Santa Clara (sänˈtä kläˈrä) [key], city (1994 est. pop. 217,000), capital of Villa Clara prov., central Cuba. It is a communications and commercial center located on major rail and highway junctions; it also has an airport. Cattle raising was the traditional industry until the 19th cent., when sugarcane became important. Tobacco processing and trading are carried on there. Santa Clara was founded in 1689. It was captured by guerrilla forces in late 1958 during Fidel Castro's revolution against Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar.
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