Although widely seen as a symbol of the Revolution, the star-shaped Memorial José Martí had been in the pipeline since 1926 and was completed a year before the Revolution began. Its 139m marble super-steeple is even more impressive when you glance up to the seemingly tiny crown-like turret, constantly circled by a dark swirl of birds. Near the base sits a 17m sculpture of Martí, the eloquent journalist, poet and independence fighter who missed his chance to be Cuba’s first populist president by dying in his first ever battle against the Spanish on April 11, 1895. Carved from elephantine cubes of white marble, the immense monument captures Martí hunched forward in reflective pose.

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