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    Maceo and Che: Two giants that history brought together

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    14 de junio Aniversarios del Natalicio de Camilo y el Che 3

    Distances matter little – in time and kilometers – if two names are to remain eternal in the memory of a country, fused as the same reference of integrity and courage. Two giants that history has twinned beyond a date and a common ideal. Two men who, in different times, equally dignified our country's past to illuminate our present and future. Two heroes who are "children" of June, and of the Revolution.

    In Santiago de Cuba the first was born. It was 1845 when the Maceo family baptized the boy who would become a huge rebel chief with the name of Antonio.

    The second came into the world exactly 83 years after that famous delivery. They called him Ernesto, although his memorable life would earn him another international qualification, since that little boy, born in 1928, would leave his native Rosario, in Argentina, from a very young age to heal the "wounds" of outraged America.

    Both rose to the universe of the most beautiful sacrifice –which is to defend the truth of the humble with their own blood–, and from there their extraordinary existences continue to intertwine as if they were only one. It is something amazing and almost mythical. The virtues of one seem to be reborn in the actions of the other; and so, together, they grow back into their human dimensions, if that is possible.

    Because if the Bronze Titan was steadfast in his thinking and reckless courage, the Heroic Guerrilla Fighter was an all-round soldier with the disposition always ready to take on the most dangerous mission.Because if the Major General had a silky word and an arm like steel, Commander Guevara was also a slow talker and an unsurpassed action. There was never, for one or the other, an easy life, room for childish rejoicing, or paths without obstacles.

    More than 600 combat actions and a body marked by 26 war scars elevated the career of Mariana Grajales' son; while the man Guevara made the epics of the Granma yacht, the Sierra Maestra and the Cuban Revolution very much his own, before going off to fight for the freedom of the Congo and Bolivia.

    Both loved literature as the country itself. They were both anti-imperialists. The two carried out invasions from East to West, and both planted traces of respect and affection.

    That is why San Pedro was not the end for Maceo, just as La Higuera was not for Che. To the one who raised his energetic voice in Baraguá with a "no, we don't understand each other" before an enemy who wanted to undermine our decorum; and to that other one who, in front of his executioner, ordered: “Shoot, there is a man here”, Cuba contemplates them proudly.

    Today, 177 years after the birth of the Bronze Titan, and 94 years after the Heroic Guerrilla Fighter, a phrase by Fidel reminds us that, despite the necessary evocation, there are still many certainties that always unite them; because “if one affirmed that whoever tried to take over Cuba would pick up the dust from its blood-soaked soil if he did not perish in the fight, the other one flooded the soil of Bolivia with his blood trying to prevent the empire from taking over America.”