Fidel Castro in Cadena Oriental de Radio

Fidel, Moncada events and the radio

Before the fight starts, Fidel had ordered to assault Cadena Oriental de Radio to: Raúl Gómez García, the poet of the Generation of the Centenary, with the mission to read the Manifesto to the Nation, Mario Muñoz Monroy, a doctor and radio technician and Pedro Trigo.

The objective was to incorporate the people to fight with weapons that were occupied in the Moncada attack, but as we know, the reverse led to the death in combat of a few revolutionaries and the murder of the majority after being taken prisoners, Pedro Trigo was the only survivor.

On May 20, 1955 when Fidel made a triumphant entry into Cadena Oriental de Radio, then at 215 Campanario Street, in Havana, it is possible that most of those who came here were not aware of Fidel’s order issued by political and mobilizing the masses.

When Fidel arrived to the capital after his release along with other prisoners in Isla de Pinos on May 15, 1955 and due to the high pressure of the masses, decided, along with Raul, living at her sister Lydia’s sister on 23rd Street, in El Vedado. This house was attended by dozens of fighters who participated of July 26 events, members of Orthodox youth, journalists who had worked for the amnesty of the Moncada and many others.

Among those who visited El Vedado was Wilfredo Rodriguez Cardenas who had worked as an actor in Cadena Oriental Radio in Santiago de Cuba, which he continued doing the same job at present.

Wilfredo told on several occasions that in conversations with Fidel, he stressed the important role of the radio denouncing the abuses and killings of the dictatorship as a form of awareness on the part of the population such as preparing for a fight unquestionably continue.

Wilfredo was characterized by his modesty and solidarity but he never talked about the plan of Fidel to vist the radio stations from May 20, the facts indicate that something spoke of particular because when Fidel came to the building of Bell 215 was accompanied by Wilfredo.

About two in the afternoon when he felt a loud murmur, accompanied by exclamations, that for some people was incomprehensible, much more to this writer recently incorporated to the radio station with only 16 years old.

I watched as a tall man wearing a suit and tie, about six feet tall, was followed by many people upstairs. Wilfredo dropped by me, maybe he noted I was very surprised. He asked me. Do you want to meet someone who is admired for the Cuban people? My answer was Yes I do.. Along with Wilfredo, who became the head of the July 26 Movement in radio and television, we went to the second floor where there was a recording studio with Pedro Mir Valentín, Dominican poet in exile in Cuba and pursued by satrap Trujillo, Jose Mederos Mestre, then head of communications for key radiotelegraph Movement; Gerardo Ruiz journalist and broadcaster Antonio Fraga Pera.

We arrived at the place where you could hear only one voice, firm in their approach to the realities of the country. The silence of the audience was absolute, total attention. There was Jesus Montane and other Moncada revolutionaries and journalists Guido García Inclán, “Pincho” Gutierrez, and others.

Later, Wilfredo took me by the arm and drew me to him. He sat in the corner of a table, asked me my name, age, what was studied and what work performed on the news. It was very clear when I said that since the radio could help people to know the truth of what happened in Cuba, limiting “no propaganda to reach the people faster than what is transmitted by a radio station.”

I can not say otherwise, with respect and answered questions timidly. When done, I thought I had made the last what do you think of the situation in Cuba? My response was almost immediate: “You have to overthrow Batista.”

Fidel turned his gaze to Wilfredo and I said “take care of this guy that maybe can do something for the motherland.”

We took several steps back and Fidel, with great optimism, he continued talking about the character of the struggle ahead, how the blood of the dead called not to forget, and turn the setback into a victory of the people.

The news of Fidel’s visit to the station, contained in two paragraphs, made a very intelligent and intentional journalist Gerardo Ruiz Fraga and transmitted in the voice of Antonio Pera, on the news of the five in the afternoon. He had been the first visit of Fidel to a radio station in the city, It was an important day.

The radio has always been with Fidel until the final victory, for five years, five months and five days from July 26, 1953, and for ever.


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