The Cuban people voted for coherent continuity of the Revolution, another victory for the man who occupied the first seat on the Assembly tribunal, to the right of Díaz-Canel, since its founding: Fidel. Photo: Juvenal Balán

The seat to the right of Díaz-Canel, elected President of the Councils of State and Ministers on April 19, only appeared to be empty, just as it had during Raúl’s term in office. The election of Cuba’s new president, representing coherent continuity supported by the vast majority of the people, is the triumph of the man who physically occupied that seat in the National Assembly of People’s Power since its founding: Fidel.

This is his triumph, Fidel’s triumph, of the peaceful, indisputably creative, and victorious generational continuity recently seen in Cuba, as conceived and realized by José Martí following the Ten Years War, when the war heroes and the "New Pines" merged under the banner of complete independence and sovereignty for a free, educated, just, and solidary people.

It is always worth remembering that these were the founding principles of the young lawyer, Fidel Castro, in the year of the Apostle’s 100th birthday, 1953.

Miguel Díaz-Canel’s speech is a coherent reflection of these ideas – without excluding the dialectic – upheld by that young man until his final days, and continued by Raúl, whose loyalty to the concepts contained within his brother’s program is unparalleled.

It’s also important to remember that during the uncertain hours of Fidel’s life, after the failed attack on the Moncada garrison, when no one knew whether he was dead or alive, Raúl, taken prisoner near Santiago de Cuba and transported to the municipal police station, assumed full responsibility for the assault, hoping that Fidel might be protected and somewhere safe. Though little known, this was one of the bravest acts in such circumstances; when the life of any suspected protagonist of actions committed on July 26 was worth very little.

On April 19, the seat which has remained empty as a solemn tribute to the Comandante en Jefe since he stepped down as the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, symbolized something else: preserving his victory; especially since on this same date, in 1961, he announced to the combative Cuban people Yankee imperialism’s first defeat on the American continent, at Girón.

As it happens, April 19 is a day full of historic symbolism: 120 years ago on April 19, 1898, U.S. President McKinley signed a joint resolution hypocritically supporting the Mambises, proclaiming Cuba to be “free and independent” and demanding the withdrawal of Spanish colonizers, who had in fact been defeated,.

Raúl explained this contrived Yankee process in his speech; the overwhelming response to which would be given by Fidel, just 60 years later, with the entrance of the Rebel Army to Santiago de Cuba and thus signifying the definitive triumph of the process initiated by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who began by freeing his slaves in 1868.

Meanwhile it was Martí that gave continuity to the struggle linking the initial battle waged by Antonio Maceo, Máximo Gómez, and other heroes for 10 years with the new generations in a single front.

This was the necessary war as outlined by the Apostle, intellectual author of the Moncada attack, as Fidel proclaimed during his historic trial held in the heroic city of Santiago de Cuba.

Today, free, independent, and sovereign Cuba continues to be led by its initiators and younger generations.