Camilo Cienfuegos in the Cubans’ Memory

Camilo Cienfuegos in the memory of Cubans. Photo: Prensa Latina.

Havana: “They are looking for Camilo! He lost his plane on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.”, the edition of the newspaper Revolución announced on October 30, 1959 the news of the disappearance of the Cuban hero, honored today, Prensa Latina publishes.

He was a man of the people, who became commander among the first in the Sierra Maestra, when Fidel Castro led the armed insurrection against the tyranny of Fulgencio Batista.

The military leader was inspired by the invasion from the mountains of eastern Cuba that he undertook, along different routes, together with Commander Ernesto Che Guevara.

On October 28, the Rebel Army commander Camilo Cienfuegos got on board a Cessna 310 twin-engine plane, on the Camagüey-Havana route (from east to west). A storm caused it to never reach its destination.

Today the headlines of the press of the time return: ‘The search for the missing plane has been redoubled’ and ‘They are scrutinizing area by area’, which refer to the efforts that divided the island into 25 areas and grids, which were then meticulously recorded under the direction of the leader of the Revolution.

A total of 70 planes (two of them personally occupied by Fidel Castro and Commander Ernesto Guevara), soldiers, civilians, brigades of peasants, charcoal producers, fishermen, all traveled the Cuban archipelago in search of them.

Uncertainty, worry, anxiety, were predominant feelings in the people.

There was also jubilation and spontaneous demonstrations when local stations, without official confirmation, broadcast the supposed appearance of Camilo Cienfuegos.

Then Fidel Castro confirmed his disappearance before the television cameras 15 days of searching.

That day he proclaimed: ‘Camilo Cienfuegos will truly live in all of us, and he will be present among us. So that’s the complete security the people can have. ‘

They are expressions with full validity, although contained today in the popular celebration of the Covid-19 confrontation in Cuba, when this country evokes one of its most beloved heroes.

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