Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran

Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran
Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran

General information on Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran´s life

Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran was born on February 6, 1932, in 71 Pocito Street, in Lawton Neighborhood, Havana City.

His early years were spent in San Francisco de Paula Town in Havana, but in 1939 the family returned to Lawton.

At school No 105, named “Felix Ernesto Alpizar” he received an elementary education. In the upper school No.13, of the La Vibora Town, he attended the seventh and eighth grades.

Around the same time he worked as a sportscaster in “Lidice” magazine that was published by the students of the “Felix Ernesto Elmuza” School.

At the age of seventeen he entered the San Alejandro Annexed School, where he studied for a year.

As a student began working on “El Arte” tailor shop as a janitor. He also dampened fabric, delivered messages and was a dependent.

Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran´s Major Revolutionary Activities

On April 1st, 1953 he and his friend Rafael Sierra emigrated to the United States, where they toured several cities in search of employment.

During the two-year stay in that country Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran participated in demonstrations and patriotic events promoted by Cuban exiles during the Fulgencio Batista´s dictatorship.

On June 5th, 1955 he returned to Cuba and joined the fight against the dictatorship.

Two months later he returned to the United States to avoid persecution.

In Mexico he contacted Fidel Castro to join the group of revolutionaries and he became one of the last elected to the Granma yacht expedition.

On March 24th, 1957 he was appointed the platoon leader of the 4 Column´s vanguard under the command of Che.

In 1957 he participated in the battle of “La Plata” and the military action of “El Uvero”.

He also participated in the battles of “Bueycito” “The Hombrito” and “Pino del Agua”, in which the “Señor de la vanguardia” (Vanguard Lord), as he was known, reached a greater military experience.

On April 26, 1958 he was promoted by Fidel Castro to commander and later he was appointed head of the No.2 “Antonio Maceo” Invading Column with the aim of bringing the invasion from the east to west of the island and open a new guerrilla front in the Pinar del Rio mountains.

It was the first guerrilla leader to initiate the invasion that began on August 21, 1958.

In this region, important battles took place, such as “The Christ”, “Narcisa”, “Mayajigua” and “Zulueta”. On December 23, 1958 he completed a siege on the Yaguajay Town, and he began the battle until December 31, 1958, which led to the fall of the Leoncio Vidal Quarters in Santa Clara City and so he earned also the appellative of Yaguajay Hero.

Physical disappearance of Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran

At noon on October 28, 1959 Camilo Cienfuegos departed to Camagüey to normalize the political situation and instability created by Hubert Matos, former military commander of that province.

At six in the afternoon of that day, after deactivating the counter-revolutionary plot in Camagüey he took off back to Havana on a Cessna twin-engine plane, but never reached his destination.

Presumably as a result of a breakdown or an atmospheric phenomenon, the ship fall into the sea. After several days of scanning keys, coasts and mountains, Fidel Castro informed on November 12, 1959 of the unsuccessful efforts in the search for this one of a kind man.

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