Reflections by the Commander in Chief
Viva Cuba libre! (Long live free
I would never have imagined I’d be hearing
those words 139 years later, coming from the mouth of a president of the
On the contrary, a Spanish warship drew
near the coast and with its guns destroyed the small sugar mill where Carlos
Manuel de Céspedes declared the independence of
Lincoln, son of a poor woodcutter, fought all his life against slavery which was legal in his country almost a hundred years after the Declaration of Independence. Clinging to the just idea that all citizens are born free and equal, making use of his legal and constitutional rights, he declared the abolition of slavery. Countless numbers of combatants gave their lives defending this idea against the rebel slave states in the south of the country.
He died by an assassin’s bullet when, unbeatable at the polls, he was running for a second term as president.
I am not forgetting that tomorrow on Sunday, it will be the 48th anniversary of Camilo Cienfuegos' disappearance at sea, on October 28, 1959, as he was returning to Havana in a light aircraft from Camaguey Province, where days earlier just his presence unarmed a garrison of simple Rebel Army soldiers whose superiors, of a bourgeois ideology, were attempting to do what almost half a century later Bush is demanding: rise up in arms against the Revolution.
Che, in a wonderful introduction to his book Guerrilla Warfare, states: “Camilo was the comrade of a 100 battles…the selfless combatant who always made sacrifice an instrument with which to temper his character and to forge that of the troops...it was he who gave this written armature here presented the essential vitality of his personality, of his intelligence and of his audacity, something which can be achieved in such exact proportions only in a very few personages in history.”
“Who killed him?”
“We might better wonder: who wiped out his physical being? Because the lives of men such as he, live on in the people...The enemy killed him, they killed him because they wished for his death, they killed him because there are no safe planes, because pilots cannot have all the experience they need, because, overburdened with work, he wanted to reach Havana in a few short hours…in his guerrilla mentality there could be no impediment to hold back or distort a line which had been drafted…Camilo and the other Camilos (those who didn’t arrive and those yet to come) are the indicators of the strength of the people, they are the highest expression of what a nation may give, at the ready to defend its purest ideals and with its faith anchored in the securing of its noblest goals.”
For all the symbolism in their names, we reply to the false Mambí:
Long live Che!
Long live Camilo!
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 27, 2007