Historical Santa Clara
Santa Clara is the fifth largest city in Cuba with a population of over 210,000 people. It is the capital of the Province of Villa Clara and was founded by 138 people from only two families on July 15, 1689. As with many Cuban cities during the 17th century, it was constantly attacked and plundered by pirates. Santa Clara has had a number of names since it was founded. Its layout is clearly that of Colonial Spanish origin, having a squared design with a… plaza and a church in the center. It is conveniently located along the highway connecting Santiago de Cuba with Havana.
Santa Clara is known as the site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution. Two columns of rebels attacked the Batista forces on December 31, 1958. One was led by “Che” Guevara and the other by Camilo Cienfuegos. Guevara’s troops destroyed the Trans-Cuban railroad tracks and overturned a train sent by Batista carrying reinforcements. The victory over the city’s demoralized defenders was decisive, forcing Batista to leave Cuba and fly to the Dominican Republic. Fleeing into exile, Batista opened the way for the rebel troops to take the capital city of Havana.
From the award winning book “The Exciting Story of Cuba” by Captain Hank Bracker