Una flor por Camilo - A flower for Camilo

Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran (February 6th 1932 - October 28th 1959)

On the night of October 28th 1959 a light aircraft, on a flight from Camagüey to Havana, disappeared presumed downed in the sea. Over the next few days an intensive search of both land and sea along the flight path failed to find the Cesna 310 or any of its passengers; one of whom was Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran. The revolution, not yet a year old, had lost one of its most iconic and charismatic leaders.

As one of the 82 survivors of the original Granma group, Camilo had, by mid 1957, attained his own command and lead the Antonio Maceo Column #2 in the march westward from the Sierra Maestras to Las Villas Province, the prelude to the decisive taking of Santa Clara. The loss of Santa Clara convinced Batista to flee the country; the war was over - the revolution started.
Writers have described the key figures of the revolution: “Fidel was the brains, Ché the heart, Camilo the charisma and personality of the revolution.” One of the most popular leaders of the Revolution among the people he was promoted first to military chief of Havana, and later the revolutionary army's head of staff.

Stories of his generosity, courage and good humour fill the history of the Cuban revolution.

During one battle, while waiting treatment, Camilo ordered that an enemy soldier be treated first. Noticing that his command was not carried out, he shouted: “Either you carry him or I will do it” forcing his compatriots to treat the enemy soldier first. Once this soldier recovered, he joined the revolutionaries.

In Cuba, Camilo is still popular, and every year on October 28 tens of thousands of children toss a flower into the sea. “Una flor por Camilo,” (a flower for Camilo) they say.

More Information

> Camilo Cienfuegos [J.A. Sierra]
> Alegría de Pío (Ché Guevara)
> The Battle of la Plata (Ché Guevara)
> Battle of Yaguajay - El heroe de Yaguajay
> Radio Habana Tribute pages
> Martyrs of the Cuban Revolution
> Biography of Camilo Cienfuegos [About.Com]
> Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran [Telenet Zoeken]