Moncada Barracks


In the city of Santiago de Cuba stands the Moncada Barracks which was a military barracks. Named after General Guillermón Moncada, a hero of the War of Independence, this military camp was the site of an attack on July 26, 1953. The attack on the barracks was led by the infamous Fidel Castro who started the Cuban Revolution. In his effort to overthrow Fulgencio Batista, Castro sparked many attacks at his dictatorship, until in 1959 he and his men toppled the dictator.

Moncada Barracks was the most influential and second largest barracks controlled by Fulgencio Batista. The day when Moncada Barracks was attacked is celebrated as one of the most significant national holiday in Cuba. This celebration occurs July 25-27, with colorful parades while Fidel Castro addresses the large gathering with his spectacular and vibrant speeches. The barracks today houses a school and the museum for you to view the displays of the attack. Visit the unique settings of the barracks to see the actual bullet holes that riddle the building and stands as a reminder of the era that lead to Cuba’s independence.

© by Mark Scott Johnson

Explore the Moncada Museum for a small fee then view the amazing displays. If you want to take pictures or video the exhibits there is an addition cost. Nevertheless you will be taken on a guided tour to admire and learn about Cuba’s revolutionary era. The museum is perfectly laid-out with displays representing each aspect of the attack. Mostly emphasizing on the attack of Moncada Barracks you will see on display weapons and uniforms used in the war. Amazingly on display too are one of Fidel’s business cards and a scale model of the Granma which is heavily guarded.

Moncada Barracks,Santiago de Cuba, Cuba © by Adam Jones, Ph.D.

You simply can’t rush learning about Cuba, explore the island’s vibrant history by visiting the Moncada Barracks to discover what they did not teach you in school.