Just 10 minutes away from Havana lies a quiet resort town of Tarara, and in it a villa to which Ernesto “Che” Guevara retreated following months of warfare against Fulgencio Batista.
Guevara suffered from asthma, and breezy coastal air of Tarara provided a haven for his lungs, as well as late night meetings with his comrades.
Guevara and his wife, Aleida March, stayed in the house for two months to recuperate, and briefly returned to it a short while later for their honeymoon.
The house in which the couple stayed has since been used for various reasons, from housing Soviet officials during the Cold War to providing medical treatment for the Soviet children affected by the Chernobyl disaster.
Today, though, the house is a kitesurfing hub, with many foreigners trying to put Tarara on the water sports map of the world.
“There’s very big potential for kitesurfing in Cuba, but especially here in Tarara,” says Matteo Gatti, a 40-something Italian national who is leading the kitesurfing enthusiasts in Tarara. “We want to make this a sports village where people come to do kitesurfing, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, yoga and cycling.”
“During the hurricane season in Cuba, there is a very good side-on wind and the beaches are empty,” says Gatti. “By day you can kitesurf and at night you can go dancing, go to restaurants or see a concert because Havana is just 10 minutes away. They’re perfect conditions.”
Gatti managed to get all the local permits to run his Havana Kitesurf Club. “We have this permission from the government because I use Cuban people, Cuban instructors.”
“We’re organising an international kitesurfing competition here next year,” concluded Gatti enthusiastically.
We can’t help but wonder what Che would think of all the changes currently affecting not only his honeymoon villa but all of Cuba in general.