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Fidel Castro: When they have to take us to the grave, so many people will gather again as today

Published: 2017.12.01 - 21:25:11   /  /  Dra. Ana Teresa Badía Valdés  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Almost a thousand kilometers and twelve provinces of flowers and memories. On November 30, a year ago, the transfer of the ashes of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro began, a journey that recalled The Caravan of Freedom in January 1959 as far as the province of Santiago de Cuba.

Many remembered the speech delivered by the Commander on his arrival in Havana, in Ciudad Libertad, on January 8, 1959 when he said: "The important thing, or what I need to tell you, is that I believe that the acts of the people from Havana today, the crowds today, that crowd of kilometers long - because this has been amazing, you saw it; it will appear in the movies, in the photographs-, I believe that, sincerely, it has been an exaggeration of the people, because it is much more than what we deserve (EXCLAMATIONS OF: "No!"). I know, moreover, that we will never again witness such a crowd in our lives, except on another occasion in which I am sure that the crowds are going to gather again-and it is the day we die, because we, when they have to take us to the grave, that day, so many people will gather again as today, because we will never disappoint our people!"

And the people returned to the streets in farewell to the eternal Fidel. The homage had begun on the 28th at the "José Martí" Memorial. From that day in each locality, tribute was paid and the oath was signed to fulfill the concept of Revolution, which was expressed by the historic leader on May 1, 2000.

Nearly thirty world leaders, including 15 presidents from Latin America and Africa, attended the funeral. Amongst the dignitaries who came to the largest island of the Antilles were Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro, Bolivian Evo Morales, Ecuadorian Rafael Correa, Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega, Colombian Juan Manuel Santos, Panamanian Juan Carlos Varela and Mexican Enrique Peña Nieto. King Emeritus Juan Carlos I of Spain attended on behalf of his son King Philip VI. The presidents of South Africa, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, and Namibia also traveled to Cuba, as well as the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsípras.

On November 29, the Plaza de la Revolución "José Martí" became immense, as was the endless tribute in the following days along the Carretera Central, on which images were drawn that I will never forget.

An encounter of generations, farmers in secluded corners bowing before the passage of the caravan, tears of the humble, pain of the most genuine inhabitants of Cuba.

The spontaneity was inevitable before the passage of an essential part of the history of this archipelago. Havana, the most intense crying; Matanzas, the poet Carilda Oliver Labra there; Cienfuegos, majestic in the mournful night; Camagüey, immense in its geography without spaces for forgetting; Granma, felt in its mountains with the flags of the sovereign star; Santiago de Cuba, always Santiago, the destination, the feats and the burial ceremony on December 4 in the cemetery of "Santa Ifigenia", a site from where Fidel continues accompanying the great work.

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