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Preserved equipment from the sugar plantation where Cuba’s wars of independence began. (visitecuba.org)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, 7 February 2018 — La Demajagua National Park, the farm in eastern Cuba where the wars of independence began in 1868, is being refurbished to improve its facilities, gardens and access roads, with the incorporation of new symbolic elements.

Located in Granma province, the farm was declared a national monument in 1978 and will be refurbished on the occasion of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the struggles for island’s  independence, the official newspaper Granma reported on Tuesday.

The renovation includes three new facilities, the reconstruction and expansion of the access road and the improvement of the patrimonial complex with “allegorical components” such as ten royal palms as a reference to the date, the 10th of October, on which the revolt began, and a lighting system with the colors of the Cuban flag (white, blue and red).

A “mount” of twelve flags will also be added in memory of the number of men who stayed with independence hero Carlos Manuel de Céspedes after the failure of the first military clash, the capture of the town of Yara, according to La Demajagua’s director, Carlos Céspedes, speaking to Granma.

All the improvements and the new features “will respect the patrimonial design dictated by the existing museum,” he added.

La Demajagua was a sugar plantation belonging to Céspedes who is considered Cuba’s “Father of the Nation.”  The ruins of the sugar mill and the curved stone wall are preserved, along with the original bell, which is the one the pro-independence hero rang the day the uprising began.

On that date, which marked the beginning of the Ten Years War against Spain, Céspedes shouted the island’s first pro-independence proclamation — “Independence or Death!” — and also freed his slaves.

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