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Cinco Palmas, an encounter with history

Published: 2018.01.03 - 15:23:18   /  /  Dra. Ana Teresa Badía Valdés  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Cinco Palmas, an encounter with historyCinco Palmas is a town in the Media Luna municipality in Granma province. On December 18, 1956, there was a meeting between the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and the president of the Councils of State and Ministers Raúl Castro. How many rifles do you bring? Asks Fidel, to which Raúl answers: five, and two that I have are seven! Now we win the war!

That night, the group headed by Fidel contacted Raúl's at the El Salvador farm in Mongo Pérez, located in a place in Purial de Vicana, which is known as Cinco Palmas. This meeting point was previously chosen by the organizers of the Granma yacht landing on December 2, in order to group and organize the expedition members before their departure to the Sierra Maestra. The geography locates it to scarcely thirty or forty kilometers away from the place of landing.

The authors Eugenio Suárez Pérez and Acela Caner Román (2006), in their book Fidel: de Cinco Palmas a Santiago published by Verde Olivo Publishing House, point out that the morning of that day began quietly for Fidel who arrived at the guerrilla camp, under the palms and between the reeds. In the early hours of that morning, he approached Primitivo Pérez, who lived and worked on the farm, and who brought a leather wallet to Fidel. Inside was Raúl's Mexican driver's license.

- My brother! Fidel exclaimed with joy when he saw the document. Where is he?

Then they explained that a neighbor had brought the wallet. It had been delivered by a man who identified himself as Raúl Castro.

Fidel then suggested: "Look," he tells Primitivo, "I'm going to give you the names of the foreigners who came with us. There is an Argentine called Ernesto Guevara, and they call him Che; another, Dominican, who is called Mejía and they call him Pichirilo. Then he wrote the names and nicknames on a piece of paper.

-You learn these names, and you come back, and you ask him to tell you the names and nicknames. If he tells you all well, that is Raúl.

Shortly after noon, the man returned smiling, with the news that the person had answered the questions correctly. There was no doubt that it was Raúl.

At midnight, at last, with palm trees on the background, the two brothers embraced. The night passed in endless conversation.

The encounter of Cinco Palmas in history documents

In the Key Report to the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), on December 17, 1975, it was pointed out that: "With seven weapons, the conflict began again in the Sierra Maestra and after two years the army of the tyranny, supposedly invincible, had been liquidated and the victorious people wielded the 80 thousand rifles that one day were wielded against the nation."

Also, in the closing speech of the X Ordinary Period of Sessions of the Third Legislature of the National Assembly of the People’s Power, held at the Convention Center, on December 27, 1991, Fidel said, "When we were walking through some cane fields with few rifles, or Raúl and I met in Cinco Palmas, what we had gathered were seven weapons, nothing more, seven weapons! If we were to count the bullets and the weapons that we had against all that army that had tanks, planes, millions and had everything, what? We could have been discouraged."

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