Museo Memorial Mártires de Barbados

Las Tunas

Las Tunas' most evocative sight is in the former home of Carlos Leyva González, an Olympic fencer killed in the nation's worst terrorist atrocity: the bombing of a Cubana airliner in 1976. Individual photos of victims of the attack line the museum walls, providing poignant reminders of the fated airplane.

On October 6, 1976, Cubana de Aviación Flight 455, on its way back to Havana from Guyana, took off after a stopover in Barbados' Seawell airport. Nine minutes after clearing the runway, two bombs went off in the cabin's rear toilet causing the plane to crash into the Atlantic Ocean. All 73 people on board – 57 of whom were Cuban – were killed. The toll included the entire Cuban fencing team fresh from a clean sweep of gold medals at the Central American Championships. At the time, the tragedy of Flight 455 was the worst ever terrorist attack in the western hemisphere.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Las Tunas attractions

1. La Fuente de las Antilles

0.06 MILES

This work, first unveiled in 1977, was elemental in reviving Cuba’s sculpturing traditions and making Las Tunas its HQ. The sculpture comprises a huge…

2. Monumento Al Trabajo

0.22 MILES

The 8m-high abstract Monumento Al Trabajo by José Peláez pays cubist homage to Cuban workers.

3. Memorial Vicente García

0.37 MILES

A colonial-era structure near the eponymous park that commemorates Las Tunas' great War of Independence hero who captured the town from the Spanish in…

6. Statue of José Martí

0.49 MILES

In the central hub of Plaza Martí an inventive bronze statue of the 'apostle of Cuban independence' by Rita Longa doubles as a solar clock. It was opened…

7. Mestizaje

0.62 MILES

A multifaced representation of Cuba’s mixed races in the Parque de la India near the bus station.

8. Monumento a Alfabetización

0.78 MILES

The pencil-like Monumento a Alfabetización marks the act passed in Las Tunas on November 16, 1961, to stamp out illiteracy.