It was April 16, 1961. Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro spoke to the people gathered at the well-known corner of 23rd and 12th Streets, in the Havana neighborhood of Vedado. More than a speech, it was a tribute and at the same time a commitment, to the relatives and victims of the cruel aerial bombardment the day before by the U.S. against the air bases of Ciudad Libertad, San Antonio de los Baños and Santiago de Cuba.
Fifty-seven years after that crime, which left seven people dead and more than 50 injured, more than 2,000 people gathered to participate in a political and cultural event presided by the Party Political Bureau member, a vice president of the Council of State and PCC Secretary in Havana, Mercedes López Acea; at the very site where Fidel proclaimed before the world the socialist character of the nascent Cuban Revolution.
According to Mai-Lín Alberti Arozarena, first secretary of the Young Communist League (UJC) in the capital, the bravery of the Cuban people, their determination to overcome the terrorist acts of the CIA and above all their courage to advance a Revolution only 90 miles away from the enemy, were essential to their victory.
On behalf of the Cuban representatives who recently defended the Homeland at the People’s Summit in Lima, Mirthia Brossard Oris, vice president of the Federation of University Students (FEU), reiterated that Cuba will not renounce its sovereignty or its conquests.
Fidel demonstrated his wisdom and absolute certainty when affirming 57 years ago that the United States could not forgive the island for having carried out a Socialist Revolution under its very nose, and that this Socialist Revolution would be defended with rifles and with the courage of the anti-aircraft gunners faced with the enemy’s planes.
The Cuban people mobilized and resisted following the mercenary invasion of Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs), such that in less than 72 hours they had inflicted on U.S. imperialism its first major defeat in Latin America.
This Socialist Revolution will continue to be defended by the Cuban people.