What Would They Find in the Escambray?

By Juan A. Borrego Díaz What would they find in the Escambray?. It was our Commander-in-Chief ‘s question when he knew on the very intentions of the last mercenary commando -captured then- that attempted to infiltrate inland through the north of Villa Clara. Perhaps they would find a little school

By Juan A. Borrego Díaz

What would they find in the Escambray?. It was our Commander-in-Chief ‘s question when he knew on the very intentions of the last mercenary commando -captured then- that attempted to infiltrate inland through the north of Villa Clara.

Perhaps they would find a little school powered by photovoltaic cells -Fidel Castro’s self-response for his own question.


The passage, although its briefness, likely sums up what has happened with that piece of land, branded by force of the imperialism as haven for the “internal resistance” in the island country over the 60’s and where the Revolution; however, has propeled countless socioeconomic initiatives on behalf of its inhabitants.


Up to a little more than 40 years, the Escambray was the name of few hills cloistered  closely to rural Manicaragua community. By force of repetition, nevertheless, it could alter soon that denomination for the whole mountain range located on central Cuba to the south, stretching all over the heights of present provinces of Cienfuegos, Villa Clara and Sancti Spíritus, currently recognized as an unavoidable historical scenery.


The truth is that in such a wilderness, mainly, Cubans fought and defeated the U.S-sponsored heavy-armed squads, also known as bandits, during the years, an episode releasing casualties of more than 500 of the nation’s most beloved sons and economic losses valued at over a billion national pesos.


Likewise, the other true fact is that since a long ago, the myth of an “internal opposition”  got crumbled and that such a war was to be nothing more than a page example of so many other dirty U.S-led wars that wound up unmasked as well.


But, what has really taken place in the Escambray range after July 26, 1965, when our Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro officially proclaimed the down of the organized terrorist bands in the city of Santa Clara?


Making full justice it is necessary to acknowledge that still amid of a war the Revolution’s stream had already reached even the farthest corner of the Escambray Mountains and proof of that was the Cuban Literacy Campaign.


In terms of education the Escambray boasts today dozens of rural schools with all levels of teaching available, practically, the vast majority of them were built over these years, including the Highland Agricultural Faculty in Topes de Collantes, almost a chimera for those who lived first hand the reality of life before the ’59.


the presently area comprising highland territories of Cuban central municipalities of Trinidad, Fomento, Sancti Spíritus, Cumanayagua and Manicaragua, are covered by a health program of neighborhood doctor offices; besides, sanitary posts, polyclinics and several rural hospitals rendering a variety of specialized services, an infrastructure assuring enviable rates of health at the mountains.


The power grid has arrived even at most of the Escambray communities, as well as at the isolated homes, lots of them built up by the people’s Cuban Revolution, running water service by rural aqueducts were propelled; while new industries generated more jobs and the improvement of roads and communication became quite evident as well, including the airplane-distributed newspaper.


In this same territory, a modern system of rural telephony network was concluded, valued at over a million dollars, which increases noticeable the quality of this service and facilitates the daily work of several professionals based here.


To all this mentioned above is also added the benefits and ensures of the so-called Plan Turquino, designed to meliorate the living conditions at Cuban mountains; in addition to skyrocket  population on these areas, so by virtue of this policy, nearly 35 000 people today inhabit in Villa Clara’s mountains.


So that whether by any chance these Miami mob-bankrolled individuals would have come to the Escambray, as they once pretended to, might have not only found the end of either out-on-the roadside policy against humble families of farmers, or the murderous bands that killed teachers and peasants, but also a portrait of successful social initiatives for the people’s wellbeing that the Miami residents would be surely willing to defend too.





Total of medical clinics……….. 89

Rural hospitals………………….. .10

Dentist Services ……………….. 17

Here, where the imperialism failed trying to drown the Literacy Campaign, using its most brutal methods, the Revolution has built over 80 schools, all of them electrified and equipped with the necessary amenities to assume the different audiovisual programs. 25 of that number are powered with solar panels. Hundreds of teachers, professors and  pedagogic aides, most based that area, guarantee teaching in child care centers, primary, secondary and preuniversity schools, as well as polytechnics and high eduction centers.


– A total of 37 communities of the Escambray range count today on running water service, what seemed to be an oddness for their residents before the revolutionary time.


– “Out-of-place” occupations as assembler, gastronomical, fisherman, manufacturer, etc, have been added during these years to the already traditional ones (muleteer, coffee collector and farmer…)


– More than 7 500 residences located on higlands stretching over Cuba’s three central provincies are included within the power grid.


– The Pedrero, Jíquima, Sopimpa, Méller, Pitajones, Limones Cantero, The Algarrobo,  Polo Viejo and Topes de Collante, among other far distant communities receive regularly  the press via aircraft nowadays.

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