On February 27, 1874, the life of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Father of the Homeland, came to an end, but his legacy lives more than ever for the worthy Cubans who today work and fight in a thousand ways and against all the adversities created by the fierce enemy that has been stalking us since the very triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959, and that carries out a cruel economic and financial blockade against Cuba, doing much damage but without achieving its evil purpose: to suffocate the Cuban people and make them reveal themselves against their government.
More than his death, today we remember the epic of freeing his slaves on October 10, 1868, and inviting them to fight for the independence of Cuba. Thus began the Ten-Year War, the beginning of the struggle against Spanish colonialism.
The legacy of Céspedes, Maceo, Martí and Fidel has common denominators: freedom, independence and sovereignty.Today Cuba defends itself from an inhuman blockade, fights against Covid-19, and confronts enemies inside and outside the island, raising the slogan of Homeland or Death, inherited from the heroes of independence.
Our solid and insurmountable position against the attempt of a soft coup by some artists and other individuals who receive money from U.S. agencies such as USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), comes from the rebelliousness of our martyrs and heroes, who fought from generation to generation until they achieved the dream they longed for.
We will not allow a return to slavery, we will not return to being a neo-colony, we will not again endure the oppressive yoke, we will defend our conquests at whatever price it takes, inspired by the Father of the Nation, honoring him with our daily work, every death, every sacrifice, every heroism, of those who taught us to be dignified and honorable.
A brief account of the death of the Father of the Nation
On February 27, 1874, Céspedes was invited to have lunch at the house of Evaristo Millán, who lives a league away from San Lorenzo, but he woke up at dawn with no desire to go for a walk and asked Lacret, who had the horses ready, to excuse his absence. He is elegantly dressed. He lunches in the company of Lacret and, after playing a game of chess, he goes to drink coffee, as was his custom, at the house of the Beaton sisters.
He then pays a visit to his mistress. He is there when a little girl asking for some salt warns of the Spanish presence. Céspedes runs, revolver in hand, through the undergrowth in search of a cliff from which he intends to plunge in an attempt to get rid of those who are chasing him.
The plan is not at all far-fetched. But the soldiers don’t give him time: they close in on him as soon as they see him leave Panchita’s house. Some 300 meters separate him from the ravine. At 55 years of age and almost blind, the Father of the Homeland is in danger of losing in that race.
The pursuers shorten the distance. Céspedes, already close to the abyss, turns and shoots. He runs again and at the edge of the abyss he shoots at the nearest enemy, Sergeant Gonzalez Ferrer. The sergeant also shoots, at point-blank range, and the man from 10 de Octubre falls into the void.
Thus dies Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the Father of the Homeland.