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For the Cuban band,see Sierra Maestra (band).
Sierra Maestra is located in Cuba1
Location of Sierra Maestra in Cuba

Sierra Maestra is a mountain range that runs westward across the south of the old Oriente Province from what is now Guantánamo Province to Niquero [1] in southeast Cuba, rising abruptly from the coast. Some view it as a series of connecting ranges (Vela, Santa Catalina, Quemado Grande, Daña Mariana)[2], which joins with others extending to the west. [3] [4] [5][6][7] The Sierra Maestra is the highest system of Cuba. It is rich in minerals, especially copper, manganese, chromium, and iron. At 6,650 ft (1,999 m), Pico Turquino is the range's highest point.



Sierra Maestra
Pico Torquino in the Sierra Maestra, Cuba's highest mountain, 1974 meters

Cuba rides on a separate tectonic plate, which originally was in the Pacific Ocean but (after crossing between the then separated Americas) crashed into Florida. This along with several other violent events (including volcanic activity, the crash of the comet Chicxulub, and earthquakes the Sierra Maestra is immediately north of the Bartlett Deep, or Cayman Trench on the main Caribbean Plate) fractured huge slabs of rocks. Enormous tsunamis presumably from the volcanoes on the Canary Islands carved great steps on the coast. All this caused emergence of these mountains in a complex process that included lifting up of now cave-ridden calcareous deposits, and the development of the Bartlett Deep or Cayman Trough. Originally heavily forested and divided by deep river valleys, volcanic dykes, and impassable karst areas, its steep valleys and abrupt fault lines make it an ideal terrain for rebellion.


The Sierra Maestra has a long history of guerrilla warfare. Starting with the resistance of the Tainos under Guamá, the Cimarrón Neo-Taíno nations escaped slave cultures, and the Ten Years' War and the Cuban War of Independence. And various minor conflicts such as the Race War of 1912, and Antonio Guiteras's uprisings against Gerardo Machado and Fulgencio Batista. After Fidel Castro returned to Cuba from exile in Mexico, he and the few other survivors from the failed attack on Moncada Barracks hid out in Sierra Maestra. They were able to expand the 26th of July Movement, starting a revolution throughout the region. They built up guerrilla columns, and in collaboration with other groups in the central provinces, Escopeteros on the foot hills and plains, and the urban resistance, eventually overthrew Fulgencio Batista.

See also


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External links

Coordinates: 20°00′N 76°45′W / 20°N 76.75°W / 20; -76.75

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