"Moncada Taught Us to Turn Setbacks into Victories"
The following article was provided by Fidel
de las Ideas Editorial Team, published by
Cubadebate on July 20, 2020
Fidel Castro during the commemoration
of the 50th Anniversary of the Assault on
the Moncada Barracks held in Santiago de
Cuba, July 26, 2003.
In seven days, 67 years of the beginning of a
struggle will be commemorated. "It was not the
end, but the beginning," Fidel Castro once said. July
26 is and will remain one of the most important
pages in Cuban history. Under Fidel's
leadership, the assault on the Moncada and
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks removed the
foundations of Batista's dictatorship.
That day, when everyone was ready, the Moncada
Manifesto, written by the young poet Raúl Gómez
García under the guidance of Fidel, was read out.
Gómez García read his poem "We Are Already in
Combat" and Fidel directed this brief appeal
"Comrades: In a few hours you will be victorious
or defeated, but regardless of the outcome --
listen well, comrades -- this movement will
triumph. If we win tomorrow, what Martí aspired to
will be fulfilled sooner. If the opposite happens,
our action will nevertheless set an example for
the Cuban people, to take up the banner and press
Victory would come a few years later with the
Bearded Ones, when, led by Fidel, they descended
victoriously from the Sierra Maestra on January 1,
the website Fidel Soldado de las Ideas are
proposing that you walk the path of this
historical date today, through the speeches that
the Commander in Chief gave on several occasions
on July 26.
Fidel Castro, Santiago de Cuba, July 26, 2003.
Just when the Revolution triumphed, Fidel
expressed at a peasant gathering, on July 26,
"On seeing it today, on seeing how high we have
raised our flag, I felt so happy that I saw at
that moment all the sacrifices we have made, and
all the sacrifices we will have to make in the
A year later, remembering this same day,
in the Mercedes foothills of the Sierra Maestra,
"(...) July 26 and Sierra Maestra; they are two
names that must weigh very deeply in the hearts of
each of us."
"And so, that 26th of July was for us a moment
that when a struggle seemed to end, when an effort
to begin the battle for the liberation of our
people seemed to end, it was not the end,
but the beginning."
"But it was not always like that, and by
contrast, the memories of that first 26th came to
our minds, that afternoon when everything was
bitter and painful, when the pain of our comrades
who had died and the pain of the defeat that
forced the country to wait weighed on our spirits,
its limits impossible to imagine at that moment.
"And our people
is one of those peoples that has never trembled
in front of sacrifice, one of those
peoples that has never trembled at the price it
was forced to pay for its dignity and its freedom;
a people that has never trembled nor will it ever
tremble before the price it has to pay for its
Fidel speaking to the people of Santiago, July 26,
On the 30th anniversary, in Santiago de Cuba,
on July 26, 1983, the Commander said:
"One thing remains the same as on July 26, 1953:
we have the same faith in the destiny of the
country, the same confidence in the virtues of our
people, the same certainty of victory, the same capacity to
dream of all that will be tomorrow’s reality,
on top of the already realized dreams of
On July 26, 1987 he would also speak about the
new times, the revolution and the decision to
"To rectify meant on July 26, 1953, to fight to
erase the old, to open a channel, to make a
revolution, to create a new life; It means that
today as well. Rectify
a really broad meaning, and I am actually
satisfied, stimulated by what I see, the
results that I see, even though we know that we
are still far from all our possibilities, that
there are many more possibilities ahead."
In more recent times, after several years of the
revolution being in power, in the central event
for the 45th anniversary of the assault on the
Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks,
carried out in Santiago de Cuba, in 1998, he
"We believe that we have fulfilled our duty, a
whole generation, having fought without pause nor
rest for 45 years since that July 26, 1953,
standing firm in our trenches, in our principles,
with the same ideas that inspired us that day."
"We support Fidel!" Havana, July 26, 1959.
On the significance of the date, in the
celebration of its 49th anniversary, in 2002, in
Ciego de Ávila, he recognized:
"(...) what are they this July 26th? An
indestructible path that unites the thought, the
heroism and the will to fight of the
inextinguishable bastion, whose independence Martí
wanted so as to prevent and that did prevent the
powerful and expansionist neighbour to the north
from expanding into the Antilles and falling with
that added strength on our lands in America."
Fidel in Pinar del Río, July 26, 1976.
He recalled on the 50th anniversary of the
assaults the validity of
revolutionary ideas and their effect
on the people:
"The Moncada Program was fulfilled and
overfulfilled. For a long time now we have been
pursuing much higher and more unimaginable dreams.
Today, great battles are being fought on the field
of ideas and we are facing problems associated
with the world situation, perhaps the most
critical that humanity has ever experienced."
"I wish to assure you of something similar to
what I said before the spurious court that judged
and condemned me for the struggle we began five
decades ago today, but this time I will not be the
one to say it; it is something affirmed and
foreseen by a people that carried out a profound,
transcendent and historic Revolution, and knew how
to defend it: Condemn me, it doesn't
matter! The peoples will have the last word!"
Speech in the Open Tribune in commemoration of the
47th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada
Barracks on July 26, 1953, in the Provisional
Square of the Revolution in
Pinar del Río, August 5, 2000.
On the 11th anniversary of the
assault on the Moncada and Carlos M. de Céspedes
barracks held in the city of Santiago de Cuba
where the people were responding to the anti-Cuba
manoeuvres adopted the day before by the
This article was published in
Volume 50 Number 27 - July 25, 2020
Important Anniversaries: "Moncada Taught Us to Turn Setbacks into Victories" - Fidel Castro