Photo: Periódico Sierra Maestra

Compañero Army General General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Party Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers;

Families of Frank País Second Eastern Front combatants, whose remains will from today forward rest at this historic site;

Compañeras and compañeros:

Once again, our eternal commitment to the fallen reunites us, at the foot of Mícara Mountain, to deposit in this mausoleum, that holds the remains of so many valuable compañeras and compañeros, those of another 104 members of the Frank País Second Eastern Front, who fell during the War of Liberation or died after the triumph.

This solemn ceremony is being held one year after the physical disappearance of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, our Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, who, as part of the strategy to extend the Rebel Army's actions to other areas of the country, conceived the creation of a new guerilla front in this territory - the scene, over the long course of history, of countless feats on the part of compatriots to achieve justice and the full freedom of Cubans.

The decision to make a reality of the dreams of many generations of revolutionaries, brought to these mountains more than a hundred compañeras and compañeros, whose ashes, in accordance with their wishes, will rest in the place where transcendental moments of their lives transpired.

In these brief words, it is not possible to mention the personal contributions of every one of them to the Revolution, but no doubt these contributions are already indelible parts of the glorious history of our people.

During the War of Liberation, more than a few came here as founders of the new front, as veteran combatants of the Sierra Maestra. Others were already fighting in this place or joined the struggle later. Each one was committed to completing the task assigned, be it as a rank and file combatant or taking on significant responsibilities in the column's command, a unit, or as a member of the command post's departments.

Six made the supreme sacrifice of offering their lives in action or combat, who as the head and founder of this front Army General Raúl Castro Ruz said, fought, and I quote "with more courage than weapons," end of quote, until they defeated the dictatorship's army, with many more troops and better equipment than our guerilla forces.

The other 98 compañeros had the privilege of experiencing the joy of the January 1, 1959 victory, which as Fidel warned us at the time, was not the culmination but rather the beginning of a new stage in the struggle, an even longer, bloodier, and more difficult one.

They joined this new battle immediately, this time along with the entire people,

since the empire offered no truce in its efforts to destroy, as soon as possible, that luminous example of dignity and justice, so dangerous to its interests. Within this group of compañeras and compañeros represented is the broad array of compatriots who initiated and carried forward the Revolution.

The group ranges from professionals of some experience - the few - to the majority who were very humble Cubans: campesinos, laborers and other workers from rural areas and the city, more than a few partially or totally illiterate, who after the triumph, and even during the war itself, made an extraordinary effort to educate themselves, to be in a position to make a greater contribution to the homeland.

More than a few reached high ranks in the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, or occupied positions of great responsibility in the Party, government, or administration.

What is most important, all, without exception, were always where duty called: in Girón, during the October Crisis, the struggle against counterrevolutionaries, internationalist missions, and on many other fronts over these years.

Moreover, they contributed their sweat, knowledge, and experience to the arduous, colossal task of constructing socialism in a small country, without great natural resources, and continuously attacked by the planet's greatest military and economic power.

So much effort and sacrifice has not been in vain. It is enough to walk through this municipality, or any other in the country, to see the evidence of how much the Revolution has done for the people. In all of Cuba today, the dreams of justice, for which thousands of Cubans have given their lives, are tangible realities, especially in rural areas where practically all social works were built after the triumph of the Revolution. Present in every school, hospital, cultivated field, and factory, completed during these 59 years, are the contributions of our fallen brothers. While every one of these achievements is a monument to their sacrifice, that reminds us of our unwavering commitment to preserve what has been erected with so much effort.

The example of their lives is the most valuable legacy bequeathed to younger generations. The evidence that dangers and difficulties can be overcome, when the challenge is assumed with courage, intelligence, and determined to triumph; when creative work leaves no room for indolence, apologies, or justifications.

Those of us who have had the privilege of occupying a modest position in the trenches over these many years, feel the satisfaction of seeing in Cubans of today, especially in our youth, the same willingness to overcome difficulties and dangers, to continue advancing.

They are the active, conscious protagonists of the present, no less difficult than previous times, since the Revolution continues to move forward in an adverse international context, amidst a worsening world economic crisis and the insatiable quest of the empire to take possession of any resource existent on the planet.

Today, when economic war and campaigns of lies and crude slander are intensified, upon delivering the remains of 104 brothers and sisters to this site of so much symbolism, we reaffirm our commitment to continue being loyal to their example, and to spare no effort or sacrifice in the task of making our homeland everyday more free, prosperous, and sovereign.

Long live the Revolution!

Eternal glory to our heroes and martyrs!

Onward to victory, always!