Cienfuegos, Cuba, Jul 26 (EFE).- Cuba marked Tuesday’s 69th anniversary of the start of Fidel Castro’s revolution with the kind of mass gathering that was impossible the last two years because of Covid-19 and President Miguel Diaz-Canel used the occasion to blame the island’s economic woes on the embargo imposed by the United States six decades ago.
The president and predecessor Raul Castro – Fidel’s younger brother – traveled to the central city of Cienfuegos for an event with 10,000 people.
It was on July 26, 1953, that the Castro brothers led the first armed action against the Fulgencio Batista regime, an attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba.
Though the rebels were all either killed or captured, the date is officially regarded as the beginning of the revolution that brought Fidel Castro (1926-2016) to power on Jan. 1, 1959.
Acknowledging that Cuba’s economy is struggling, Diaz-Canel said the chief cause is Washington’s embargo, which, according to the Communist government, has cost the island roughly $144 billion.
“Apart from inefficiencies, the blockade is the root, trunk, branch and fruit of our economic difficulties,” the president said.
He went on to describe the resumption of public celebrations of National Rebellion Day as the result of “a feat: the control of the pandemic under the conditions of an economic war.”
“Imperial logic wagers on amnesia and social paralysis,” Diaz-Canel said, adding that with the embargo and other hostile measures, the US hoped to break the Cuban people’s “spirit of resistance.”
Amid “profound shortage,” he said, Cuba has “never renounced the social aspiration to benefit everyone, offering multiple possibilities of human realization.”
The crowd at the ceremony in Cienfuegos included Paula Sosa and Lucia Ramirez, two schoolteachers in their mid-60s who said they took part in July 26 observances every year prior to the pandemic.
“We are here for National Rebellion Day to celebrate the triumph, because it (the Moncada attack) was no reverse, but rather a step toward the consolidation of the Cuban Revolution,” Sosa told Efe.
David Garcia, a 23-year-old medical student, said he was proud to participate “in this great festival,” and when asked by Efe about the shortages of food, medicine and other necessities, he responded philosophically.
“The difficult situation and the tough moments are not a secret, but we must not falter,” he said. EFE lbp/dr