Cuban history has a special place for Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran, who physically disappeared on October 28, 1959, when the emerging Revolution counted him as one of its most active defenders.
At the time, he was a Rebel Army Commander, and had won this rank, due to his great bravery in the last period of the Island's liberation struggle, which put an end to Fulgencio Batista's dictatorship.
After his promotion to Rebel Army Commander on April 16, 1958, he wrote to the leader of the July 26 movement, President Fidel Castro: "it would be easier for me to stop breathing than to stop deserving your confidence."
His loyalty to the leader of the Revolution and to the people was one of his most distinctive qualities.
Fearless of enemy bullets, which might have claimed his life, he fought hundreds of battles in the Sierra Maestra mountains, in the plains of Bayamo, and during the invasion to the center of the Island.
His friendship with Che Guevara is one of the most remembered relations among past and present Cubans, who consider them as eternal symbols of a long-standing friendship that cannot be erased by the passing of time.
After the victory, he took the Columbia barracks, commanded air, land, and sea revolutionary troops, and thwarted a coup attempt in Camaguey province.
The Cessna 310 plane that was carrying him to Havana on October 28, 1959, never reached its destination or any place. It was never found in an intensive search carried out at the time.
Camilo, the guerrilla, has been permanently remembered since then. (PL)