A week after the January 1, 1959, triumph of the Revolution, Fidel entered Havana and history. The revolutionaries' Caravan of Liberty was met by jubilant crowds waving the July 26th Movement flag and throwing flowers. Yesterday, 58 years later, the capital again received a band of youthful rebels.
With chants of "I am Fidel," children and youth, along with a group of outstanding workers, re-edited the historic route of that first Caravan, on its last day through the province of La Habana.
The 58 participants departed from Cotorro, where the Comandante en Jefe made his first stop to speak with Havana residents 58 years ago, and proceeded along the city's principal streets, passing important landmarks including the Museum of the Revolution, and the Cuban Radio and Television Institute, before reaching the Libertad Educational Campus, site of the main commemoration.
During a ceremony presided by Mercedes López Acea, Political Bureau member and first secretary of the Party in Havana, Brigadier General Delsa Esther Puebla Teté), and other leaders, recalled the events of those luminous days of January, 1959. Eclio Lobaina, a member of the historic Caravan of bearded rebels who left Santiago de Cuba and traveled the length of the entire country, recalled his experiences with Fidel, still fresh in his memory.
The main remarks were made by Maylín Alberti, first secretary of the Young Communists League (UJC) in the municipality of Playa, who reiterated the intention of younger generations to uphold Fidel's legacy and his concept of Revolution.
She emphasized that Cuban youth are well aware of subversive plans meant to undermine the Revolution and will not be seduced by such efforts.
The occasion also provided an opportunity to award UJC membership cards to 58 youth joining the organization. Representing this group was secondary school student Leyanis Burgos, who reaffirmed their commitment to be worthy of the confidence they had been shown, saying that they will not fall short in their efforts to maintain the country's long tradition of struggle.
Just as in 1959, Havana's people came out to welcome this new Caravan of Liberty, the same crowds Fidel described, at that time, as a "sea of people."