The Escambray Victory: As Important as Bay of Pigs

Escambray

Words pronounced by Cuban President Fidel Castro before the grave of comrade Piti Fajardo on November of 1959.

… and it pleases us and consoles us as well – comrades- to be able to tell you that the enemies of our Homeland, anywhere in the world they might arise, anywhere in the world they attempt to perpetrate the crime of perfidy, anywhere in the world they might try to harm the Revolution or anywhere in the world they might attempt to seize arms against it, they will be always annihilated!

 

Fragments taken from the speech given by President Fidel Castro in Santa Clara on July 26, 1965, during the commemoration of the12th anniversary of the Assault to the Moncada Garrison.

 

And as for dialectic of the history, over here, where the enemy concentrated its main efforts, right here, precisely, and evenly with the enemy’s action, a strong revolutionary spirit started to emerge and to develop alike. On this place, the Revolution since its very victory had an enemy to fight against.

 

“Here, in this province, the imperialism and the counterrevolution showed the people of Cuba their cruel nature; in this same province they not only murdered volunteer Literacy Campaign young teachers , but agricultural workers and peasants, causing terror and perpetrating the same horrendous crimes that our people witnessed in previous stages”.

 

As a victim of that volunteer young teacher, Conrado Benítez, member of one of several brigades that moved to highlands to teach ignorant peasants basic reading and writing, was brutally murdered.

 

And in the year of the Literacy Campaign, when our country carried out the world’s most grandiose cause ever made against illiterance, when our Homeland mobilized hundreds of thousands of youths and workers to get rid of a illiteracy rate of 30 percent in only one year, the entire people shook before the unpleasant news that a  literacy campaign young teacher, Manuel Ascunce Domenech, along with his adult pupil had been both slaughtered; in addition to another news on worker Delfin Sen’s murder as well.

Here, in this same province, the U.S. imperialism and the counterrevolution showed the Cuban people their monstrosity; in this central region, they not only perpetrated their most terrifying crimes, which took the lives of teachers and literacy promoters, but the peasants’ and workers’, in an attempt to set terror as they were used to before the Cuban Revolution came to power.

 

However, this brave people from former Las Villas province stood up and faced its enemies. Peasants from the surrounding mountains were called to arms, large legions of the Fight Against Bandits Army (LCB) were created, with the purpose of stalking and squashing those heavily-armed anti-Cuban squads. Such a crusade took longer and lasted years.

 

Some bands were being extinguished while the enemy indiscriminatedly introduced, supported and regrouped new other bands, until they finally were all completely whipped by the Revolution forces.

 

And from this force, only three and disorganized in-form-of-band, still remain free, they are merely three fugitives. And we all know that some of those three runaways have been always on the edge of law, now and then, and sooner or later they will be captured by the revolutionaries.

 

It is actually necessary to say that no single murder left unpunished; it is necessary to say that none of those assassins at the service of the U.S.A, who executed teachers, workers and peasants could avoid justice; it is necessary to highlight too that Law and justice fell firmly on the culprits.

 

But the full eradication of those bands was not achieved without sacrifices. Thousands of Escambray-native workers and peasants, the majority of them we could say, fought effortful over these years, chasing unfailingly the enemy.

 

A  total of 295 revolutionary combatants lost their lives in those military operations, as well as in accidents while on duty, and 2 005 contrarrevolutionaries were partly captured and partly annihilated.

But Whashington learned an unforgettable lesson not less important than the one in Girón Beach; the U.S. imperialism also learned first hand that anti-Revolution paramilitary guerrillas cannot progress inside Cuba; and that no commandos can be organized to either harm the Cuban people or the Revolution, because it is absolutely impossible…

 

And certainly the imperialists should be now wondering themselves how this could  happen, with the million worth budget that they have expended in thousands and thousands of weapons that were either dropped or introduced into the island; how it could be possible that the Cuban Revolution, mobilizing only local legions based in the central mountainous region of Las Villas, exterminated completely their highly-supported contrarrevolutionary bands.

It is widely-proved that the guerilla fight, which is undoubtedly a formidable variety of war, but as a revolutionary arm, is a perfect strategy to form resistance against exploitation,  colonialism, and above all against imperialism; however, the guerilla will never be neither an appropriate nor adequate type of war for the imperialism to plot counterrevolution.

 

And we hope this lesson has been well-learned by them. We know they do not  give up their plans that easily; we unceasingly detect new infiltrations, we unceasingly take over more and more weapons, explosive, but we hope they finally have lost forever their hopes of being able to rally their counterrevolutionary bands again.

 

And, just if they could not learn the lesson yet, we still maintain our battalions of Fight Against Bandits at arms!

 

President Fidel Castro’s words pronounced at the ceremony for the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Cuban Ministry of Interior (MININT):

 

The mercenary bands were imbued of a waiting-for mentality, imbued of a surviving mentality rather than attacking, or launching a war by themselves to demolish our force.

They were always waiting for the moment of a U.S. invasion took place, and then, with the directly participation of the United States, this would be undoubtedly a solved case.

Therefore, their mentality was of making misdeeds, of massacring honest peasants, young teachers and students …

Hence, thier main goal was not to fight, but set terror, kill and murder instead.

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