August 28, 2019

Vilma Espín: "Well, there are always some who fail."


A meeting had been called for November 28, but I didn’t give it much importance. It was just one more meeting, I thought. But it turned out to be preparations of all the action groups for November 30. On the morning of the 29th, Frank told me the boat had left Mexico, so we were to have everything ready for the early morning hours of the 30th.

I had many things to do, including giving the action groups the addresses of the “medicine chests.” All the arrangements were last minute. Things were done in a big hurry, but the secret was tightly kept right up to the very moment of the action.

Everyone had been informed it was a trial run, a test. But at 6 a.m. we were all told, “This is not a drill. The boat has already left, and it should land today.” It was scheduled to arrive at 7 a.m., and that’s when all the events of November 30 began.

I was to stay home in order to give a tape we’d recorded the night before to a man who was going to play it on national radio through a telephone hookup. The tape reported Fidel’s arrival and called on the people to rise up in revolt.

But the tape was never broadcast, since the man who was supposed to do it was so scared he burned it… Well, there are always some who fail. But almost everything else was carried out exactly as planned.

– Vilma Espín, on the November 30 action from the Cuban revolution


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