CIRO REDONDO
CIEGO DE AVILA REGION
ECUADOR
ORLANDO GONZALEZ RAMIREZ
VENEZUELA
ECUADOR
ORLANDO GONZALEZ RAMIREZ
VENEZUELA
Like many of the sugar mills in Cuba, the mill previously known as Moron was renamed Ciro
Redondo after a revolutionary.   Ciro Redondo Garcia (born 9 December 1931) was one of the 135
men who participated in attack on the Moncada Barracks in July 1953 – an event widely held to
mark the start of the Cuban revolution.   Most of the rebels were killed or captured and Redondo
was sentenced to serve ten years in the prison on Isla Pinos but was released under the general
amnesty of May 1955.

Immediately after being released Ciro Redondo was exiled to Mexico and on 2 December  1956 he
was one of 82 men, led by Fidel Castro,  who boarded the yacht Granma for the purpose of landing
in Cuba and starting the guerrilla war against General Baptista.  He fought in the Sierra Maestra
and several other major battles, rising to the rank of lieutenant, before eventually being killed on
29 November 1957 during an ambush at the battle of Mal Verde.   His remains are preserved in the
Mausoleum of Martyrs in the Cuban town of Artemis.  
Alco 2-8-0 No.1826 (built 1921
stands at the head of a molasses
train on the Ciro Redondo system
in March 1996
In the days before sat-navs and
Google Earth, and in the absence
of decent road maps, navigation
around Cuba was largely done
using copies of the Atlas de Cuba -
an atlas given to every senior
school student in the country and
occasionally to be found in second
hand book stores in Havana or
Santa Clara.  Often it was a case
of spotting a smoking mill chimney
and heading for it.  With such a
chimney in the background
No.1826 sets off for the FCC with
a train of molasses hoppers.
No.1826 getting underway and
crossing the road which bisected
the mill yard.  Few crossings had
gates or barriers - even on the
motorway - and cars were
expected to exercise suitable
caution and give way to
approaching trains.
A second visit to Ciro Redondo in
April 1997 found most work to be in
the hands of Baldwin 2-8-0
No.1832 built in 1920.  Once again
the train is of hopper wagons rather
than sugar cane and may well be
refined sugar or molasses.
No.1832 shunting in the yard at
Ciro Redondo.  The longevity of
the locomotives in Cuba was
remarkable given the somewhat
limited resources available to most
mills and the unavailability of
spare parts due to trade
embargoes.  No.1832 was 77 years
old at the time of this picture
(1997) and there were several
engines which were still working
over 100 years after they were first
built.
Map of Ciro Redondo system
A very friendly armed guard!
No.1832 outside the yard at Ciro
Redondo.  The somewhat
forbidding flats in the rear of the
picture bear testament to the
Soviet influence in Cuba during the
period from 1960's to the late
1980's.
Not all of the sugar mills in Cuba
were open each year.  In 1998 the
mill at Venezuela was not
operating and cane was being
brought to Ciro Redondo for
processing.  

Here Baldwin 2-8-0 No.1829 waits
for No.1741 as it returns to
Venezuela with its additional
water tank and a caboose.
Baldwin 2-8-0 No.1741 heads
back to Venezuela mill
Baldwin 2-8-0 No.1834 (built
1919) stands in the yard at Ciro
Redondo.
 
Another hopper train - this time
behind No.1834 just beyond the
yard at Ciro Redondo
Baldwin 2-8-0 No.1829 crosses the
Ciego De Avila to Moron road with
a loaded train of cane wagons
The imposing sign at the nearby
town of Moron provided an
irresistible photographic
opportunity.  Yours truly poses at
the only town to be named in his
honour!
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