Photo: Alexander Gaínza

BUEYCITO, Granma.– Yesterday, August 1, several generations of Cubans commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Rebel Army attack on the dictatorship's garrison in Bueycito, the first military action led by Ernesto Che Guevara after being promoted to the rank of Comandante by Fidel

The assault, also recognized as the first to take place in the lowlands, on a military enclave that guarded an important entry point to the Sierra Maestra, was recalled with dance, music, and recitations, presented in front of the recently remodeled museum at the site.

The event was presided by Federico Hernández, first Party secretary in Granma, and Manuel Sobrino, president of the Provincial Assembly of People's Power.

Referring to the young age of combatants in Che's column, Pavel Oliva, of the Young Communists League in the municipality of Buey Arriba, emphasized the leading role played by younger generations in defense of the Revolution and the country's development, putting into practice the legacy of fighters of earlier eras.

On August 1, 1957, leading some 75 men in the newly established Column 4, Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara attacked the garrison, and although the planned surprise factor did not function, the battle ended in victory for the Rebel forces, who were able to seize a cache of weapons and ammunition, including the Browning rifle taken by Che, the "gem of the garrison."

The dictatorship's forces suffered five casualties, and the defeat was especially demoralizing, demonstrating the Rebel's ability to take action outside of the mountains.

Also showing their mettle in the attack were then-captain Ramiro Valdés, as well Ciro Redondo and Lalo Sardiñas leading platoons, in addition to Juan Vitalio Acuña, who went on to join Che in Bolivia years later.

Although Che's column mourned the death of 17-year-old Pedro Rivero Peña, they gained miner Cristino Naranjo Vázquez, whose knowledge of explosives proved valuable to the Rebel forces.