March 13, 1957 will continue to be a historic date that resonates with Cubans. Over the coming days, Cuban university students, members of the Revolutionary Directorate of the time and patriots in general, will commemorate, as they do every year, the assault on the Presidential Palace, on March 13, 1957. José Antonio Echeverría, president of the Federation of University Students at the time, led a group of students from the University of Havana that day, in an attempt to bring down the tyranny of Batista. This feat would clear the way for those who would later, from the Sierra Maestra, eventually bring freedom to the country.
Beyond the program of activities, the tribute will speak to the very essence of those members of the Directorate who, as Martí would say, carried within them the shame of many, facing the beast in its own lair and attacking one of the most important and wide reaching radio stations, Radio Reloj.
Scheduled to take place are moments of silence and reflection, announcements, and the playing of the National Anthem. Cuban classrooms will be the perfect space to recall an unforgettable moment in the island’s history. The function rooms of the Museum of the Revolution (former Presidential Palace), will receive those who participated in the assault, who instead of weapons will bring ideas, dreams, concrete plans for the nation and much respect for José Antonio Echeverría, martyr, leader and a man who, together with so many others, never feared retribution and embodied the maxim: “To die for the homeland is to live.”
In the early days of January 1959, following the triumph of the Revolution, Fidel spoke from the balcony of the Presidential Palace, which from that moment ceased to be a space for evil and became the site of many positive actions, benefiting the Cuban people. This was a promise encompassing the essence of Martí’s thought, made reality. March 13 is the day that the grateful Cuban people pay tribute to these martyrs. A white rose symbolizing purity and appreciation will be placed at the statue of the brave José Antonio Echeverría.