26 de Julio and Frank País: setting the record straight.
Rafael Román Martel
Cuban Communists celebrate today the 26 de Julio: The Anniversary of the Attack of the Moncada Barracks, supposedly led by Fidel Castro, who arrived late because he got lost in the streets of Santiago de Cuba. Castro and his followers created a myth around his image that, thanks to the International Socialist propaganda machine, survives today.
He did organize the young men who assaulted Batista’s Moncada Barracks the 26 of July of 1953.
As the assault took place and young Cubans shed their blood for a democratic Cuba, at the time under the yoke of oligarch Fulgencio Batista, Castro’s car “got lost” in the streets of Santiago, and he escaped unharmed.
The action would inspire a whole generation of young Cubans to take up arms against Batista’s dictatorship.
The 26 of July Movement was born.
His leader was the young man you see in the middle of the photo above: Frank País. He was a true democratic leader. He would fight on in the streets of Cuba, organizing the underground movement and causing chaos among Batista’s thugs.
Frank became the true leader of the revolution.
Fidel Castro could not tolerate another leader.
Castro would land in Cuba on December 2, 1956. A coordinated effort to support his landing included a rising in Santiago de Cuba the day he was supposed to land, November 30th.
Again, Castro was late.
Young leaders like Pepito Tey fell, fighting in the streets of Santiago. Frank País, the Urban Coordinator for the 26 de Julio Movement, would escape, avoiding Batista’s police for another seven months. As he slept in a different house every night he was caught and murdered by Batista’s henchmen on July 30, 1957.
Only Vilma Espín, Raúl Castro’s late wife, knew his hiding place.
Vilma Espín was a Communist.
It has been reported that Frank, unable to keep up with Batista’s police, asked Fidel Castro for help, so he would be allowed to join the guerrillas in the mountains.
His request was denied.
The Cuban Revolution’s starting point was betrayal. Frank País was a young Protestant with democratic ideals. His father founded the Protestant Church in Santiago. Castro wouldn’t tolerate another leader, much less a charismatic and courageous young patriot like Frank País.
Fifty years after the triumphant Cuban Revolution, the country is submerged in the worst social, economic, and political crisis of its history. The ideals of Communism have been replaced by a third world oligarchy: The Castro Klan, now led by his brother, Raúl. The Castro Klan includes his sons, their cousins, everyone’s wives and lovers, and special friends. Robbing and murdering the Cuban people, keeping Freedom and Human rights as hostages, they rule the country like feudal lords. They have accumulated immense wealth and power using social justice and equality as a banner.
While Castro professed the end of a class society and the unimportance of money, this week a high ranking Cuban official revealed that Fidel Castro’s fortune in foreign banks and investments could surpass 1.2 billion dollars.
Cuba is a Prison-Island where prostitution and violence have become the order of the day. Where religion and freedom of expression are punishable by the perverse law of Marxist dogma. A gang of international criminals run the country like a medieval farm.
More than two million Cubans live outside Cuba, and repression towards dissent leads to daily human rights violations.
That’s not the government Frank Pais and most of the July 26 Movement young martyrs fought for.
Their image has been used, as it will be used again today, to justify a totalitarian and draconian regime.
Cuba celebrates today 50 years of the most corrupt and authoritarian of dictatorships, yet the ideals of Frank Pais and his fallen brothers in arms live on. The 30th of November Frank Pais Movement has fought on inside and outside the island since 1960. It was the 30th of November Movement that founded the first political party inside the island, illegal under the Marxist regime. The 30th was the first anti-Castro organization that founded a political party in Castro’s Cuba, under the name it proudly carries: Frank País. In 1991, the leader and founder of the political wing of the MR30-N, Rafael Ibarra, was sentenced to 30 years and is still in prison just because he dared to challenged the Communist party, the only legalized political institution in Cuba for half a century. All its leaders are either in jail, in exile or constantly persecuted and harassed by Castro’s police.
Our day will come, when Cubans will live free from the nightmare of Communism. When our people will not have to risk and lose their lives by the hundreds of thousands to leave. When men like Artúnez and women like Beatriz Roque could express themselves in freedom, without being arrested, harrased, beaten or killed-like it happen to Miguel Valdes Tamayo and thousands of Cubans.
As Cuban Communists celebrate this day, most Cubans inside and outside the island, hope. We hope for the real change, from slavery to freedom.