Fidel pays tribute to the 26th of July martyrs in Artemisa

WITH his khaki shirt of 1,000 battles, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz paid tribute last Saturday morning to the martyrs of the 26th of July at the mausoleum to their honor in Artemisa, Habana province.

Accompanied by Commanders of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés Menéndez and Guillermo García Frías; Ramón Pez Ferro and Gelasio Fernández, combatants from Artemisa in the assault on the Moncada Garrison; and other invited guests, the leader of the Revolution evoked countless memories of preparations for and the heroic action on July 26, 1953, and particularly emphasized the huge contribution of the Artemisa combatants.

He recalled the valiant spirit of those young men and noted, “If something really enthused me it was to see how revolutionary the students here were. They were the most combative in Cuba.”

Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdez and Pez Ferro related various anecdotes of the Artemisa combatants and the manner in which they joined the revolutionary movement.

On analyzing the events of the Moncada assault from leaving the Siboney Farmhouse until their retreat, Fidel affirmed that there was no doubt as to that plan’s potential success. “I would do it again exactly the same way. Only I wouldn’t take any notice of any Cossack guard,” he said, recalling the unforeseen detail that led to the failure of the factor of surprise.

In a conversation with Maribel Martínez, director of the Mausoleum, Fidel asked about the characteristics of the building and when the remains of the five combatants from Artemisa as yet not in the Mausoleum would be transferred there to rest alongside the 20 who died.

In an emotive moment, Fidel paid tribute to the combatants before the niches holding their remains and placed flowers there.

He then greeted the many people from Artemisa who had arrived there on hearing of his visit, who applauded and cheered him.

He also talked with the secretary of the Communist Party and the president of the municipal government and asked about the progress of guava, mango and sugar cane cultivation.

He also commented on news items revealing the environmental disaster being experienced by humanity.

At the end of the emotive meeting with his compañeros of so many revolutionary battles, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro read out his message to the revolutionary combatants of Artemisa and all of Cuba.

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