Las Tunas.- Very little was known about what was taking place in those days, but many young people linked to the July 26 Movement in Las Tunas sensed that it was something great, since meetings were organized in extreme secrecy.

At dawn on November 29, 1956, the revolutionaries from Las Tunas were summoned to await the order to fight. The fighter of the Cuban revolution, Raúl Campos Hernández, told Tiempo21 that, although they were ready, the weapons never arrived.

“Here we garrisoned waiting for zero hour, but we did not know what was going to happen. As they had already garrisoned us at other times for training purposes, we imagined that something important was going to happen. I spent that night on “October 13 st” and “Martí st”, in the house of Pedro Gamboa, who was the head of one of the transporters’ cells. But at five o’clock in the morning they told us that each of them should leave normally for his work. “

He added that only days later they learned of the uprising in Santiago de Cuba and the landing of the Granma. “As far as I know the actions the assault on the Puerto Padre powder magazine was the only armed action that took place here in the province of Las Tunas.”

Campos Hernández referred to the action carried out by Luís Alfonso Zayas Ochoa, Raúl Castro Mercader and Orlando Pupo Peña, who, although they could not occupy the dynamite stored there, wounded a guard and obtained two rifles and more than 200 ammunition.

The delay of the Granma prevented the armed uprising in Santiago de Cuba and the actions in other locations, organized by Frank País, from fulfilling their main task of distracting the attention of Batista’s army to facilitate the arrival in Cuba of Fidel Castro and the expedition members. However, he showed the organization of the July 26 Movement and the support of the people for the embryo of a struggle that was already beginning to grow.

Author: Tania Ramirez