An Unusual and Sad Fact

Villanueva Theater on Morro Street, Havana City. Photo: Habana Radio

An unusual and sad event took place on a day like today in 1869. The only cause: the sublime desire for true freedom in Cuba.

The bloody event was perpetrated at the Villanueva Theater on Morro Street, in the City of Havana, by the corps of volunteers against the Creoles who cheered for independence, for which Céspedes fought in his fight that began on October 10, 1868.

The volunteers unleashed violence against the lovers of freedom in that function of the Bufos Habaneros company which was taking place at the time of the events. In the midst of the ovation of Long Live Cuba shots were heard and blows were observed in the air by the repressors to appease the patriotism of the young Creoles. The detestable performance left three dead and several wounded.

In homage to the innocents who fell during such a terrible atrocity and for those who bravely defended the liberation of an oppressed people, this date was declared in 1980 the day of Cuban theater. Since then the theater became a nation.

According to the Cuban historian Emilio Roig, in the Villanueva the works and songs that were offered were endorsed by the censorship but the actors were in charge of giving the words and phrases of double meaning the opportune patriotic intention. They were, therefore, the artists, other spokesmen for freedom and defenders of the victims of oppressed Cuba.

Martí, another of the greats of our history, alluded to the fact in his poem Abdala in which he describes the resolution of a young man to defend the freedom of his native land even if it costs him his life.

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Asarys Posada

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