OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
At the Columbia military base, today the Ciudad Libertad educational complex, January 8, 1959. Photo: Archive

Doves are a symbol of candor, simplicity, peace. They have a great sense of direction, are one of the fastest flying birds, and have an acute sense of sight.

As Fidel spoke to the crowds gathered at the Columbia military base, today the Ciudad Libertad educational complex, in Marianao, on January 8, 1959, after his triumphant entry into Havana, white doves landed on his shoulders. He was the bearer of hope and they quickly identified him.

At the Ciudad Libertad educational complex, 30 years after that symbolic January 8. Photo: Archive

Thirty years later, recalling that date at the same site, some school children climbed up to the podium and placed a white dove in Fidel’s hands. Without a second thought, the Comandante en Jefe released the dove into the sky and, after flying over the stage several times, the bird landed on Fidel’s right shoulder where it sat, proudly looking down at the crowd.

Years passed and the moment arrived when the grateful accompanied Fidel to his final resting place, in Santiago de Cuba. The doves returned, his faithful companions throughout his enduring struggle for peace. They constitute an lasting symbol of hope and the faith that, like Fidel, his people will never stop fighting for that better world that he knew was both possible and necessary.

The doves returned to accompany Fidel on his final journey, December 2016, a symbol of the hope of his people, who will never stop fighting for a better world. Photo: Juvenal Balán