizing.
    If you do not value the Cuban Revolutionary Leadership for destroying the White Supremacist Army of S.A. and freeing millions of Africans of all colours from the Apartheid Regime, what in hell do you value? I believe Cuba is a benign police state and it has to be to ward off the constant aggression it has been under since 1961 from the USA Government. Maybe now you can understand cause and effect. If the threat from the USA was to banish, and it will soon, I will be happy to join with other Cubans and agitate for civil rights and liberties which are today restricted due to the aforesaid conflict with the world’s biggest bully.

  • So I responded to your boorish sarcasm with some of my own…If you don’t like the soup, don’t dish it out…

  • There’s a lot more to see and do than that. The scuba diving is amazing, hiking the mountain trails is especially fun. You could easily fill your days for weeks on end with different adventure excursions, museums, music, festivals, etc before you’d run out of things to do. I always run out of time before I’ve even done half of what I wanted to.

  • My 11 daughter has been to both Disneyworld and Santa Clara. Given the choice, she’d pick going back to Cuba hands down.

  • For what it’s worth, I was extremely anti-apartheid and I come from two generations of anti-Jim Crow and pro-civil rights activists. That’s why I so vigorously oppose the Castro dictatorship. And as Martin Luther King said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’. I am against Castro tyranny because it is unjust. I’m also against the injustice “back home”. Talented people can do more than one thing at the same time.

  • So does that mean you supported the Apartheid Regime of South Africa, their colonization of Namibia and invasion of Angola? Any person of Black African heritage who did not support our intervention and rescue of Angola from SA aggression (1978-1989) and our final victory over racism, colonialism and White-supremacy at Cuito Canaval is exxxtremely unbalanced, and no one needs a degree to see that. It seems to me it would be you who politically supported the racist regime of SA and/or were against its demise by Cuban and Angolan arms. What does that make you; how can you wrap your head around that and then call me racist? It’s ludicrous, Moses, you are a piece of work; go write about your own dirt back home or find a hobby, something positive for a change.

  • Are you the resident orthographer? Otherwise your pedantic behavior just comes across as boorish, a sure sign that you can’t really argue the points.

    …so now you know.

  • I’m guessing that you don’t have a professional degree in psychology and therefore you are in no position to assess my “balance”. Likewise, my African decendency is a function of my DNA and not my political views. To say otherwise is racist. Finally, I am pro-Cuban but anti-CASTRO. There is a huge difference.

  • Yes, build it and they will come! Wanna come in the ground floor offering? We can handle all the financing…Just saying.
    (always start the first word after … with a capital letter, which was not necessary in this didactic reminder in parenthesis) but evident in the body of my reply). Also, finish any sentence or fragment thereof with a period to achieve grammatical closure. You learn something/s new everyday!

  • In the 5-Star Hotel, Training Camp, Water Park, Casino, Theme Park and Mall I am opening in Santa Clara with Cuban American and Chinese $, but no Consent allowed. You are such an inaccurate sniper!

  • Yes Moses, what is this obsession you have to put Cuba down? I told you already, your house has a glass roof and you continue to throw stones. I don’t buy your act and have lost respect for the man who hides behind Frederick Douglas because you have something negative to say about everything, literally, that Cuba does or stands for. Even the defeat of the South African Apartheid Army at Cuito Canaval, which liberated South Africa, Namibia and Angola in one fell swoop from a White Supremacist and Neo-Colonial regime, was to you “Cuba’s African Adventure”, how incredibly cynical, calloused and twisted. Nelson’s Mandela very first port of call upon being liberated was to visit Cuba and thank the Cuban People and Fidel for freeing his country and his people. This attitude of yours really made me doubt your claim to be an African descendant. So, Moses, what is your problem? Mind all the racism and killing of unarmed men, women and children in your supposed community in the USA and stop castigating Cuba as you have tried to do in your more the 2000 postings. You are a very unbalanced person.

  • Moses, I am not black but assume you are. Why are you on this board when your own people are being slaughtered in our country? I fought for years in the sixties and seventies to achieve some degree of dignity and what was deserved for my black brethren , i also was in child care and these were MY children and forty years later this despicable piece of garbage takes the lives of peaceful,
    kind people? I am for change in Cuba but we have a major problem that surfaced loud and clear in this country! Get the F’en confederate flage out of SouthCarolina’s capital!

  • What happened in Charleston and the blatant shooting of unarmed Black people in the US is beyond despicable! We do have enough to deal with in our country with what’s been happening for years but only now witnessed due to the internet than to try to educate Cuba on how to run their country. Even I am taking a step back and asking WTF is going on in my own country! The confederate flag still flying in SC? I can assure you if my Jewish brethren
    had one county even think of flying a nazi flag in their capital we’d have, what should be, a very ugly scene. The confederate flag to a black person is no different than the symbol we’re all familiar with via Nazi Germany!

  • Correction to Moses’s comment. Moses, Cuba is a country which can fit easily into America. It is a third world country which has just chartered its own course of development 50 years ago as against America which became Independent 239 years ago (1776-2015)A country which has been ravished, plundered, raped, slaughtered, raked by the capitalists including America. So, if America has a place where 50 million persons visit a year, so what? What is there to gloat over Moses? It sounds so petty and childish? Oh! Cuba has 4 million visitors and America has 50 million what is the big deal Moses? The people of Cuba are content with the little progress they have been making so far. They are a loving and peaceful people who do not shoot down Black people in churches. Could you ever imagine a Cuban giving his son a gun, fully loaded for his 21st Birthday? Could you imagine a Cuban doing that to his son?

  • Cuba is a country which can fit easily into America. It is a third world country which has just charted its own course of development fifty (50) years ago. A country which has been ravished, raked, raped, ravished, plundered by the capitalists. America, as I have said before, became Independent in 1776, 239 years ago. So, if it has a place where 50 million people visit in a year, what is there to gloat about Moses? Fifty years with an International embargo imposed upon it illegally. 50 years as against 239 where people still sleep in the streets and cannot access good health and a proper education. What is there to gloat Moses? Do you see what id happening in America where a young man was presented with a gun on his 21st birthday. It has to be that family preached HATRED against Black people why he was able to wash his hands.

  • So only Americans are interested in Che Guevara? What about all those Canadians, Europeans and Latin Americans who are free to travel to Cuba? After nearly 30 years, still only 4 million?

  • Where would they stay? ….just saying

  • Well, I can’t argue with the obese part. ….I can’t really understand that. Here’s a true and funny story. The Pirates of the Caribean ride had to replace the boats used in the ride because they were bottoming out. They had to be replaced with much lighter boats. Apparently the averge weight of the passengers has increased quite a bit since the ride opened up in the 70’s .

    However my 8 year old daughter would much rather experience the magic of Disney and ride its a Smal World that see a statue I’m quite sure. That’s the only reason I go

    But you may be interested to know that foreign nationals visiting Disney World World comprise between 18 percent and 22 percent of total attendance. It’s not only Yanks that go there.

  • Most of which are obese, lobotomised YANKS…………. Just saying

  • The only thing to do in cuba is go to the beach and walk around admiring old colonial buildings. The fifty-era cars are pretty cool too. But thats it

  • If the USA, land of the free, were to permit it citizens to travel freely there would be more than 4 million. Just sayin’ Jeje

  • As I noted in previous posts, there is a need at times for a little perspective. The first sentence in this post reads “Almost as a confirmation of the awesome force represented by the figure of Che Guevara, …”. So, after 27 years, 4 million visitors confirms Che Guevara as an “Awesome force”? If Disney World get 50 million visitors in a year, how do you describe Mickey Mouse?

  • Interesting to note that Disney World resort in Orlando gets 50 million visitors …. Every year!!!!!!! ….., Just saying.

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