March 21, 2019 – Christ and Open Air Military Display, Havana

Our taxi driver/tour guide made a two stops before we entered downtown Havana.  The first was to see the Christ of Havana which is situated on a hilltop that provides a good panoramic view of the city.  It is the work of the Cuban sculptor Jilma Madera, who won the commission in 1953. The statue was carved out of white Carrara marble. It is 20 metres (66 ft) high including a 3-metre (10 ft) base and weighs approximately 320 tons. The statue was built from 67 blocks of marble that had been brought from Italy after being blessed by Pope Pius XII. 

The second stop was an open air military museum at El Morro.  It features a number of static displays of aircraft and missiles that were associated with 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.  Some are replicas of the Soviet nuclear missiles stationed in Cuba which nearly brought the world to a full scale nuclear conflict.  Also on display are the remains of a CIA U2 spy plane piloted by Maj. Rudolf Anderson whose reconnaissance mission revealed the presence of Soviet missiles on the island of Cuba.  Major Anderson was the only casualty of the crisis, shot down by a Soviet-supplied surface-to-air missile on October 27, 1962.




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