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    Fidel's idea of throwing stones into the sea

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    La idea de Fidel de tirarle piedras al mar

    Fidel at the inauguration of the then Hotel Guiitart Cayo Coco

    When Fidel stood at the top of those first 362 meters, scanned the horizon, calculated and thought that the fight against the sea was going to be difficult, it was when he pronounced the Homeric phrase: "Here you have to throw stones without looking forward." Perhaps, as a result of the pre-emotion of risk or of what in the future the act of "walking" on water would mean, as the most expeditious way to bring tourism development to the northern cays of Cuba.

    Even today, that expression reverberates in the ears of many, only that the disbelievers of the time - March 1987 - remain silent when they see how nine words gave strength to overcome the unforeseen circumstances of finishing the first "long-winded" stone on the seas adjacent to Isla Grande, an idea that, to tell the truth, was born on July 11, 1980, when the Ciego de Ávila province was mired in the preparations for the National Act for the Day of National Rebellion.

    In the same month of March, four years before 1987, in the morning hours, six workers from Varied Construction Company in Morón, led by * Capote, had driven the two symbolic stakes into the seabed that opened the doors to challenge, with few equipment, until Fidel gave them the first 22 KP3 trucks that turned the group into the Roberto Rodríguez Special Brigade, El Vaquerito, which would eventually become a contingent.

    Confessions once revealed by Capote, show that the men of the contingent, the teams, the stonewall itself and the advance of the singular highway, became a kind of obsession for Fidel.

    Fidel en la inauguración del entonces Hotel Guiitart Cayo Coco

    The Commander-in-Chief visits tourist works under construction in Cayo Coco

    So much that many times, many times, in the 36 months that the construction of the strip that cut in two the Bay of Dogs, north of Ciego de Ávila, the Commander persuaded, he asked:

    - «Capote, how many meters did you advance yesterday?

    "Twenty, Commander."

    -And today?-Sixteen.

    "Yes, where are you going now," Fidel explained with millimeter precision, "there is a little more depth, but a few meters further, towards Rabihorcado Key, the depth is going to decrease."

    —And how much will you advance tomorrow? A question that he used to repeat to his interlocutor almost every day, perhaps as an unequivocal sign that tomorrow he should advance more than today, as eternally dissatisfied in the face of great challenges and colossal projects, as in his time, it was the stone-way Isla de Turiguanó-Cayo Coco.

    Because Fidel has a habit of quick interrogations and controls with questions.

    Another day, when he put his hand on his chest to place the medal of Hero of Labor of the Republic of Cuba, he asked Capote: When are you going to retire? In addition, without giving him time to respond, he said: You still have many years of work left, because you are useful and when a man is useful he does not retire a sentence that his soldier carried out until the last days, because he always had the strength to go out for the contingent even after hemodialysis at the Roberto Rodríguez hospital in Morón.

    Because Fidel also has the gift of convening, overcoming and making them overcome challenges.

    In the Central Act for the XXX Anniversary of the Assault on the Moncada Barracks, in Santiago de Cuba, on July 26, 1988, he learned the news of the union of the stone-way and made it known to the world: "...Organize a contingent," the Commander said— and working day and night (…) like those who have just built the Ciego de Ávila stone-way from Turiguanó to Cayo Coco, more than 20 kilometers have built, in just 15 or 16 months, a handful of workers and have tied the coast, by shallow seas, with an island that has great tourist possibilities, located more than 20 kilometers away from the coast.

    Quietly, silently, they began the work in March and today the news reached us, sent by the builders, that today or yesterday, I don't know when, as a tribute to July 26, they had tied the mainland with Cayo Coco.

    The episode of the announcement was not exclusive, because afterwards he was present at the opening of the first hotel: the Guitart Cayo Coco, in November 1993 and El Senador, in July 2001.

    From those first stones came the strengthening of the tourist infrastructure in the virgin cays that surround the big island, where today there are more than 20,000 rooms, on the islets belonging to Villa Clara, Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey.

    “The most that I can ask of you on a day like today — November 12, 1993 — is that you not lose the good habits, virtues and spirit that led you to build that rock. When I pass by, I see a sign that includes a kind of slogan, or a micro-sand that I made to you when you began to make the stone, more or less with these words: Throw stones and do not look forward. Because you couldn't see the horizon, you couldn't see where that rock was going to end, you couldn't see the coast on the other side. Moreover, if one is really throwing stones and stones and does not see the other side, he walks like Moses looking for the Promised Land and does not find it.

    «We have found the promised land, and this beautiful facility is a reward for that effort, because we did not see the other coast, but we were moving forward. One day we started to see the first trees and we got excited. We continued working and reached the cay; we continue and we reach the sea, and then we have reached many other places”, Fidel commented, defying adversity; the man with the idea of ​​throwing stones into the sea.

    * Evelio Capote Castillo —Work Hero from the Republic of Cuba and head of the Roberto Rodríguez contingent, initiator of the era of the Stone-ways to bring tourism development to the northern cays of the Big Island—, died on October 15, 2019 .