Generalities on the Clandestine Struggle Museum
Located in the Loma del Intendente (Intendant’s Hill), in the The Tivoli Neighborhood in Santiago de Cuba, the Clandestine Struggle Museum was inaugurated in 1976 for the commemoration of the XX Anniversary of the armed rising of Santiago de Cuba on November 30th 1956. From the historical points of view as well as ornamental and environmental this building shows important values so it was declared National Monument in 1979. The museum exposes elements of the fight against the Batista tyranny and it stands out the role of the Santiago de Cuba City , as well as the actions carried out by the Revolutionary 26 de Julio Movement – in the cities and towns – in support to the Rebel Army. In its content figures like Frank Pais Garcia and Celia Sanchez Manduley stand, those which for their political and organizational maturity and rightness of principles, leaded the clandestine struggle . The first one was the action chief of the National 26 de Julio Movement and the second a symbol and exponent of the woman’s participation in the fight against the tyranny.
The Clandestine Struggle Museum and its Architecture
The house that today occupies the Clandestine Struggle Museum was built with a pre Baroque style in the first half of the XIX Century, between 1813 and 1824. Among the years 1951 and 1956 the property suffered modifications, in order to be transformed into National Police Station, which was assaulted and set on fire on November 30th 1956. In this action, due to the flames, the house lost all its timber and constructive style, although it conserved in its structure some masonry walls and on those the Museum was constructed. The restoration project and reconstruction was directed by the architect Walter Betancourt. It has two stories in which its four permanent exhibited rooms, offices, a living room for activities are distributed and a wide and beautiful patio, in which, actions of political-cultural character are developed.
Particularities of the Clandestine Struggle Museum
In the permanent exhibition, objects of incalculable value, belongings and documents of important personalities that played a primordial role in the changes of the secret fight in Santiago de Cuba and other towns are exposed. Example of this is the shroud used by Frank Pais Garcia in the decisive meeting made in the Sierra Maestra Mountains between the direction of the Rebel Army and the main leaders of the secret movement on February of 1957. Other objects of special interest are: the shirt and pant of Josue Pais Garcia and the tie and pant of Salvador Pascual Salcedo, dead in unequal combat with the Batista police on June 30 1957 next to Floro Vistel Somodevilla. Funds of different values emitted by the movement can be observed, so much in Cuba as abroad. Also, medicines, medical instrumental and other articles can be noticed that would be sent to the Sierra Maestra Mountains.
Clandestine Struggle Museum and its Exhibition Rooms
The 1st room of the Clandestine Struggle Museum is located in the lower plant. In there, documents, pictures, weapons, war crafts, personal and other objects are exposed, which make reference to the thought and revolutionary action of Frank Pais in the organization and development of the secret apparatus in the cities. Here a historical connection is evident between the assault to the Moncada Barracks on July 26th, 1953 until the armed rising on November 30th 1956. In the 2nd room the facts of the Granma Yacht arriving is exhibited until the manifestation of the mothers by the Santiago streets, which was organized by Vilma Espin Guillois in protest for the murder of revolutionary youths in the final days of December ,1956. In the 3rd room Frank’s País political thought is out in the open from the first months of 1957 until his murder. This martyr approaches in his letters the reorganization of the Movement and of its chiefs, with the purpose of strengthening it. The last room makes reference to the work carried out by Rene Ramos Latour, alias Daniel, who by decision of the 26 de Julio Movement substituted Frank Pais and gave continuity to the action plans and sabotages projected by this.
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