Punta Brava

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Punta Brava
Location of Punta Brava in relation to Havana
Location of Punta Brava in relation to Havana
Punta Brava is located in Cuba
Punta Brava
Location of Punta Brava in Cuba
Coordinates: 23°01′N 82°30′W / 23.017°N 82.500°W / 23.017; -82.500Coordinates: 23°01′N 82°30′W / 23.017°N 82.500°W / 23.017; -82.500
Country  Cuba
Province Ciudad de La Habana
Municipality La Lisa
Time zone EST (UTC-5)

Punta Brava is a small town and suburban ward (consejo popular) of Havana, Cuba, part of the municipio of La Lisa. It is located to the southwest of Havana, with a population of roughly 1500 inhabitants. It has been the site of different military encounters during Cuba's struggle for independence, and is most notable as the site where Cuban General Antonio Maceo Grajales was killed by Spanish troops in 1896. In the early 20th century, Punta Brava was known for its bee keeping and honey.[1]

Historical relevance[edit]

Ten Years' War[edit]

During the Ten Years' War, the ship formerly called the USS Hornet landed at Punta Brava loaded with ammunition for Cuban rebels, but its cargo was captured by Spanish soldiers and some of the landing party (consisting of sixty men, mostly Venezuelans) arrested.[2]

Cuban War of Independence[edit]

Punta Brava and the nearby town of Guatao were the scene of massacres during the Cuban War of Independence;[3] General Maceo died there in battle on December 7, 1896.[4][5] Fidel Castro referred to Maceo's death in Punta Brava in 1992 ("Maceo, you were not defeated the day you fell in Punta Brava");[6] on the other hand, for Castro's father, Ángel Castro y Argiz, the day Maceo died had been "one of the best and proudest days of that war," since it was his company that killed the general.[7]

The next year, Punta Brava was the site where a naked American named Kelley surrendered to the Spanish commander and was given a shirt and a pair of trousers: Kelley, who had disappeared from Havana in early April 1897, had reportedly told the insurgents that he was an expert in dynamite. They, believing he was a spy, stripped and hanged him, but the rope broke and Kelley managed to escape, naked but otherwise intact.[8]

1906 uprising[edit]

In 1906, an unsuccessful insurrection was deemed to be ended after a "negro Gen[eral] Quentin Bandera, the most daring insurgent in Havana province," was killed near Punta Brava with two "mulatto comrades all frightfully gashed by the machetes of the mounted rural guards who ended their careers."[9]

Cuban Missile Crisis[edit]

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviets reportedly built a missile site in Punta Brava.[10]


Punta Brava is located in northwestern Cuba, about 21 kilometres southwest of central Havana.[11] Nearby settlements include Machurucutu to the north, La Lisa to the east, Bauta to the southwest and the University of Information Science is to the southeast.[11]


Punta Brava lies along the Carretera Central which connects it to Central Havana and Bauta in the southwest.[11] It was connected by railway with its own station from at least 1909.[12] There are several airports in relatively close proximity to Punta Brava including Playa Baracoa Airport to the northwest.



  1. ^ Gleanings in bee culture. A. I. Root Co. 1906. p. 234. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Cuban Affairs: The Seizure of the Cargo of the Hornet etc.". The New York Times. 26 January 1871. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Merchán, Rafael María; de Quesada, Gonzalo (1896). Free Cuba: her oppression, struggle for liberty, history, and present. Publishers' union. p. 566. 
  4. ^ "Maceo Reported Killed: Said to Have Fallen in a Battle Near Punta Brava". The New York Times. 8 December 1898. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  5. ^ de Quesada, Gonzalo; Northrop, Henry Davenport (1896). The war in Cuba: being a full account of her great struggle for freedom. Liberty. pp. 563–65. 
  6. ^ Pérez, Louis A. (2005). To die in Cuba: suicide and society. UNC Press. p. 345. ISBN 978-0-8078-2937-0. 
  7. ^ Márquez-Sterling, Manuel (2009). Cuba 1952-1959: The True Story of Castro's Rise to Power. Kleiopatria. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-615-31856-1. 
  8. ^ "Kelley Alive and Free: He Was Hanged by the Cuban Insurgents, But Fell Down and Escaped". The New York Times. 22 April 1897. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Gen. Bandera, Rebel Leader, Killed in Cuba". The News-Democrat (Providence, R.I.). 22 August 1906. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Hendrix, Hal (13 November 1963). "Soviet Missilemen Beef Up Cuban Sites". The Miami News. p. 10A. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c Maps (Map). Google Maps. 
  12. ^ ROAD NOTES CUBA 1909. 1909. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  13. ^ Isphording, Bruce (5 August 1975). "Tony Pacheco: Baseball's Bouncing Man to Wear Uniform to Grave". Sarasota Journal. pp. 1–B. Retrieved 8 November 2011.