Havana’s La Cabaña Fortress Inside/Out

cabana2Photo Feature by Caridad

HAVANA TIMES – Although I took these pictures several years ago several have not been published in HT.  The La Cabaña fortress, overlooking Havana Bay, is in my opinion, a very interesting place to take photos, not only in it, but from it.

cabana-1Whoever wants to shoot the Havana coastline and downtown, only needs to climb up on one of the fortress walls, preferably in the late afternoon.

Book Fairs, Art Biennials, concerts and even meetings of those writing for Havana Times, have served as a pretext or opportunity for most of these photos.

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For those who have never visited Havana or haven’t for a long time, I hope this motivates you to go up to La Cabaña to admire the city.

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery. On your PC or laptop, you can use the directional arrows on the keyboard to move within the gallery. On cell phones use the keys on the screen.


8 thoughts on “Havana’s La Cabaña Fortress Inside/Out

  • June 7, 2013 at 10:55 am
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    It seems bootless to debate with you, since you’re always reading from the same script. Those who were NOT Batista’s hired murderers, but who were against the Revolution, generally received 30-year sentences, which would often be commuted to a lesser sentence, if they saw the error of their ways. Of course if they actively conspired to perform acts of violence (like those thugs who planted the bomb that blew up the Belgian ship, El Cobre, and then a second bomb, which blew up as the first-responders were caring for the injured and dying, then, of course, there was no mercy. In the Revolutionary Plaza there are towers topped with representations of those hats worn by the sans-culottes during the French Revolution; too bad those terrorists, when/if found, did not receive a “haircut” from the “national razor” like those traitors who betrayed the French Revolution! Like the critical period of the French Revolution, from 1790-94, when the Revolution was besieged by sympathizers of the ancien regime, already in 1959, but especially from 1960 through the mid-to-late 1960’s, the Cuban Revolution was likewise besieged by those who, if victorious, would treat the Revolutionaries even more harshly (as seen by the crushing of the Paris Commune in 1871). Hence, the Revolution was justified in taking such harsh measures!

  • June 6, 2013 at 8:03 am
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    emagicmtman wrote: “I have no sympathy for your list of thugs. Instead: “!Paredon!”

    Thank you for making explicitly clear how it is that Marxist revolutions invariably turn to mass executions and terror.

  • June 5, 2013 at 11:41 am
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    Some of the victims were indeed agents of the Batista regime. Many were mere soldiers or police rounded up as potential enemies. Some were journalists who spoke out against what they saw as the coming tyranny. Some were innocents caught up in the chaos and terror. Indeed, terror was in important purpose of the executions.

    “Soon, around eight hundred to one thousand men were being held at La Cabaña prison, housed in facilities for no more than three hundred. Kept in dire conditions, they had to take turns sleeping. The “Cleansing Commision” that was to subject them to trials began working around the clock. Ché appointed his aide, Orlando Borrego, as Presiding Judge of the Revolutionary Tribunals, although he was only 21years old and an accountant with no legal or judicial training. The operational procedure was established; appointed judges and prosecutors would meet with Ché prior to the trial to review the cases, decide on the prosecuting strategy to be followed, and pre-determine the fate (sentences) of the accused prisoners.

    At the trials, basic rules of jurisprudence were ignored and the prosecutor’s accusations were considered irrefutable proof of guilt. Although Ché was head of the revolutionary tribunals, he did not attend the trials; that was an unnecessary use of his time. José Vilasuso, who was in charge of reviewing and preparing the dockets of the accused, recounts in a filmed interview how Ché used to tell him: “The investigating officer is always right; he always has the truth.” Other subordinates in the tribunals have reported that he would admonish them: “Do not delay the proceedings. This is a revolution. Do not use bourgeois legal methods; evidence is secondary. We must proceed to convict.” Several have testified that he would lecture them along these lines incessantly: “There is no need for much inquiry to execute anyone. We only need to know if they should be executed -nothing else.” ”

    http://cubaarchive.org/home/images/stories/che-guevara_interior-pages_en_final.pdf

    None of them received a fair trail with due process. None.

  • June 5, 2013 at 8:44 am
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    From the dates listed, it is obvious that all the folks were Batista’s thugs, who murdered and tortured with impunity during their master’s regime. There are many film clips of these thugs receiving trials, where they are confronted by folks they tortured (if they were fortunate enough to survive) or members of families whose sons, brothers and husbands were murdered, and whose bodies, often horribly mutilated, were tossed by the side of the road. Their trials were fairer than those The Cuban Five received in Miami, and the Batista thugs committed real murders, unlike The Cuban Five, who were defending their country against real terrorists, the type who blow up civilian passenger airliners, and are then welcomed back to Miami as heroes. I have no sympathy for your list of thugs. Instead: “!Paredon!

  • June 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm
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    To be sure, the stone halls of La Cabaña fortress have witnessed many horrors over the years since it was built. Batista’s police used it as prison during his dictatorship and many Cubans were tortured and executed there in those years as well.

    Over looking La Cabaña is El Morro casle with it’s landmark Moorish tower. The Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas was imprisoned at El Morro for the counter-revolutionary crime of being a homosexual. Somehow Arenas managed to write a novel under the guards noses and smuggled it outside by… well, you’ll have to read his autobiography to find out how. ; )

    Isn’t it ironic that the Havana Book Fair is now held at La Cabaña?

  • June 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm
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    Thank you for clarifying the bittersweet past associated with this famous Havana location.

  • June 4, 2013 at 8:46 am
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    Yes, La Cabana is where Che ran his firing squad. Here is a list of all the people who Che had executed at La Cabana:

    Executions documented for La Cabaña Fortress prison during Che’s command (January 3 to November 26, 1959)

    1. VILAU ABREU – 7-3-59 2. HUMBERTO AGUIAR – 1959 3. GERMÁN AGUIRRE – 1959 4. PELAYO ALAYÓN – 2-59 5. JOSÉ LUIS ALFARO SIERRA – 7-1-59 6. PEDRO ALFARO – 7-25-59 7. MARIANO ALONSO – 7-1-59 8. JOSÉ ALVARO – 3-1-59 9. ALVARO ANGUIERA SUÁREZ – 1-4-59 10. ANIELLA – 1959 11. MARIO ARES POLO – 1-2-59 12. JOSÉ RAMÓN BACALLAO – 12-23-59** 13. SEVERINO BARRIOS – 12-9-59** 14. EUGENIO BÉCQUER – 9-29-59 15. FRANCISCO BÉCQUER – 7-2-59 16. RAMÓN BISCET – 7-5-59 17. ROBERTO CALZADILLA – 1959 18. EUFEMIO CANO – 4-59 19. JUAN CAPOTE FIALLO – 5-1-59 20. ANTONIO CARRALERO – 2-4-59 21. GERTRUDIS CASTELLANOS – 5-7-59 22. JOSÉ CASTAÑO QUEVEDO – 3-6-59 23. RAÚL CASTAÑO – 5-30-59 24. EUFEMIO CHALA – 12-16-59** 25. JOSÉ CHAMACE – 10-15-59 26. JOSÉ CHAMIZO – 3-59 27. RAÚL CLAUSELL – 1-28-59 28. ÁNGEL CLAUSELL – 1-18-59 29. DEMETRIO CLAUSELL – 1-2-59 30. JOSÉ CLAUSELL – 1-29-59 31. ELOY CONTRERAS 1-18-59 32. ALBERTO CORBO – 12-7-59** 33. EMILIO CRUZ PEREZ – 12-7-59** 34. ORESTES CRUZ – 1959 35. ADALBERTO CUEVAS – 7-2-59** 36. CUNI – 1959 37. ANTONIO DE BECHE – 1-5-59 38. MATEO DELGADO – 12-4-59 39. ARMANDO DELGADO – 1-29-59 40. RAMÓN DESPAIGNE – 1959 41. JOSÉ DÍAZ CABEZAS – 7-30-59 42. FIDEL DÍAZ MARQUINA – 4-9-59 43. ANTONIO DUARTE – 7-2-59 44. RAMÓN FERNÁNDEZ OJEDA – 5-29-59 45. RUDY FERNÁNDEZ – 7-30-59 46. FERRÁN ALFONSO – 1-12-59 47. SALVADOR FERRERO – 6-29-59 48. VICTOR FIGUEREDO – 1-59 49. EDUARDO FORTE – 3-20-59 50. UGARDE GALÁN – 1959 51. RAFAEL GARCÍA MUÑIZ – 1-20-59 52. ADALBERTO GARCÍA – 6-6-59 53. ALBERTO GARCÍA – 6-6-59 54. JACINTO GARCÍA – 9-8-59 55. EVELIO GASPAR – 12-4-59** 56. ARMADA GIL Y DIEZ CABEZAS – 12-4-59** 57. JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ MALAGÓN – 7-2-59 58. EVARISTO BENERIO GONZÁLEZ – 11-14-59, 59. EZEQUIEL GONZÁLEZ – 1-59 60. SECUNDINO GONZÁLEZ – 1959 61. RICARDO LUIS GRAO – 2-3-59 62. RICARDO JOSÉ GRAU – -7-59 63. OSCAR GUERRA – 3-9-59 64. JULIÁN HERNÁNDEZ – 2-9-59 65. FRANCISCO HERNÁNDEZ LEYVA – 4-15-59 66. ANTONIO HERNÁNDEZ – 2-14-59 67. GERARDO HERNÁNDEZ – 7-26-59 68. OLEGARIO HERNÁNDEZ – 4-23-59 69. SECUNDINO HERNÁNDEZ – 1-59 70. RODOLFO HERNÁNDEZ FALCÓN – 1.9.59 71. RAÚL HERRERA – 2-18-59 72. JESÚS INSUA – 7-30-59 73. ENRIQUE IZQUIERDO- 7-3-59 74. SILVINO JUNCO – 11-15-59 75. ENRIQUE LA ROSA – 1959 76. BONIFACIO LASAPARLA – 1959 77. JESÚS LAZO OTAÑO – 1959 78. ARIEL LIMA LAGO – 8-1-59 ( Minor) 79. RENE LÓPEZ VIDAL – 7-3-59 80. ARMANDO MAS – 2-17-59 81. ONERLIO MATA – 1-30-59 82. EVELIO MATA RODRIGUEZ – 2-8-59 83. ELPIDIO MEDEROS – 1-9-59 84. JOSÉ MEDINA – 5-17-59 85. JOSÉ MESA – 7-23-59 86. FIDEL MESQUÍA DIAZ – 7-11-59 87. JUAN MANUEL MILIÁN – 1959 88. JOSÉ MILIAN PÉREZ – 4-3-59 89. FRANCISCO MIRABAL – 5-29-59 90. LUIS MIRABAL – 1959 91. ERNESTO MORALES – 1959 92. PEDRO MOREJÓN – 3-59 93. DR. CARLOS MUIÑO, M.D. – 1959 94. CÉSAR NECOLARDES ROJAS – 1-7-59 95. VICTOR NECOLARDES ROJAS – 1-7-59 96. JOSÉ NUÑEZ – 3-59 97. VITERBO O’REILLY – 2-27-59 98. FÉLIX OVIEDO – 7-21-59 99. MANUEL PANEQUE – 8-16-59 100. PEDRO PEDROSO – 12-1-59** 101. DIEGO PÉREZ CUESTA – 1959 102. JUAN PÉREZ HERNANDEZ-5-29-59 103. DIEGO PÉREZ CRELA – 04-03-59 104. JOSÉ POZO – 1959 105. EMILIO PUEBLA – 4-30-59 106. ALFREDO PUPO – 5-29-59 107. SECUNDINO RAMÍREZ – 4-2-59 108. RAMÓN RAMOS – 4-23-59 109. PABLO RAVELO JR. 9-15-59 110. RUBÉN REY ALBEROLA- 2-27-59 111. MARIO RISQUELME – 1-29-59 112. FERNANDO RIVERA – 10-8-59 113. PABLO RIVERO – 5-59 114. MANUEL RODRÍGUEZ – 3-1-59 115. MARCOS RODRÍGUEZ – 7-31-59 116. NEMESIO RODRÍGUEZ – 7-30-59 117. PABLO RODRÍGUEZ – 10-1-59 118. RICARDO RODRÍGUEZ – 5-29-59 119. OLEGARIO RODRÍGUEZ FERNÁNDEZ – 4.23.59 120. JOSÉ SALDARA – 11-9-59 121. PEDRO SANTANA – 2-59 122. SERGIO SIERRA – 1-9-59 123. JUAN SILVA – 8-59 124. FAUSTO SILVA – 1-29-59 125. ELPIDIO SOLER – 11-8-59, 126. JESÚS SOSA BLANCO – 2-8-59 127. RENATO SOSA – 6-28-59 128. SERGIO SOSA – 8-20-59 129. PEDRO SOTO – 3-20-59

    130. OSCAR SUÁREZ – 4-30-59 131. RAFAEL TARRAGO – 2-18-59 132. TEODORO TELLEZ CISNEROS – 1-3-59 133. FRANCISCO TELLEZ – 1-3-59 134. JOSÉ TIN – 1-12-59 135. FRANCISCO TRAVIESO – 1959 136. LEONARDO TRUJILLO – 2-27-59 137. TRUJILLO – 1959 138. LUPE VALDÉS BARBOSA – 3-22-59 139. MARCELINO VALDÉS – 7-21-59 140. ANTONIO VALENTÍN – 3-22-59 141. MANUEL VÁZQUEZ – 3-22-59 142. SERGIO VÁZQUEZ – 5-29-59 143. VERDECIA – 1959 144. DÁMASO ZAYAS – 7-23-59 145. JOSÉ ALVARADO – 4-22-59 146. LEONARDO BARÓ – 1-12-59 147. RAÚL CONCEPCIÓN LIMA – 1959 148. ElADIO CARO – 1-4-59 149. CARPINTOR – 1959 150. CARLOS CORVO MARTÍNEZ – 1959 151. JUAN GUILLERMO COSSÍO – 1959 152. CORPORAL ORTEGA – 7-11-59 153. JUAN MANUEL PRIETO – 1959 154. ANTONIO VALDÉS MENA – 5-11-59 155. ESTEBAN LASTRA – 1-59 156. JUAN FELIPE CRUZ SERAFIN – 6-59** 157. BONIFACIO GRASSO – 7-59 158. FELICIANO ALMENARES – 12-8-59 159. ANTONIO BLANCO NAVARRO – 12-10-59** 160. ALBERTO CAROLA – 6-5-59 161. EVARISTO GUERRA – 2-8-59 162. CRISTÓBAL MARTÍNEZ – 1-16-59 163. PEDRO RODRÍGUEZ – 1-10-59 164. FRANCISCO TRUJILLO – 2-18-59

    None of these people received a fair trial with due process.

  • June 3, 2013 at 8:02 am
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    Thanks for the beautiful photos. I am no Che Guevara expert so I admit I may be wrong here, but because of his racists, elitist views and widely known poor personal hygiene, I will not bother to do the research myself, but isn’t La Cabana where he summarily executed hundreds of pro-Batista civilians after the Revolution was won. If so, these photos should evoke somewhat bittersweet remembrances for many as well.

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