According to Dr. Martín Gutierrez, and I quote: ‘The sensation which Baracoa produces in we visitors is one of having been deceived. We think we will find an ancient place, instead of which we encounter a rejuvenated Baracoa.
We believe that as in Trinidad, we will find exciting monuments to the past… however, in Baracoa some buildings from past times still remain: the Fort of La Punta, the Matachin Fortress, the old Spanish jail of Seboruco Hill’… the plan of Baracoa is of irregular form with streets which become wider and narrower, uniting and forming small squares in which have been built the four parks which stand in the city, all of which are small and of a triangular shape.
When we arrive at the colonial part of the city via the viaduct La Farola, that monumental, majestic marvel of national architecture, passing by the Matachin Fort Municipal Museum we find the first of them.
Located in Martí Street on the corner of Ciro Frías Street. Here, construction work was begun in 1936. It was not however until 1942 that local Freemasons commissioned the park in recognition of the fact that Baracoa was the place chosen by the Apostle and it didn’t even possess a small statue with which to revere his memory.
By the end of 1943 the park was ready, but it was not until 23rd January 1944 that the bust was brought by ‘plane to our city. It was donated by the Master Mason Anselmo Aliegro Milá, and was unveiled on the 28th of that month at a well-attended ceremony. From this date onwards the city had a place where every day, and specially on 28th January, they could pay tribute to the Master. The inscriptions on the sides of the pedestal read:
‘The homeland needs sacrifices, it is an altar not a pedestal.
The homeland is the happiness of all and the sadness of all, it is neither the freehold nor the chaplaincy of anybody. These words of the maestro are symbols of his thought and actions which we, the people of Baracoa, should carry in our hearts.
Stands in Marti Street at the corner with Juración Street. It was rebuilt by the construction guild in 1947. On a pedestal stands a bust of the deputy lieutenant of the Liberating Army, Antonio de la Caridad Maceo y Grajales, from whom it takes its name. The sculpture was created by the distinguished local artist Eliseo Osorio Cordero.
Located in Maceo Street near the corner with Ciro Frías Street. This is often referred to by older people as Central Park and has been considerably changed over the course of the years.
Here we find the bust of the legendary Indian Hatuey by the prestigious artist Rita Longa, donated to a local Masonic lodge by José Bosch and unveiled on 1st April 1953 by Carlos Manuel Piñeiro y del Cueto.
Stands in Martí street at the corner with Roberto Reyes street. The bust was placed there in 1942 at the petition of a local Masonic lodge. This piece was also created by the artist Eliseo Osorio Cordero. On one of its sides it says ‘Immaculate Patriot, Gentleman, exemplary citizen’. The motive behind the inscription is to highlight the qualities of this humble, generous and unequalled patriot who came from our area.