Mayabeque, Cuba: Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán was born in the capital neighnborhood of Lawton on February 6, 1932.

“All children play, some say, they are all innocent and funny, they all do mischief, because it goes with that stage of life”, others argue.

From that stage, his father recalled: “Camilo was a happy, joyful, sociable child. I don’t think there was a boy in the neighborhood who wasn’t his friend. But when I tell you this, I also want you to know that when the moment required it, he was very serious. “

According to his childhood friend José Antonio “Tato” Rabaza, Camilo was different from his brothers. “Without a doubt, he had a more mischievous character than the others; and not just naughtier, but more rebellious. When he was little, the one who wore the hardest was Camilo ”. “However, it should be noted that he only went to the fists, when he or one of his intimates were the object of a serious offense or outrage”.

Those features, details, attitudes, influences, that individualize some destined to transcend the common distinctive elements, to project themselves as exceptional beings, called to be outstanding personalities and even exalted heroes of the Homeland; the Lord of the Vanguard was one of them.

His patriotic vocation was on the surface. His teacher Rodolfo Fernández said that, as was customary in all schools, every May 20 it was mandatory to hold a civic party at each campus. In the event organized in his, several students recited poetry, including Camilo, who recited his favorite poem: My flag, by Bonifacio Byrne.

It was not possible for him to imagine that lively and energetic child, nor those around him, that years later the final stanza of that poetic composition would be used on October 26, 1959 from a balcony of the old Presidential Palace to emotionally harangue the people in defense from the threatened homeland, just 48 hours after his physical disappearance.

Known for his wide smile, he was one of those small-town people whose charisma allowed him to win the sympathy of even the most recalcitrant and whose jokes managed to amuse even the most serious.

But, in addition, his convictions and his power to convince forged him as one of the most beloved leaders during the revolutionary process that led this country to its definitive independence in 1959, for that reason, that little infant turned into eternal Commander is by our side. Under the shadow of his hat, we follow millions of Cubans.

Andy Duardo Martin

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