Bayamo, October 17 (RHC) – The 24th Fiesta of the Cuban Spirit kicked off Wednesday in Bayamo, the eastern city where the nation was born 150 years ago.
Bayamo is the city where Cuba’s National Anthem was sung and heard for the first time in 1868, the city where the first Cuban government in arms was set up to free Cuba from Spanish colonial rule and the one that preferred to be on fire before surrendering to the oppressive colonial government.
At sunrise the municipal band played the national anthem and the Cuban flag and that of Céspedes were hoisted solemnly in Revolution Square –the site that makes eternal the image of the Father of the Cuban Homeland, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and independence fighter and writer of the lyrics of Cuba’s National Anthem, Perucho Figueredo.
Bayamo residents and visitors gathered at the square to welcome a celebration that will only wind up on October 20th, the Day of Cuban Culture, which commemorates the date in which the national anthem was heard and sung for the first time 150 years ago. The Guerrilla de Teatreros theater group actors dressed as the founding fathers of the Cuban nation also walked in the square as part of the solemn ceremony.
Cuban National Library Director, historian Eduardo Torres Cuevas, delivered the opening address, speaking of October 10th as the moment in which Céspedes freed his slaves and asked them to join the struggle to release Cuba from Spain and the action that lit the bonfire in which the Cuban nation was born.
The speaker said that the events occurred in Bayamo are also the history of Cuban culture, since the main heroes were art lovers, poets, musicians and painters who forged the nation and the country’s culture and, owning money, slaves and having family and beautiful women, gave up what they had to achieve the absolute equality among men and women.
Torres Cuevas also referred to the Cuban Revolution as only one revolution that started 150 years ago by those extraordinary men and women and followed by Fidel Castro who made it triumph in 1959.
The Cuban historian stressed the need to continue building a better country from the work of our daily efforts. The Fiesta of the Cuban Spirit includes more than 200 cultural and artistic actions, including concerts, photo and art exhibitions, theater and dance performances and others.