on July 15,1689 by former inhabitants of the coastal village of
San Juan de los Remedios who were getting away
from the constants raids by pirates and privateers, Santa Clara
is located in the center of the island, reason why it has been addressed
with the aboriginal name Cubanacán. Santa Clara was given
the city status in 1867.
In the 19th century, when most mills of the Cuba's western region
were equipped with steam engines and were profiting from railroad
transportation, the landowners of central Cuba, having less economical
resources, were facing great difficulties to modernize their mills.
As a consequence, the potential for development of the region of
Villa Clara decreased.
During the Ten-Year War, the patriots from Villa Clara struggled
restlessly even once the Pacto del Sanjón, a war pact signed
only by a weak fraction of the Cuban fighters, had put an end to
the war. Their attitude
contributed to the Protesta de Baraguá, response of the Cuban
patriots to the weak betraying action of signing a pact without
independence. In addition, in the war of 1895, the insurrectionist
forces of Villa Clara proved one of the most heroic. Santa Clara,
Remedios, and Camajuaní contributed a great amount of rebels
along the whole war. Relevant were Leoncio Vidal and Juan Bruno
Zayas among other brave patriots.
During the neocolonial republic, Villa Clara played an important
role in the struggles of workers in favor of reforms.
Along the revolutionary fight that preceded the triumph of the revolution
in 1959, the martyrs of Villa Clara were many. Some of them were
Julio Pino Machado, Agustín Gómez Lubián, and
The east-west invasion carried out by commanders Ernesto "Ché"
Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, achieved notable victories. During
the battle of Santa Clara, the revolutionary forces engaged in intense
combats from December 29, 1958. A group of a hundred men attacked
the entrenched enemy soldiers on the Capiro hills; the captain Roberto
Rodríguez, nicknamed "El Vaquerito" (the little
cowboy), advanced to the police station; other groups headed to
the jail, the Court of Justice, and the Gran Hotel, hiding place
of the enemy.
The capture of the armored train had a great significance because
it enriched the arsenal of the rebel forces.
The third regiment of Santa Clara surrendered on January 1st, 1959,
at a request by Commander Ernesto Guevara for unconditional surrender.