CAMAGÜEY.- The first months of 1963 were running and Che was cutting sugarcane near Ciro Redondo sugar mill, and at the same time he was committed to test a sugar cane cutting machine in order to humanize the labor of men.

Images of that time come to Jose Antonio Lavin Silva, who functioned as Communist Party First Secretary in the region of Moron and who now lives in the Camagueyan neighborhood America Latina.

The interviewed explained the sugar production complexity, and that the sugarcane harvesting failures forced Che to take the initiative of asking the authorization of the president of the Republic Osvaldo DorticosTorrado to adopt some measures to transform the panorama.

The idea included talks with Camagueyan political and institutional authorities, headed by Felipe Torre Trujillo, and the proposal of backups to accelerate and guarantee the delivery ofraw materials for the mill.

Thousands of people went to the countryside with the slogan: As bed the soil and as ceiling the sky. Then, the rain started and with it the stop of industrial and agricultural operations.

Lavin commented that Che was an example of discipline. It was evidenced when he, with the moral force of being one of the main revolutionary leaders, asked the president´s authorization.

There was nothing left. He addressed Lavin in nice mood:

“You have partners working in the countryside in the formation of the Communist Party, but now it is time for cutting sugarcane”. Lavin answered:

“You are right, they are accomplishing that task, but tomorrow they will start to cut sugarcane”

 For a moment he headed the conversation to Camaguey city to remember another moment in which he participated in a meeting with Che. This time in a Communist Party building that was located in front of the National Bus Station in El Retiro Neighborhood.

“He talked about the economic and politic labor in the country. I remembered when Botello( JoseBotello, who assumed the same political responsibility in Ciego de Avila city) was going to talk,Che asked him:

“You are Botello who fought in Sierra Maestra. How is Bin? He was one of the Botellos most outstanding during the insurrectional fight”.

In the news of Geronimo´s death on August 21st, 2015 the website Cubaperiodista includes:

“He went to the place where the sugarcane was cut with a camera and he requested an interview with Che. Guevara told him that was a place for cutting sugarcane, not for taking pictures; besides, he added: “you cut sugarcane with me and I will give you the interview. He did it, and at the end, he made the interview and took many pictures that later became part of Cuban history for showing Che Guevara in the sugarcane task”.

Lavin was almost surprised with this other question:

José Antonio Lavín Silva . Photo:Otilio Rivero Delgado/Adelante José Antonio Lavín Silva . Photo:Otilio Rivero Delgado/Adelante KnowingChe´s life, what image of him is kept in your mind after all these years?

“He was a very just person. He had a vast knowledge about Economics and military strategy. He was a model. He was a hard-working person, he did not care for his health condition; he overcame the asthma condition and went to the countryside to cut sugarcane. In a word, he was a revolutionary in full, he was the first in all tasks”.

Are you proud of having known him?

Yes, the fact of being in contact with him, of seeing him in La Norma, a small countryside neighborhood at 7 miles from the road Ciego de Avila –Moron. The fact that he was in our region, involved in productive activities, makes us proud”said Lavin.

Now, for finishing, the words pronounced by Fidel in the commemorative act for the XVIII anniversary of Moncada barrack attack, celebrated in Camaguey city on July 26th, 1977:

“Who does not remember the anguish felt during the first years of the revolution? Who does not remember Che´s efforts to build the first combine harvester in an epoch where there was no experience about that in the country? The nation was blocked, and it was impossible to obtain a single machine used in Hawaii or in any other place and most of countries dedicated to this economic activity, all undeveloped, had none either."

Translated by: Nelson Daniel Hidálgo Rios,Student of English Language