Cuba: Day 5

11 February 2007

Urban sketching in Cuba.


Birthplace of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, leader of the first Cuban revolution. One morning in 1868, he rang the slave bell on his farm as usual, to tell the slaves that it was time for work. As they stood before him waiting for orders, Céspedes announced they were all free men, and called upon them to join him and his fellow rebels in the war against colonial Spain.

The Cuban national anthem begins:
“Hasten to battle, men of Bayamo, For the Fatherland looks proudly upon you.”

Bayamo: General García, the main shopping street

Somewhere on the road between Bayamo and Camagüey

Few cars, and almost no public transport. Hitchhikers like the road. The US embargo on trade with Cuba means that there is a desperate shortage of petrol. Cuba’s solution is government-organised hitchhiking. There are places along the road where you go to wait, and government employees (the “yellow people”) stop any passing traffic to find out where it’s going, and if it’s going where you want to get to, everyone piles in.