October 28, 2007

October 28 | Camilo Cienfuegos

February 6, 1932 - October 28, 1959: Age 27

Every year on October 28 Cuban children throw flowers into the ocean, saying "Una flora por Camilo!" This is for Camilo Cienfuegos, a charismatic revolutionary who became a deadly military leader during the Cuban struggle for reform. Unlike Castro, but like Guevara, Cienfuegos was fated to die young and stay beloved by most of his compatriots. His particular gift was his popularity: people could sense his complete sincerity and it inspired great courage on the part of the young men and women fighting at his side. It helped that he was also intelligent, of course, and led them wisely.

After the revolution Castro made Cienfuegos military leader of Havana and Chief of Staff of the revolutionary army. A few days after being sent to arrest a former comrade whom Castro suspected of counter-revolution, Cienfuegos' small aircraft disappeared during a night flight over open water to Havana. A large-scale search was carried out but no aircraft or remains were ever found. Although there has been plenty of speculation about the disappearance, no evidence has ever emerged that it was anything but an accident.

Sources: Wikipedia, History of Cuba

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