Sierra Maestra (syāˈrä mäāˈsträ) [key], rugged mountain range, SE Cuba, rising abruptly from the coast. Consisting of connecting ranges with local names, the Sierra Maestra is the highest system of Cuba. It is rich in minerals, especially copper, manganese, chromium, and iron. Pico Turquino (6,560 ft/1,999 m) is the highest point. In the 1950s Fidel Castro had his base of operations in the mountains.