SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba. – On the anniversary 149 of the beginning of the War of Independence, Army General Raul Castro presided over in Santiago de Cuba the solemn burial ceremony of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes´s and Mariana Grajales´s remains in mausoleums located now in the patrimonial area of Santa Iphigenia Cemetery.
The Cuban President headed the last guard of honor to the urns, and personally transferred that of the Father of the Nation to his funeral monument.
Teresa Amarelle, Secretary General of the Federation of Cuban Women, carried that of Mariana Grajales, mother of the Maceos and of the Nation, until her tomb with a sculpture by Alberto Lezcay.
The tolling of the original bell of Demajagua sugar mill, the inauguration of a permanent honor guard and 21 artillery salvos were part of the ceremony.
A Historical Event for the Country
We attended a transcendental act of great significance for Cuba, for our America and for the world, historian Eusebio Leal in the political act and military ceremony of burial of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes´s and Mariana Grajales´s remains at Santa Iphigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba.
Leal said, this October 10 we evoke the day and time when the Father of the Nation began a movement, the only revolution, which he started and we continued.
He noted that in the beautifully remodeled cemetery, the remains of Cespedes and Mariana have been placed in a perfect place, making a speech comprehensible for all.
It´s that the cult of history, the illustrious women and men, is the office and the obligation of the State, Eusebio Leal emphasized in the ceremony attended by Cuban President Raul Castro.
Cespedes, from Landlord to Liberator
In the political act and military ceremony in Santa Iphigenia Cemetery, historian Eusebio Leal reviewed the life, work and thought of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, the revolutionary lawyer who initiated the wars for the independence of Cuba against the Spanish colonial regime.
He recalled that the dawn of October 10, the Father of the Nation gathered those who were in Demajagua, and from landlord he became a liberator, offering a generous hand to the poor of the land by proclaiming the freedom of his slaves.
The virile and austere gesture of grasses inaugurated in Cuba a new era: the struggle for independence, and the human, solidarity and brave tradition of the people, Leal said, after narrating passages from the Cuban history starred by the patriot from Bayamo.
He also stressed the first President of the Republic in Arms knew the revolution was to be sustained by a firm hand.
Parallel Lives Full of Symbolism
In the political act and military ceremony carried out today in Santa Iphigenia Cemetery, historian of Havana Eusebio Leal reviewed the parallel in the lives of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes and Mariana Grajales.
Leal recalled the historic moment when Mariana made the momentous decision to make swear their children that they would fight for the freedom of their country or die for it, and she gave three generals to this independence exploit: Antonio, Jose and Rafael.
The Historian of Havana evoked that after the Ten Years War, the mother of the Maceos moved to Kingston, the Jamaican capital, and there she received Jose Marti in 1892, who was impressed by her character and kindness.
In his portrayal of who is also recognized as the Mother of all Cubans, Leal pointed out that in 1923 her remains were brought back to Cuba.
Fidel in the Cespedes Revolution
Referring to the Commander-in-Chief, Eusebio Leal highlighted in Santa Iphigenia Cemetery the will of Fidel, like Cespedes´s, to renounce all temporary goods.
That stone is the continuity of the revolution that Cespedes started and we continue today, the historian said in reference to the monolith keeping Fidel´s remains. Leal recalled Fidel´s speeches in Demajagua, on the occasion of the centenary of October 10; In Jimaguayu in 1973, and in Mangos of Baragua in 1978.
Leal said that in 2018, there will be 150 years of the Cry of Yara and asked that it be a year of great celebration for Cuba.
In the event, attended by President Raul Castro, Leal concluded by plotting a historical arch to remember that Cespedes´s body had large and open eyes, such as those of Che.