He began his speech highlighting the effect that attributed to Antonio Maceo in that moment that Cuba lived after producing a few years before the revolutionary triumph.
“Today, we are in the task of building socialism in Cuba -, we started a new phase of American history, the memory of Antonio Maceo acquires own lights. Begins to be more closely linked to the people and the history of his life, his wonderful struggles and his heroic death, acquires complete sense, the sense of sacrifice for the final liberation of the people. “(1)
He recalled that he was not alone in this struggle and said that was one of the three main pillars on which settled all the effort of liberation of the Cuban people in the nineteenth century. And he said, Máximo Gómez and José Martí, were the most important forces, the highest expressions of the revolution at that time.
Che stressed that Antonio Maceo had two moments, the most important of his life, which, in his view, would define as a man and as a military genius.
And he argued immediately that the first was, when against all currents, against all conformism, against all desperate they wanted to achieve some kind of peace after 10 years of struggle, when the Liberation Army disintegrates and signature Peace of Zanjón, Antonio Maceo Baraguá expresses the protest and only seeks to continue the fight in impossible conditions.
And to qualify this significant event starring Antonio Maceo, the March 15, 1878, Che stated the following: “And the protest was the latest attempt Baraguá a noble spirit to continue a fight which had already been dedicated for 10 years before. “(2).
For Che another crucial moment in the life of Antonio Maceo took place between October 1895 and January 1896 when he realized the historic invasion from East to Cuba’s westernmost province, Pinar del Río.
The war for the independence of Cuba had managed to restart the February 24, 1895 and in the course of months and after the first battles and fighting, then was prepared, in the words of Che, the second of the defining achievements of life Maceo: Invasion.
About Maceo ability to have performed such a feat, Che said in the speech delivered on December 7, 1962, in El Cacahual: “organizing them patiently, his troops, nourishing them with a strong cavalry, protected by the low power infantry fire at that time, with continuous movements, with ups and downs, constantly fighting almost every day, culminant attack most of the time, steadfastly resisting the attacks others, Antonio Maceo crossed the island from end to end another and brought the revolutionary fire to provinces that had not known in the prior stage of the war of liberation.
“To do this we now can refer in short, an immense power of organization, an immense faith in victory and the fighting capacity of his men, and a power of extraordinary leadership to exercise daily is needed for years of struggle under extremely difficult conditions … (3)
Che spoke of how life and work of Antonio Maceo remained, more than sixty years of his death in combat, is a source of motivation and example.
He recalled in particular how the Cuban people had been at the height of Maceo in that same year of 1962 when the so-called Missile Crisis broke out, and Cuba was even threatened direct military intervention by the United States and even a possible attack Nuclear.
“Our village was all a – Maceo stated -, our people everything was vying for front-line combat in a battle that might not present defined lines in a battle where everything would be facing and where we would be attacked from the air, from the sea, from the earth, fulfilling our role as vanguard of the socialist world right now, in this very place of the struggle.”(4)
He added Che, recalling a core principle raised by Antonio Maceo: “So their words, so dear phrases resonate so deeply into the hearts of Cubans, and a must recall that phrase is inscribed on the side of the Monument” Whoever tries to seize Cuba, will gather the dust of her soil soaked in blood, but perish in the fight. “That was the spirit of Maceo and that was the spirit of our people.” (5).
Che said then that’s what you could proudly show to his memory and to the world, and called to consider and repeat with the same burning faith in the future of everything noble of mankind, each of the phrases Maceo, whom he described as an example of a revolutionary struggle for the liberation of their country.
“So today we raise the thought of our great –stated – heroes, fighters that glorious war, and we do ours and we repeat again and again, because they have been nothing more than statements of the same struggle of Humanity get rid of exploitation.
Because all quotes from Antonio Maceo, Marti and Gomez are applicable today in this stage of the struggle against imperialism, because all his life and all his work, and the end of his life, is nothing more than a milestone marking the same long road to liberation of peoples. “(6).
Translated by: Daysi Olano Fernandez