The feat of December 2, 1956 undoubtedly marked a milestone in the history of Cuba and in the revolutionary process. The promise made by Fidel Castro to be free or martyrs was fulfilled.

The Granma left the port of Tuxpan, Mexico, on the night of November 25. A night of rough sea and danger of a hurricane, but nothing would stop the Cuban revolutionaries who had spent months of military preparation and subjected to the danger of seeing the expedition aborted.

Che Guevara was the first of the members of the expedition, since one night of conversations with Fidel was enough for the close friendship that united both leaders to be born. While the latter was Camilo Cienfuegos, who arrived in Mexico without recommendation of any kind and only his qualities made Fidel accept him.

In the risky journey two events occurred that should not be forgotten. On November 30, Fidel learned of the armed uprising in Santiago de Cuba, precisely in support of the landing, but the overweight of the small boat and the bad weather slowed the journey to Cuba and delayed it by two days.

The other event that revealed Fidel’s qualities of not leaving anyone to their own devices was the fall into the water at Cape Roque. Roque spent almost an hour at sea, but Fidel persisted in rescuing him and miraculously managed to save his life.

The arrival of the Granma to Cuba was as complicated as the trip, as it took more than four hours to walk through swampy mangroves to reach the mainland. Che would describe it as more of a shipwreck than a landing.

Raúl was the last to jump into the swamp and, as he did so, he read the name of the small pleasure boat: Granma, which in English is short for abuelita.

On December 2, 1956, the armed struggle was restarted, which would only culminate with the revolutionary triumph of January 1, 1959. On that glorious day in which freedom touched the mainland again to start the feat in the Sierra Maestra, the Day of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) is commemorated.

The landing of the Granma has a meaning for young Cubans, who are clear about their convictions and principles and will never allow the nation’s history to be erased. Although the circumstances are different, the historical enemy is the same as then.

Today, the war is unconventional, but no less dangerous for that. The events that took place in the San Isidro neighborhood demonstrated the strength of Cuba and of the new generations, who denied these outrages and gave a quick response to these unscrupulous events.

The Revolution is one, because there will always be people who tell the truth and do not accept slander, or attempts to destabilize public order and disrespect for national symbols.

There is a committed youth that follows the example of Fidel, Raúl, Che, Camilo and all those who arrived in the homeland that unforgettable December 2, 1956.

The Granma sails safely into the future, now with an entire Cuba among its crew.

Betsy Santiler Hernández

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