OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE

08:15.- The political act and military interment ceremony of the remains of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and Mariana Grajales at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, as part of activities to mark the 149th anniversary of the beginning of the War of Independence in the Demajagua sugar mill, concludes.

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08:10.- They also lay flowers at the pantheon of those killed in internationalist missions.

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08:09.- Army General Raúl Castro, along with other political leaders present in the ceremony, lays flowers at the mausoleum to those killed on July 26, 1953, in the attacks on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes garrisons.

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08:08.- The Apostle of Cuban Independence, José Martí – aged just 16 – wrote a sonnet published in the newspaper Siboney on this important historic date: “Thank God that at last with fortitude / Cuba breaks the noose that oppressed her / and proud and free raises her head!”

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08:06.- As Fidel said, the Cuban Revolution is unique, it began with Céspedes in October 1868, was continued by Martí, triumphed on January 1, 1959, and continues to this day.

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08:05.- Raúl is now headed to the monolith where the ashes of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro have been kept since December 4, 2016.



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08:00.- José Martí’s remains lie in an urn containing earth brought from all Latin American countries and covered by the Cuban flag.


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07:59.- After paying tribute to Céspedes and Mariana, the Army General and his companions move to pay tribute to National Hero José Martí.

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07:58.- Since July 30, 2007, an eternal flame lit by President Raúl has burned in the frontal area of the cemetery, as a further symbolic tribute to all those Cubans who have given their lives for sovereignty and dignity.


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07:58.- Following the words of Eusebio Leal, Army General Raúl Castro and members of the Party Political Bureau approach the mausoleums of both heroes to pay tribute.

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07:55.- Eusebio recalled that Carlos Manuel de Céspedes rejected all gifts and said that he left his children nothing material, only his ideas. He noted that when the Father of the Homeland’s corpse was brought to Santiago de Cuba, his shoes had been sewn up with wire and his eyes were open, like those of Che.

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07:53.- On this day we thank all those who have fulfilled their duties, and have worked day and night so that a better tomorrow is possible.

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07:52.- In Baraguá Fidel swore to follow the path of independence hero Maceo, known as the “Bronze Titan,” son of Mariana Grajales.

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07:51.- Fidel continued the path of the forefathers of the homeland, he led the true Revolution of independence, which continues today under Raul.

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07:50.- And this story would be continued by Fidel, loyal to the will of the people.

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07:49.- Mother is an encompassing word, and Mariana became known as the Mother of the Homeland.


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07:48.- Martí, who visited Mariana, made a beautiful tribute to her, laying a floral wreath after her death in the name of homeland, and with the word “Mother” written on its ribbons.

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07:47.- Everyone member of her family joined the struggle, the first of whom was her husband Marcos, who in his final words said: I have honored Mariana.

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07:46.- He notes the admirable ability of Mariana Grajales to raise brave men and women, ready to give their all in the interests of Cuba’s independence and in the exercise of true citizenship.

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07:45.- De Mariana dice Eusebio Leal que trajo al mundo 14 hijos, dos murieron, al resto los crío en la firmeza de sus principios, y toma la trascendental decisión, luego de que un destacamento patriótico tocara a las puertas pidiendo agua, comida y hombres, a convocarlos a la lucha.

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07:44.- Leal turns to speak of Mariana Grajales, the woman whose remains were interred today.

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07:43.- According to Spengler, on February 27, 1874, Céspedes, revolver in hand, shot at those who tried to capture him, until a bullet pierced his immense heart, and he became the immortal hero of so many battles. Nothing could be done to save him.

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07:42.- He was just shy of 55 years old. More than 20 members of his family died for Cuba’s independence. The first of them, his son Oscar.

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07:40.- The former president, in his tattered clothes, settled in the remote village of San Lorenzo. There he was betrayed. My revolver has six bullets, five for them, one for me, Céspedes exclaimed on being ambushed.

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07:39.- Eusebio Leal continues narrating passages of the history of Cuba, in which Céspedes was a protagonist. He notes that with the death of independence fighter Ignacio Agramonte y Loynáz, Céspedes prepared for his own fate. In Bijagual he was deposed, a site that today is covered by the waters of a dam built by the Revolution, as if the waters could erase this affront.

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07:37.- Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, First President of the Republic in Arms, knew that the Revolution had to be sustained by a firm hand, Leal recalls.

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07:37.- Eusebio Leal notes that the hero of October 10, as analyzed by José Martí, calmly faced his destiny, a destiny that led the colonial regime to fight in the mountains against his Liberation Army.

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07:36.- Céspedes gesture at Demajagua inaugurated a new era in Cuba: the struggle for independence, which lasted 30 years, and the human, solidary and courageous tradition of the Cuban people. The spark triggered a voracious fire, an inextinguishable flare that illuminated the whole island.

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07:35.- Céspedes exclaimed: “Citizens, you have been my slaves to this day. From now on, you are as free as I am. Cuba needs all of its children to gain independence! Those who want to follow me may do so; those who want to stay may stay, you will all remain as free as the rest.”

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07:34.- At dawn on October 10, Céspedes gathered those working in the Demajagua sugar mill, proclaimed the freedom of his slaves, and offered, with the freedom of Cuba, a generous hand to the poor. He had become a liberator.

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07:33.- 149 years ago, Leal recalls, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes freed his slaves, in a country where so many years were still to pass before this evil was fully abolished.

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07:32.- The Havana City Historian explains that Céspedes became a lawyer after studying at the universities of Havana and Barcelona. He followed the most advanced ideas of liberal thought. As he became radicalized, the oppressive colonial government began to act against him.

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07:31.- Leal notes that the Haitian Revolution was an example and a catalyst of independence movements across the Americas, and Céspedes followed these ideas.

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07:30.- In the Santa Ifigenia cemetery “we have laid the foundations for the teaching of history and national sentiment. Education regarding history and the illustrious men and women of this homeland is the task and duty of the state,” states the Havana City Historian.

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07:28.- Eusebio Leal speaks of Céspedes, the son of a wealthy landowner, who would become leader of the movement for independence from Spain and to abolish slavery in Cuba.

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07:27.- Leal comments that the cemetery has undergone a beautiful remodeling process, and its mausoleums are marked by history.

 

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07:26.- Havana City Historian Eusebio Leal Spengler speaks, noting that this is a momentous act, of those that one witnesses only once in their lifetime.

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07:25.- 149 years ago today, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes freed his slaves, stating: “Citizens, that sun you see rising above Pico Turquino, comes to illuminate the first day of Cuba’s freedom and independence.”

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07:24.- Following a moment’s silence, the notes of the National Anthem are heard. To conclude, the 21-gun salute is fired in honor of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and Mariana Grajales.

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07:22.- As part of the ceremony, a floral wreath is laid in the name of the Cuban people before the eternal flame, symbol of respect and remembrance of our heroes. A 21-gun salute will be executed.


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07:20.- The most illustrious sons and daughters of the homeland now have a definite resting place in the central patrimonial area of the Santiago de Cuba cemetery.

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07:18.- Stretching over 133,000 square meters, the Santa Ifigenia cemetery was inaugurated in 1868, the same year in which the struggle for independence began. Due to its patrimonial, sculptural and architectural virtues, the site was declared a National Monument in 1979.

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07:17.- Santa Ifigenia cemetery, a sacred site of the homeland, also holds the remains of 32 generals of Cuba’s wars of independence, the young participants in the Moncada assault of 1953, and clandestine fighters such as Frank and Josué País.

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07:16.- Following the interment in their respective niches, a permanent guard of honor for both patriots begins, joining the permanent guards to Martí and Fidel.

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07:15.- President Raúl carries Céspedes’ remains, and Teresa Amarelle Boué, Secretary General of the Federation of Cuban Women, carries those of Mariana Grajales. The two pay tribute to the independence heroes before laying them to rest.

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07:14.- The remains of Céspedes and Mariana Grajales march in the hands of cadets, as the bell of Demajagua sounds.

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07:12.- The bell of the Demajagua sugar mill sounds to start the ceremony. The bell, which was brought to the cemetery for the occasion, has become a symbol of rebellion, representing the end of slavery in Cuba.

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07:10.- Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, and Teresa Amarelle Boué, Secretary General of the Federation of Cuban Women, will be responsible for depositing the remains of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and Mariana Grajales in the crypt, respectively.