(Granma International) – Floral wreaths sent by Comandante en Jefe, Fidel Castro Ruz, Army General, Raúl Castro Ruz, and the Council of State were placed by port workers and families of the victims of the attack on the French ship, La Coubre, at the entrance to the historic dock, which 55 years ago was witness to one of the deadliest terrorist attacks committed against the Cuban Revolution.
Overcome with emotion, Alberto Solís Sotolongo, recalled how a policeman saved his life after hearing the first explosion. “My father was a worker at this dock and we lived close by. When I felt the explosion I ran to look for him. A police officer stopped me. As I was trying to convince him to let me go, the next explosion occurred.
“My father was one of the victims. I am convinced that the second explosion was intended to physically eliminate the most senior leaders of our country,” he stated.
Speaking during the ceremony, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, a member of the Party Central Committee and secretary general of the Cuban Workers Confederation, said that “the thorough investigation of that shocking event revealed from the start that the explosion had not been caused by accident, on the contrary, it was intentional. The evidence relating to this terrorist attack pointed to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).”
Both explosions shook the city, costing 101 people their lives, and leaving more than 200 injured. But this criminal act cemented the solidarity of our people and political leaders who came to help the wounded after the first explosion.
While many people were killed during the dawn of the socio-political transformations taking place at that time, an expression arose the following day – March 5 1960 – more powerful than vile lies. Far from frightening us, its value penetrated deep into our ideals; this phrase, spoken by Fidel and which resounded across the whole of Cuba was, ¡Patria o Muerte! (Homeland or Death!).
In attendance at the cultural-political ceremony held March 4, was Mercedes López Acea, a member of the Party Political Bureau, a vice president of the Council of State and first secretary of the Party in Havana; leaders of the Party and government from the capital; representatives of the Young Communist League; members of political and mass organizations, as well as those who witnessed the La Coubreattack.