The emblematic site of the Moncada Barracks is preparing to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the heroic deeds lead by Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953, and the 500th anniversary of the founding of Santiago. Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, in the midst of the prevailing excitement surrounding the visit of the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, announced on July 23 last year in Céspedes Park, that both events would be celebrated this year at the same time as the assault of 1953.
A year later and with just a month to go before the celebrations for the National Day of Rebellion (July 26), the former barracks, today a school and museum, continues to undergo maintenance works, despite the care with which its 305 employees and 2,380 students have maintained the installation since repairs were carried out for the 60th anniversary of the assault.
Marlene Muguercia Marén, director of the emblematic institution, told Granma that both externally and internally the distinctive “barrack yellow” paint is being reapplied, and where necessary repairs are being undertaken to the woodwork in line with the style of the former fortress, while the electrical system and gardens are also being tended to.
Muguercia Marén added that all works are being carried out without interrupting the educational process and other day-to-day activities, with 273 different areas having been restored since January to date, including classrooms, laboratories, offices, kitchens, dining rooms, and the entire area corresponding to the Provincial Directorate for Education.
She acknowledged the support of the Party and local government in the province, while stressing the collective participation of workers in the sector from the Santiago municipalities as well as the voluntary work of the local community to ensure everything is completed on time.
Regarding the 26 of July Historical Museum, located in the same facility, director Leydis López Sola, noted that general maintenance is also being undertaken in all the rooms, with repairs to important air conditioning equipment.
According to recent information from the architect Omar López Rodríguez, director of the City Curator’s Office, in addition to the Moncada Barracks, the Abel Santamaría Museum and Park (former Saturnino Lora Hospital), the Palace of Justice and other facilities relating to the events of 26 July, 1953, are also being prepared for the celebrations.