The determination to overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of sovereignty and national independence was what led Fidel to make a Revolution 64 years ago.

Author: Freddy Pérez Cabrera | internet@granma.cu

December 29, 2022 20:12:27

The children of the Cuban countryside were the ones who suffered the most from social inequality in pre-revolutionary Cuba.

María Cabrera always said that she did not have enough tears to mourn the loss of her little Luis, who died when he was barely eight months old due to severe dehydration, caused by an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea.

Obtaining the money to be able to look for the doctor who lived several leagues from the El Rincón farm, near the town of Vega Alta, in Camajuaní, where the family lived, took him a while that the illness did not forgive. Then seven other children lived, but the wound caused by the death of their firstborn never managed to heal.

In that inhospitable and desolate place, the humble family had a small house made of guano, with a dirt floor and a small conuco that was barely enough for the sustenance of the offspring. To light up, a gossip in the middle of the house, around which they gathered every night, after having eaten a plate of flour with sweet potatoes or whatever they could steal during the day.

“Do you see how blind I am? I owe that to the wood stoves and the batches of ironing with yagua paddles,” he told me many times when we began to talk, and he narrated other anecdotes, such as that only one of their eight children were born in a hospital; while the rest came into the world in their own house, by the hand of Felipa la Curra, the midwife of the area, who cut the gut with scissors and resolved the situation.

The sad reality of that family and that of many others that throughout Cuba formed an enormous army of hungry people, in which 90% of the children in the countryside were devoured by parasites. This was happening in a country that, according to conservative data, had an estimated infant mortality rate of 60 deaths per thousand live births.

Figures that are also conservative reveal that, at that time, more than 600,000 Cubans were without work, including the nearly 10,000 young graduates who had not found a job; reality aggravated by the nearly 200,000 peasant families who did not have a piece of land where they could plant food for their children.

Very similar was the situation of 85% of small Cuban farmers who paid rent while living under the perennial threat of eviction from their plots; or the 500,000 farm workers who only worked four months a year and wandered the rest of the time from one place to another, looking for a job.

Painful, equally, was the reality of the nearly three million people who lacked electricity; in addition to the thousands and thousands of children who attended the public schools in the countryside barefoot, semi-naked and malnourished, all of which occurred in a country where the majority of the population was totally or functionally illiterate, less than 10% of adolescents and adults reached the sixth grade, there were more than 10,000 classrooms without teachers, and higher education was an unattainable dream for most.


Desolating was the panorama that the Revolution found after the triumph of January 1, 1959, all of which had been masterfully denounced by Fidel in the Moncada trial, a testimony that would be reflected in History will absolve me.

The Revolution had inherited a picture of misrule, corruption, illiteracy, prostitution and inequalities that had to be combated promptly, because this time there had not been a simple succession of one government by another, but a real change.

To do this, the foundations of Cuban society had to be shaken, which was not an easy task, because as the leader of the Revolution said on January 8 upon his arrival in Havana: “Tyranny has been overthrown, joy is immense and, nevertheless, there is still a lot to do…».

It was then that, as part of the implementation of the Moncada Program, for the first time in its history the people owned the land, based on the Agrarian Reform Law; the industries became part of the national patrimony and the houses delivered to their legitimate owners; in addition to carrying out an epic Literacy Campaign that brought the light of education to the most intricate corners of the Cuban geography.

To dignify the previously dispossessed and the humblest classes, hundreds of hospitals and schools were built everywhere, while higher education was made available to everyone, without distinction of creed, origin or skin color.

In this way thousands and thousands of doctors, technicians and specialists for Cuba and the world were trained; to which was added the democratization of the spaces of creation, diffusion and access to culture, as a materialization of the Martí desire that presides over our Constitution, of the cult of Cubans to the full dignity of man.

And just like now, when despite the economic suffocation caused by the intensified blockade and the noose that is intended to be imposed around the neck of the Revolution, it does not give up its efforts to improve the living conditions of the people, the realization of What was expressed in the Moncada Program turned out to be a complex and difficult task.

The promotion and organization of State terrorism through sabotage and banditry; the breaking of diplomatic relations by most of the Latin American countries, with the honorable exception of Mexico; the invasion by Playa Girón, the October Crisis, the kidnapping and attack on civilian boats and aircraft; as well as the more than 600 plans for attacks against Fidel and other leaders of the Revolution, among other actions, tested the ability of the Cuban people to resist and win.

That determination to overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of sovereignty and national independence was what led Fidel to make a Revolution 64 years ago, and it is the same one that today guides the current generation of Cuban leaders, who In the midst of adversity, they work like Quixotes to face the windmills on the path we have chosen.

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