Since January 1959, when Batista was finally ousted and replaced by Castro’s revolutionary government, the Latino riders of Cuba, calling themselves Harlistas, overcome the difficulties of maintaining their Harleys, repairing and re-fabricating the parts that they can’t import because of the U.S. blockade. This weekend, during 3 days, the Cuban Harlistas across the country are gathering in the beach resort of Varadero for their First National Meeting Of Harley-Davidson, showing their motorcycles and experiencing in group the camaraderie of the open road.
How many Harleys on the island? Between the ones belonging to individuals and those used by the Army and the Police there was about one 1000 Harleys in Cuba before the revolution. Harleys were imported for the 1st time iin 1920 and later became the official motorcycles of the Cuban Police. Today, according to the National Register of Vehicles in Cuba, there are about 300 classic Harley-Davidsons registered with observers listing about 80 to 100 still in working condition. This weekend inaugural meeting is to unify Harlistas and lo promote the care and conservation of their pre-60’s classic motorcycles. (pictures @ cubanharlistas.com)