Granma | 27 January, 2017
Santiago de Cuba.— Two of the country’s most emblematic historic sites, the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery and the Moncada Garrison, will be symbolically joined in the tribute to National Hero, José Martí, and Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, to whom this year’s March of the Torches will be dedicated, on the 164th anniversary of Martí’s birth.
Participants will set off from the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery and make their way to the Moncada Garrison, now the July 26 educational complex.
This year’s March will be the largest to date, as workers join the island’s youth in the lead up to the 78th anniversary of the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC), alongside citizens called upon by the local Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), and combatants from the Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Interior Ministry.
The celebrations will include music performances such as that by Raúl Torres, Eduardo Sosa, Annie Garcés and Luna Manzanares, who will sing “Cabalgando con Fidel,” (Riding with Fidel); as well as the participation of 2017 National Prize for Theater winner Fátima Patterson.
A cultural-political act will take place on the 28th before Martí’s mausoleum, as well as the inauguration and presentation of awards for the 22nd edition of the “De dónde crece la palma” competition, while the book José Martí, nuestra América y el equilibrio internacional, by Rodolfo Sarracino, will also be presented.
Other events set to take place include an artistic gala “Para mi amigo sincero,” on the steps of the Bacardí Museum; a recital by la Banda Infantil in Céspedes Park; the award ceremony for the “28 de Enero” Poetry contest; and a concert by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente, featuring the Madrigalista and Orfeón Santiago choirs.
Meanwhile, in the capital, thousands of children dressed up as characters from Martí’s book La Edad de Oro (The Golden Age), an essential piece of children’s literature, will descend on Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución, to lead the march in honor of Cuba’s National Hero.
“Although the parade in the capital will be the main tribute, with the participation of 4,000 pioneros (elementary school children) from the municipalities of Centro Habana, Cerro and Plaza de la Revolución, a great celebration will take place across the entire country in remembrance of Martí,” stated Royner Toledo Montero, a representative of the National Presidency of the José Martí Pioneros Organization (OPJM).
Children and young people will fill streets, squares and parks throughout the island; playing host to parades, literary workshops, performances, competitions, debates, visits to museums and places of historic interest, in honor of Martí and to show that Cuba’s National Hero lives on in the new generations; while outstanding teachers and students will also be presented with awards, explained Toledo.