Holguin to Host Cuba’s Big Day

by Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, July 4 — Cuba’s Day of National Rebellion on July 26 is the island’s biggest holiday each year, even more so than January 1, when the Revolution triumphed, or May 20, when Cuba went from a Spanish colony to a US dominated pseudo-republic.

The Communist Party announced on Saturday that Holguin, located in the northeastern part of the country, has been selected to host the main July 26, 2009 celebration, which promises to be modest, due to the economic crisis affecting the country.

The date commemorates the 1953 assault on the Moncada and Cespedes garrisons in Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo, which, while unsuccessful, sparked the Cuban Revolution that would drive out Batista the dictator five and a half years later.

The friendly battle between the country’s 14 provinces to host the event —which often includes the president’s most important speech of the year— reflects the Communist Party’s view of the effectiveness of the work carried out during the previous year.

Runners-up for the designation this year were Villa Clara, Granma and the City of Havana.

Holguin had previously hosted the fiesta in 1979 and 1996.

Fidel Castro’s last live speech took place in Holguin on the same date in 2006, days before he underwent intestinal surgery. Since that date he has not appeared in public but writes a frequent column published in the local media.