I just saw on the news fragments from the Act of Remembrance for the assault on the Presidential Palace of March 13, 1957. According to the news recap, the celebration was presided over by the Minister of Higher Education and the President of the Popular Power National Assembly. The youth of the Federated Students Union (FEU) awarded a diploma to the Directors (sic). It would have been just one more celebration if it weren’t for the detail that the leader of the assault was present and it was the Directors who received the diploma from the hands of young man from the FEU. No one mentioned the name of the leader of the action. He survived the action and survived 52 years of total obscurity.
Seeing him, I asked my son who had been the head of the assault on the Presidential Palace and without hesitating he replied that it was José Antonio Echeverría, the same answer my students had given me when I was a teacher. The 12th grade textbook devotes just ten lines to the March 13th events (which explains my son’s confusion).
This action, the bravest in the fight against Batista, has been very badly told. But if even a protagonist in incapable of putting things right, it will not be me who does it to “destroy history.”
March 14 2011