This day. ‘History will absolve me’

(October 16) – “History will absolve me” is worthy of constant meditation… given the continuity of events that match the words, the announcement, the indication of the future, and the realization of what was said, what was affirmed one day in a narrow room in Santiago de Cuba, following the great happenings of July 26.

Inspired by the ideas of José Martí and with an anti-imperialist consciousness deeply embedded in their hearts, a group of ambitious youth attacked the headquarters of the pro-imperialist army of dictator Fulgencio Batista: the Moncada Garrison. Few died in battle, but many were savagely murdered by the dictatorship’s agents.

During his trial, Dr. Fidel Castro, leader and organizer of the assault, did not limit himself to denouncing the murders, the corruption, the sell-out politics, without addressing the serious crisis that weighed down on all sectors of national life, but rather, at the same time, he outlined with surprising precision and objectivity, the essential postulates of the program for all stages of the future revolution: land reform; comprehensive educational reform; reducing rents; nationalization of foreign corporations; industrialization; solidarity with the peoples of Latin America, etc.

It often occurs that political texts lose relevance quickly, being surpassed by new circumstances that lead us to forget the contingencies in which they were formulated. That is to say, current history often makes us forget the historic circumstances in which, at an earlier point, a certain comment was made, as time goes by. What is surprising about “History will absolve me” is its relevance, its currency, the interest in its study today. Everything he affirmed has been realized. Everything he presented has been fulfilled. Everything prophesized, with firm political decision, looking to the future, was made tangible …


“I carry in my heart the teachings of the Maestro and in my mind the noble ideas of all men who have defended the freedom of the peoples of the world!”

“The problems of the Republic can only be solved if we dedicate ourselves to fight for it with the same energy, honesty and patriotism that our liberators invested in creating it.”

“When peoples achieve something they have yearned for throughout generations, no force in the world is capable of taking it away again.”

“In today’s world, no problem is solved by spontaneous generation.”

“Furthermore, if there is in this world a people that utterly abhors favoritism and inequality, it is the Cuban people.”

“Cuba, what would have become of you had you let your Apostle die?”

*Extracts from El juicio del Cuartel Moncada and La Historia me absolverá (1966)

Granma. Photo by Rafael Martínez Arias

Related reading on this website

History will absolve me… Fidel, 1953

Reconstruction of Fidel Castro’s four-hour speech made on 16 October 1953 in his own defence in court against the charges brought against him after he led the attack on the Moncada Barracks. It was published as La Historia Me Absolvera (History Will Absolve Me) and laid out the national and social goals of the revolutionary movement that eventually triumphed on January 1st, 1959. History has vindicated Moncada.


Leave a comment

Filed under Americas, History

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s