Camilo Came from the People

Commander Camilo Cienfuegos. Photo: Archive

On a day like today, 61 years ago, Commander Camilo Cienfuegos left on a mission to Camagüey, from the Ignacio Agramonte airport, in a Cessna 310 C, red and white, identified as FAR-53.

Time passes and the ship does not reach its destination. For two weeks, air and naval forces pursued a perennial search without finding any trace. The twin-engine plane disappeared in the middle of a storm.

All of Cuba is aware of the air and naval operations that track every inch of land and water in our Island, in search of any clue that could clarify the probable destiny of the Hero of Yaguajay.

Once hopes vanish, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro addresses all Cubans: “What the people have to think is this: Where did Camilo come from? And Camilo came from the people”.

But death is not enough to forget you, Camilo. The people still remember you, they sing to you because you are alive and not because you have died. They remember your ball game with Fidel, your anecdotes and how you believed in victory without ever giving in.

Every year in Cuba the Commander is remembered with the wide smile and it is a tradition to place flowers in the sea and rivers, but due to Covid-19, this time it will be carried out in a reduced way by representatives of the labor and student groups.

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Elsa Gómez Valle

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