There are sacred dates for the nation as a result of their history, the symbolism of actions associated to them and their extraordinary contribution to the future of a society.
The 26th of July, 1953, when Fidel Castro and other revolutionaries under his leadership assailed the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Barracks, a military action was not only executed. The failure of the action was not the defeat of an ideology. It was actually germination.
The Moncada Program, which Fidel explicitly stated in his celebrated plea La Historia me Absolverá, evolved into a guideline and inspiration for the struggle of the best sons and daughters of the people, first in the feat of the Granma Yatch and then the Sierra Maestra; afterwards, a Revolution shared by millions of Cubans.
Those believing the final goal was to overthrown the tyrant were wrong. It was the spark, but Cuba needed far-reaching changes.
The Revolution started by Cespedes and was later embraced by José Martí, a several honorable men and women devoted their lives to, was not completely achieved. Fidel and the other Moncadistas gave it a definitive boost, the triumph of January 1st in 1959 was a hope-filled realization.
But this Revolution needs permanent revitalization as every challenge has its timing. Here is the essence of the much-cited Concept of Revolution, stated by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro.
The validity of the Moncada’s principles is not grounded in superficially reviewing the circumstances of that context. It is, actually, the validity of that spirit. And such spirit and essence, despite certain mistakes made in the challenging task of building a Revolution, have not been betrayed at all. The Cuban Revolution has been able to safeguarding its coherence, which rests in the ambition to conquer all justice.
It was the dream of those Cubans who assailed the Moncada Barracks back in 1953. That is the dream of those who, almost seven decades later, still defend an inclusive, democratic project: peace, justice, and prosperity for all. This is not a Revolution made of hatred and revenge. This is the Revolution of hope.
And it has not been easy. The historical and today’s enemies have aimed to undermine people’s trust in the Revolution. They have aimed to erode its popular base. They present as failure of the revolutionary process the same situations largely provoked by the aggressiveness of successive measures adopted by the U.S. administrations in collusion with the most conservative sectors of the Cuban emigration. They magnify issues while ignoring achievements. They promote hatred in both their speeches and actions.
They have aimed to trigger a social unrest that may lead to a foreign military intervention. They promote it. They have aimed to convince the world that the crisis in Cuba is systemic and self-generated. Despite so much enthusiasm before the events of recent weeks, some cannot disguise their frustration: they need more violence, they need deaths…
There is no civil unrest in Cuba, in spite of the repeated calls. They have wanted to canalize the frustration in some people and have used it to their annexationist purposes. But there is also a lot of individuals who are not deceived. Individuals who have endured shortages and decided not to give up and work every day to overcome the situation. Individuals who denounce the inhumane U.S. blockade that worsen that shortage while facing a pandemic on daily basis. And they find solutions nonetheless. Individuals who practice solidarity and want to preserve public safety. Individuals who want to live in peace dreaming about a better future as they know they are capable of building it.
They are today’s assailants of the Moncada Barracks: workers, farmers, teachers, students, physicians, artists, scientists, sportsmen, people from the countryside and townies, young people and senior citizens. This is Cuba celebrating the 26th of July. And ever after.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff