Celia Sánchez Manduley: extraordinary Cuban, legend, flower that opens with every sunrise (+ Photos)

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By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol / Collaborator.

May, 2020.- I started in the Movement of Voluntary Correspondents when on a visit to the Twelve Leagues I spoke with Pedro Guerra Cabrera, a man who confessed to me with tears in his eyes that the news of the death of the Cuban heroine Celia Sánchez Manduley surprised on the high seas, where the fisherman had his kelp farm.

Pedro was not one of the men who was never seen crying. And that extraordinary reason was Celia’s death. “I cried to her in silence, back in Boca Rica.” Pedro, that sun-tanned man and the saltpeter of the Jardines de la Reina, spoke of the Native Flower of the Revolution as if he were his sister, as if he were present.

The old fisherman was very right because Celia was loved by thousands of Cubans who knew her. A key woman in decisive moments of the Revolution; her performance in the organization of the meeting of Fidel and Raúl Castro Ruz, in Cinco Palmas, in the Sierra Maestra is remembered.

She played a special role when the 82 revolutionaries, led by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, landed at dawn on December 2, 1956 in Los Cayuelos, Las Coloradas.

Celia, the heroine of the Sierra and the plain (1920 – 1980), was instrumental in locating the survivors of the Granma expedition. She felt in the depths of her woman’s heart that odyssey of transit through that mangrove swamp.

From the great surprise that the setback of Alegría de Pío caused, for the expeditionaries, where they dispersed, many were killed and others managed to reach the Sierra Maestra massif; there Fidel Castro manages to survive along with Universo Sánchez and Faustino Pérez.

She followed all the steps of that meeting held in the historic place of Media Luna, where she was born who later was named as the most indigenous flower of the Cuban Revolution and the first woman to join the Rebel Army.

That same passion with which the fisherman Pedro Guerra referred to Cuban heroin, I also perceived in the researcher Francisco Antonio López, whom I met at the Casa Natal de Fidel and Raúl Castro Historic Site in the community of Birán, located about 800 kilometers east of Havana.

López’s eyes shone when highlighting the figure of Cecilia. Soul and heart in supporting and locating the Granma expeditionaries. She located them and protected them in the hut of a peasant in the area and dedicated herself to locating the other Granma expeditionaries, including Raúl Castro and through Guillermo García (today Commander of the Revolution), prepared the memorable meeting in Cinco Palmas.

It was a beautiful full moon night in the Sierra Maestra, on December 18, 1956 when Fidel asked his brother: -How many rifles do you bring? . – Five, he replied. -And two that I have, seven! Now we do win the war!

Celia Sánchez Manduley, extraordinary Cuban, legend in the glorious days of the Sierra Maestra, loved by her people and guardian of memory. Those who knew her affirm that she was human, demanding, a woman of detail, sensitive as the butterfly flower, the national flower, the one she used to wear in her hair.

This May 9, on the centenary of her birth, Celia Esther de los Desamparados Sánchez Manduley, is remembered as a flower that opens with each sunrise. (Photos: Internet).(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)

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