Fidel in Las Tunas – Juventud Rebelde

Las Tunas.— This province has been host in different stages of the highest leaders of the Cuban Revolution. In each visit they confirmed the progress of the territory in dissimilar spheres. Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro honored her several times with his presence at events, institutions, sugar mills, factories, highways … Her instructive word was always a spur for efficiency and commitment.

Fidel’s first official stay on Las Tunas soil occurred on June 6, 1965, when he attended a mass ceremony at the Antonio Guiteras power plant on the occasion of the fulfillment of the national sugar production plan. Prior to his speech, the leader toured various facilities of the sugar colossus and spoke with workers, technicians and leaders. Fidel sewed there the symbolic sack of the six million tons of sugar produced in the Quinta Zafra del Pueblo.

Another memorable visit of his took place on December 24, 1967, in the area known as “Cuarenta Pesos”, in the municipality of Jobabo. Fidel spoke there to close the work of the Che Guevara Invader Brigade. This group had achieved the feat of clearing in little more than six months almost 4,240 caballerias of virgin and unproductive lands to dedicate them to rice cultivation.

Just over a year later, on July 14, 1969, he repeated the visit to the Antonio Guiteras plant, on that occasion to summarize the central act for the start of the 10 Million Harvest. At that time, the colossus from Las Tunas had a daily milling capacity of 1.3 million arrobas of sugarcane.

On January 20, 1978, he returned to inaugurate a bulk sugar terminal in Puerto Carúpano, in the municipality of Puerto Padre. He told those present: «Las Tunas was never left behind: not in the war of 1868, not in 1895, not in the last struggle for liberation. Las Tunas never lagged behind in patriotism and in the spirit of work ».

A day later, he visited La Herradura beach to evaluate a road project that would link Puerto Padre with the municipality of Jesús Menéndez. At the Fuente de Las Antillas in the provincial capital, the sculptor Rita Longa, told him the legend that inspired the work. And on the Cerro de Caisimú, he admired the beauty of the landscape displayed before his eyes.

But, among all his visits, one of the most important occurred on June 14, 1980, when he inaugurated the Combinado de la Salud. That day the Ernesto Guevara Hospital, a Home for the Elderly, a Home for the Physical and Mental Handicapped and a Health Polytechnic opened their doors. Appreciating the fervor of those present, he said: «We would like that with this enthusiasm, with this spirit of work of the people of Las Tunas, with their effort and their efficiency, they would earn the right to commemorate July 26 in Las Tunas. Think about it and fight for it. We know that you can.

A year later, Las Tunas hosted the central act for the 28th Anniversary of the Assault on the Moncada Barracks. Some 100,000 people and several foreign delegations attended that July 26, all tempered by the news of the province’s overcompliance with its sugar production plan.

Fidel said: «There is much to do in Las Tunas, but we observe with satisfaction that the province is transformed, the towns are transformed, and the city of Las Tunas is transformed, and this happens rapidly with the new economic and social buildings, with the new multi-family buildings. An important industrial zone is created With the help of the country and your efforts, this region will continue to transform, and will be transformed more as you maintain this spirit, which reflects the slogan that “In Las Tunas it is always 26” ».

On November 28, 1988, Fidel visited us again. On this occasion, he attended to inaugurate the 200 T Rolling Mill, an important work for the metallurgical development of the province. The plant, conceived to produce corrugated and smooth rods, would support social and housing construction programs in eastern Cuba. Fidel reiterated the country’s support for the young province, and promised to turn it into “a true cup of gold.”

On March 31, 1996, he spoke at Jobabo when his central Peru over fulfilled the sugar production plan. The first of April was in the Antonio Guiteras and Algelia Libre plants; On May 5 and 6, he toured areas and discussed the sugarcane recovery with leaders; and on May 28, Jesús Menéndez went to the central station for the march of the sugar harvest.

The last time Fidel visited Las Tunas was on July 26, 1997. Army General Raúl Castro was the speaker for the 44 years of the Assault on the Moncada Barracks in the brand new Plaza de la Revolución Mayor General Vicente García. Fidel listened to him from the rostrum and greeted the people of Las Tunas who were cheering him on. He did not visit us again. But is it that he is no longer among us?

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