Wednesday, January 09, 2008


When Cuba was Reborn

One week took the guerrilla caravan led by Fidel Castro to get from the Sierra Maestra mountains to Havana, where an apotheosis awaited the victors along each city, village and town those first days of 1959.
The New Year brought dawn on people who had lived in fear, anger and discontent for so long.
It was Havana´s turn on January 8, 49 years to date, to receive the bearded heros. The capital was like an expectant sweetheart, bathed in the light of a warm January morning, filled to the brims of joyful and boastful people waving flags, posters or just their hands.
The man known to some but stranger to most, was at the front of his men, on a jeep at times and on armoured vehicles, but never hidden, visible and stretching hands of thousands who greeted him by his name, Fidel.
From the start, his fearless and friendly attitude had a personal impact on people who watched in awe. He rejected going to Batista´s fortress of Columbia by helicopter, he felt disgusted when he stopped at the Presidential Palace and without the help of soldiers asked the crowd to open the way so he could continue.
To top the day, the rally in Columbia where he spoke of how difficult it would be from then on, as opposition would come from inside and outside the country. He turned to the second most loved officer in his army, Camilo Cienfuegos, to whom he asked, “How am I going, Camilo?” and a white pigeon nested on his shoulder, to forever become an icon.
Young and old Cubans present that day have carried that image with them for almost half a century.
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