Museo de Batalla de Ideas

Matanzas Province

The newest of Cárdenas' three museums offers a keenly curated if propaganda-heavy overview of the history of US–Cuban relations inspired by the case of Elián González, a boy from Cárdenas whose mother, stepfather and 11 others drowned attempting to enter the US by boat in 1999. The museum is the solid form of Castro's resulting batalla de ideas (battle of ideas) with the US government.

The displays' themes naturally center round the eight months during which Cuba and the US debated the custody of Elián – but they also include bits of a US plane shot down during the Bay of Pigs invasion, discussions on the quality of the Cuban education system and a courtyard containing busts of anti-imperialists who died for the revolutionary cause. Anchoring the show is the original cast of a statue of José Martí holding a child that now stands on Havana's Malecón.

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