En este momento estás viendo Cuba: On that December 31, 1967, we were in honor of Che

Cuba: On that December 31, 1967, we were in honor of Che

We were still weeping for his capture and vile assassination in those unfortunate days of October 1967, the autumn that became so sad not only for the Cubans but for all humanity, that so poor of redemption fixed its early hopes in Ernesto Guevara, Che.

He held managerial responsibilities in State Security.

Ramio Valdés Ménendez, an artemisa residen with a chaika on his head, who preceded him much earlier in the struggle, was forged at Che’s side in the mountains since 1957 as second in command of Column 4.

That was a number to mislead because it would really be the second column of the Rebel Army and it would become Column 8 in August 1958, during the stoic invasion to the center of the country recalling the once courageous and heroic of the Bronze Titan, Antonio Maceo.

We were summoned to commemorate Che only as he preached, working, giving an example of first and voluntarily. Commander Ramiro Valdes, precursor of the organs of the Security of Cuba and already then his Minister of the Interior, so rough, quiet and modest, conceived to honor him.

Always at the height of the perennial sacrifice and dedication without limits to the cause of the Heroic Guerrilla member, with that of the productive sweat that he had only two months before, he shoveled in epic blood, we waited the last night and the first day of the new year planting coffee.

This was in the farm of the Ministry of the Interior (Minint) 4 de Abril, in the surroundings of Güira de Melena, imitating the example of Ernesto Guevara as the founder of productive and voluntary work in revolutionary Cuba.

And thus, like Nicolás Guillén’s homeric verse dedicated to another great, Camilo Cienfuegos -of a hundred fires-, we made valid the saying that a dead man never rests, when he is a dead man full of life.


We not only revived it in the fields of the capital, but throughout the country with the combatants of the MININT at the forefront and others joined in, as happened in almost all the provinces.

The work began in the morning light of December 31, it was going to end in the afternoon but it was extended with lanterns.

Commander Ramirito -as named by Fidel and Che-, summoned and continued, only with his exhortation example, first, until the advent of the new year at 12 midnight, without grapes and even less drinks worth his inveterate abstemiousness, accompanied only with the verses of the bayamesa innovated in the national anthem.

And then, some less, we continued until the dawn of another luminous January 1st, the eighth since the victorious laurel.

This is how simple and great everything happened, precisely by following Che’s indissoluble traces, synthesized in his farewell letter, and which could well be paraphrased for him as well:

Proud to have followed you without hesitation and identified, also, with your way of thinking and appreciating dangers and principles.

On that December 31, 1967, we honored Che.

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