Home | About Us | Archive | Documents | Campaigns & Issues | Links | Contact Us

      And Fidel Never Betrayed His Fighters

      By Manuel Yepe*

      "Send to all our fighters in the province of Matanzas that I guarantee that Fidel will not betray them. Fidel will never betray Abel or Boris, or any Cuban revolutionary because he will carry the revolution to the end. You can feel safe! "

      Thus, in the middle of November 1958, in the city of Miami, Haydee Santamaría Cuadrado, one of the two women who participated in the failed assault on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, which started the current stage of the revolution led by Fidel Castro. The possibility that Fidel Castro betrayed us had never crossed my mind and I think there could hardly have been any Cuban fighter - in the guerrilla or clandestine struggle - who feared something like that. In any case, we were worried, in those difficult times, that some of us would be weakened by the tortures in case of capture or by the fear that could inspire us the superiority of the resources of war of the police and the army of the tyranny Against our scarce material means of combat.

      When Haydee spoke of the possibility that Fidel betrayed us, he referred to the type of felony committed by so many false "revolutionary" leaders who, after summoning the best of the youth of their countries, once triumphant, Pledges and promises in exchange for corruption such as the deposit of large bank accounts in US or European banks, turning their brave and confident followers into violent targets.

      Reprisals on the part of the ruling classes and the empire. Yeyé, as everyone called Haydee, had reasons to exert a hatred of tyranny and care to prevent the revolution from suffering the betrayal of its drivers.

      After being imprisoned when the assault on the Moncada failed, Haydee had to endure the cruelty of her bloodthirsty captors who showed her the eyes freshly extracted from her brother Abel, the second chief of the revolutionary assailant contingent on July 26, 1953, and the testicles of Her boyfriend, Boris Luis Santa Coloma, one of the young attacking patriots.

      The motive of my clandestine trip to Miami and my encounter with Yeyé, who in these days represented the Commander-in-Chief of the Rebel Army and the top leader of the July 26 Movement, Fidel Castro, was to make the final precisions for the transfer Surreptitious to Cuba of a shipment of arms for the contingents that fought in the province of Matanzas, where the column headed by the commander Camilo Cienfuegos would have to pass towards the west of the island completing the invasion that would put an end to the tyranny.

      The 26th of July Movement in the province of Matanzas had collected for this purpose, through popular donations to its local clandestine organization, about six thousand dollars, which, with the support of additional resources contributed by the organizations of the exile, In December, arrived in Cuba hidden in two vehicles ceded and driven by collaborators and volunteers. The cars traveled on the ferry that then made regular trips from Key West to the port of Havana and from there they were driven to Matanzas by clandestine fighters to be finally received by the rebels operating in rural areas of the province.

      Haydee Santamaría Cuadrado was part of a family of Revolutionary fighters of extraordinary value. His brother Abel, as already indicated, was the second chief of the contingent that began the current stage of the Cuban revolutionary wars for independence. Aldo, his other brother, was founder of the 26th of July Movement in Matanzas, reached the rank of Commander of the Rebel Army and, among other responsibilities, served as the head of the Revolutionary War Navy. Aida and Ada, their two sisters, also fought in the ranks of the armed insurrection.

      In 1953, after the assault on the Moncada barracks, when she was placed in prison for women of tyranny, Yeyé wrote to her mother as a consolation for the murder of her son Abel:

      "Abel will never fail us. He thinks that Cuba exists and Fidel is alive to make the Cuba that Abel wanted. He thinks Fidel also loves you, and that for Abel, Cuba and Fidel were the same thing, and Fidel needs you a lot. "

      That is why today, when Latin American revolutionaries and throughout the world accompany the pain of the Cuban people for the disappearance of the greatest revolutionary in the history of Cuba, I have wanted to remember another of the virtues of Fidel, his loyalty to his loyalists.

      November 28, 2016.

      *Manuel E. Yepe, is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana. He was Cuba’s ambassador to Romania, general director of the Prensa Latina agency; vice president of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television; founder and national director of the Technological Information System (TIPS) of the United Nations Program for Development in Cuba, and secretary of the Cuban Movement for the Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples.


      Back to Article Listing