Photo: Granma

In my possession the promotion to Commander of the July 26 Revolutionary Army; on receiving such a high honor and responsibility, I have sworn to fully comply with this responsibility and work with all my power to accelerate the triumph of the Revolution. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to further serve this most worthy cause, for which I will always be willing to give my life. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be more useful to our suffering homeland. It would be easier for me to stop breathing than to stop being faithful to your trust. Always at your service.

Comandante Camilo Cienfuegos

Note to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro on hearing the news of his promotion to Commander,
April 23, 1958.

Song to Fidel


Let's go,

passionate prophet of dawn,

along unexplored wireless paths

to set free the green alligator you so love.


Let's go,

defeating insults with our fronts

full of Marti’s rebel stars,

let’s swear to achieve victory or meet with death.


When the first shot sounds and wakes

with virginal wonder the entire countryside,

we will be there, beside you,

serene combatants.


When your voice shouts from the rooftops,

agrarian reform, justice, bread, freedom,

we will be there, beside you,

with identical accents.


And when we reach the end

of the sanitary operation against the tyrant,

we will be there, beside you,

awaiting the final battle.


The day the beast licks its wounded flank

where the nationalizing dart strikes it,

we will be there, beside you,

with a proud heart.

Don’t ever think they can diminish our integrity

those decorated fleasarmed with gifts;

We asked for a rifle, bullets and a group.

Nothing more.

And if iron stands in our way
we ask for a shroud of Cuban tears
to cover the guerrilla remains
on the journey to American history.
Nothing more.

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (Che)