Red Roses for Lina Ruz, the mother of the Caguairán

Text and photos Lázaro David Najarro Pujol/Radio Camagüey

Holguin, Cuba, Sep 21.- Every three days, Jose Batista Cruz runs from Guaro to Birán 62 kilometers in his old Ural motorcycle to lay a bouquet of flowers to the Dome where the remains of fathers and dead brothers of Fidel Castro Ruz.

“I have always done it voluntarily, as if they were my family”, testifies this venerable old man who in his youth gave roses to Lina Ruz González, the mother of the historical leader of the Revolution.

I worked in the bus from Cueto to Birán. The flowers were deposited in the crypt of the family of the Castro-Ruz Marcané, and then in the one of Ángel Castro Argíz, who died on October 21, 1956.

Since Lina perished, August 6, 1963, José is continuously dedicated to take care of the Pantheon, first in Marcané, municipality of Cueto, and then in Birán.

The red roses in the crypt of Lina called the attention of Fidel Castro and Cecilia Sánchez in a visit to the site, and they were interested by the author of the initiative. “They asked me to continue the tradition. Roses have never missed and it has been already 55 years”, he said.

This simple heart, 84-year-old man considers Lina as a mother. He always takes her a bouquet of red roses. He pledged to keep the tradition alive until his death.

Currently, he deposits flowers for all family members buried in the crypt which is located in the House where was born Fidel and Raúl Castro Ruz, the Historic Museum Set of Biran currently. Lina was born in the Pinar´s village of Catalina, in Guane, on September 23, 1903, on the banks of the Cuyaguateje River.

The Government of the municipality of Cueto gives him the flowers, but when the drought affects José travels to other locations to look for them and thus never missing in the Crypts.

He professed affection to Lina in life. He admired the simple woman and looked with eyes that only a son can see a mother.

Since Jose Batista Cruz was 21 years old, he is dedicated to arrangements of fresh flowers. He says that when he dies his son will continue the tradition.

He looks at the beautiful scenery of Birán. Sad eyes go beyond the horizon as looking for Lina Ruz González in space and time to hand her a bouquet of red roses. (Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)

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