Struggle and legacy of Camilo Cienfuegos, hero of the Cuban people | News


The 90th anniversary of the birth of Commander Camilo Cienfuegos arrives in 2022, when evoking him once again encourages his compatriots with the springs of a closeness that neither death nor time have been able to blur.


Commander Camilo Cienfuegos: 62 years after his physical disappearance

Camilo Cienfuegos came into the world on February 6, 1932 in the capital neighborhood of Lawton, later to become one of the legends of Cuban history.

If you are in Cuba and want to know about Camilo Cienfuegos, your quest will be easy, because any Cuban you meet will tell you at least one of the many stories starring the man with the wide-brimmed hat.

The man from Havana, known for his wide smile, was one of those men of the people, whose charisma allowed him to win the sympathy of even the most recalcitrant and whose jokes managed to amuse even the most serious.

But, in addition, his convictions and his power to convince made him one of the most beloved leaders during the revolutionary process that led the Caribbean island to its definitive independence in 1959.

Camilo Cienfuegos is a top figure in the history of Cuba

After completing basic studies, Camilo managed to enter the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts, where he attended during the first semester, but then had to leave due to financial problems.

After venturing into working life, by 1948 he was already participating in the popular protests against the governments in power on the Island, and in 1954 he joined the fight against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, for which he was forced into exile.

He traveled to the United States when he was only 21 years old, seeking protection and better economic opportunities for his family, but in 1955 he was deported to Cuba, where he once again became involved in popular struggles, this time in the student sector.

Once again in exile, Camilo linked up with the revolutionary opposition in New York and when he learned of the undertaking that Fidel and other revolutionaries were proposing, he decided to travel to Mexico.

Mexico, 1956, the Granma yacht sets sail for the Cuban coast with 82 passengers on board, to wage what they foresee will be the last national liberation struggle. Camilo was traveling in that group.

As was to be expected in a clandestine project of such characteristics, it was not easy for him to be accepted by the future expeditionaries, since he had not been sent by any cell of the July 26 Movement.

Once in Cuba, he joined Column 1 José Martí under the command of Fidel Castro, and little by little he stood out, especially in the attack on the La Plata barracks and five days later in Arroyo del Infierno.

This meant that in 1957 Camilo was promoted to lieutenant and received command of the vanguard.

When the high command of the Rebel Army decided to extend the war to other territories, Camilo was given the responsibility of leading a platoon in the Cauto River area on March 21, 1958, becoming the first guerrilla leader to fight the army of the tyranny. outside the natural setting of the Sierra Maestra.

On April 16, 1958, the Lord of the Vanguard, as Che baptized him, was promoted to Commander and promoted to head of Column 2 Antonio Maceo to operate in the triangle whose vertices were located in the cities of Bayamo, Manzanillo and Victoria. from Las Tunas,

Then would come the last phase of the war, in which Camilo would be an essential figure in the Rebel Army, reediting, together with Che, the campaign from East to West starring Antonio Maceo during the War of Independence in the 19th century.

He had to lead his troops throughout the Island until they reached the westernmost point, Pinar del Río, to gain control of the entire country and complete the emancipation process.

The revolutionary guerrilla strategy bore the expected results and by January 1, 1959, Cuba was free from imperialism. Given the role that Camilo played during the war, his role within the revolutionary government was guaranteed.

Faced with Batista’s flight and the attempt to establish a new government, Camilo received the order to march quickly towards Havana and take the maximum strength of the tyranny: the Columbia Camp, headquarters of the Army General Staff, a mission that he fulfilled on the 2 January 1959. Immediately after the victory, on January 20, 1959, he became the Chief of Staff of the Rebel Army.

When commemorating the sixth anniversary of the assault on the Moncada Barracks, Camilo led the great cavalry march of the invading column that he had led during the War of Liberation.

His unfortunate and premature death, shrouded in mystery, was a heavy blow to the nascent government and the enthusiastic people, on whose sympathy he counted.

The mission to arrest the traitor Hubert Matos would be the last carried out by the charismatic popular leader, because upon his return from the province of Camagüey, the plane in which he was traveling disappeared in the midst of adverse weather conditions and his remains still to this day today they have not been found.

Camilo Cienfuegos’ relationship with Fidel Castro was always very close,

This is demonstrated by his historic phrase against “Fidel not even in a ball game”, when he was questioned by journalists at a baseball game. / Photo: Cubadebate

Camilo is one of the few who could play tricks on Che, he is the man Fidel asked for advice in that historic act in which the phrase was immortalized: Am I doing well, Camilo? good Fidel!

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