Published on 26 July 2014 by Granma International

26 July

We have arrived thus far thanks to the unity of the people and their confidence in the Revolution, said Comandante de la Revolución Ramiro Valdés, July 26 in Artemisa

President Raúl Castro led the event commemorating the 61st anniversary of the assaults on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons, July 26, National Day of Rebellion, held in the provincial capital of Artemisa, west of Havana.

The Cuban people’s determination to guarantee the continuity of the Revolution and socialism was emphasized by Comandante de la Revolución Ramiro Valdés Menéndez – a participant in the historic 1953 assaults led by Fidel against the Batista dictatorship – who presented the principal remarks at the national celebration.

We have no alternative other than continuing to struggle every day for the homeland, the Revolution, and socialism, said Valdés, also a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers.

Recalling the painful economic, political and social situation facing Cubans before 1959, Valdés added that this reality led to the decision made in 1953 by young followers of Fidel to fight, and undertake the two assaults on garrisons in the former eastern province of Oriente.

Emphasizing that the Cuban people have overcome enormous obstacles and adversities, the decorated Hero of the Republic insisted that the revolutionary project has come thus far "thanks to the unity of the entire people and their confidence in this process."

He said that when the group of 28 young revolutionaries, of which he was a part, left Artemisa to join the attack on the Moncada, no one was thinking they would be around 61 years later, but rather in José Marti’s words, "The true man does not look to see on which side one lives better, but on which side duty lies."
Commenting on progress in the new province where the July 26th national commemoration took place, Valdés highlighted experiments underway in government organization and the distribution of agricultural products, among other efforts.

Valdés emphasized that the location within the province of the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM) presents both great challenges and opportunities, adding that the development of a prosperous and sustainable socialist society depends on the efforts of all, as has been indicated in the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines adopted by the 6th Congress of the Party.
In addition to President Raúl Castro, also in attendance at the event were José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee and a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers; and Miguel Díaz-Canel, member of the Party’s Political Bureau and First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers.

Also speaking during the commemoration was José Antonio Valeriano, provincial Party secretary, who emphasized that Artemisa is being transformed, and is today the land of the future and high hopes.

He recalled that the province has been blessed with Mariel’s deep bay, where the coming and going of ships of all kinds has begun, reporting that, in this first phase, more than 1,500 workers are already employed at the site, making an important contribution to the sustainability of Cuban trade.

Valeriano emphasized progress being made in the implementation of experimental management models in Artemisa and Mayabeque, an experience which will serve to guide change in other parts of the country.

Wendy Ferrer, a 6th Grade student at Carlos Rodríguez Elementary, thanked the Moncada combatants in attendance for having turned garrisons into schools, recalling that sixty years ago, undernourished children with no schools were common in Artemisa. Now, she said, students are educated without discrimination based on class, race or religious belief; necessary materials for art and sports classes are made available; and values are emphasized.

Some 8,000 Artemisians representing the new province’s population attended the event at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum, along with other leaders and guests; veteran combatants of the Revolution and Granma expeditionaries; members of international solidarity brigades; and both René González and Fernando González, released members of the Cuban Five, anti-terrorists unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

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