Who would have believed that night of April 9, 1959, amidst the terror and the bloodshed, amidst the mourning and the sadness, that within eight months, the homeland would be free, that within eight months, the criminals would be defeated, that within eight months, that pack of fierce wolves - so brave when they walked the streets murdering defenseless people … had suddenly fled, the last night of that same year …The dead served as a banner, because the dead served as motivation, because the dead served as an example, because the dead charted the path. The dead of April 9, the dead of all the battles for freedom, the dead of the plains and the mountains, of the heroic struggle, a thousand times on the plains, and the heroic struggle of the mountains, they showed everyone the path to victory.
…Those men who fell so the nation could rise; those men who gave their lives so a nation could live; those men who were left along the way so the people could continue the march forward; those who gave their all for the happiness of others …if they could behold the sight of this people today, of this new Cuba, of this homeland marching forward; if they could see it … well, they cannot see it, but they dreamed it! They did not see it, but they foresaw it! They struggled for this; they fell for this.
…And nothing consoles us more than knowing that we are true to our dead, that their dreams are becoming reality, and that today we can say here, on this anniversary of that heroic day, April 9, that we are rendering the greatest tribute to our martyrs, not with words, but in deed; not with promises, but in deed!
(Excerpts from speech by Fidel on the first anniversary of the April 9, 1959 strike)