Monday, 15 November 2021 11:29

HISTORY: Foundation of the Congregation in Habana-Cuba

"Havana lacks a History (...) the oldest ones invent another story, a lie, as it should be (...) between Havana-that-does-not-exist and Havana-a-paradise-lost."

Abilio Estévez


And the Castro revolution took place in 1959. Before that, at the end of 1956, a group of 82 young people, led by Fidel Castro, landed in the province of Oriente, entered Sierra Maestra, and began the guerrilla fight against the dictatorship of Batista, who fled to the United States on 1 January 1959. Fidel Castro triumphantly entered Havana on 9 January 1959. The Constitution of 1940 was suppressed, and a new regime began: the Castro regime, with a leftist tendency - quite communist.

At the same time, Father Martín Garmendia, having served his double term as Superior of the house, was due for a change. Father Garmendia left Cuba for another country and Fr. Gregorio Urquiola, who was living in Popayán (Colombia), was appointed Superior. He left for the Caribbean Island on 10 December 1959, the same day as in Bogotá, at 12 noon. the new Eldorado airport was inaugurated during General Rojas Pinilla’s mandate.

Now the author of this chronicle is speaking in the first person… I had to leave, not from the new Eldorado airport, but from the old Techo airport, on a plane of the Avianca Company. In Miami (USA), after a long wait, a plane belonging to the Cuban Aviation Company boarded the passengers bound for Cuba. As already stated, Fidel Castro was in power. To land at the Havana-Rancho Boyeros airport late at night was normal. After complying with the rigorous procedures, - an added requirement - on leaving the airport Fr Segundo Urquía could be seen present waiting for me, to take me by car to the new residence of Calzada de Bejucal. The next morning I was able to meet the other members of the community: Manuel Oyarbide, Martín Gorostidi, Julio Sampedro, Ignacio María Eguibar and Vicente Urquía.

The community by then had a new house and a large chapel with a terrace above it. The life of the community continued normally, without other setbacks than those imposed by the suffocating heat of Havana. The revolution was underway ...

To be continued…

Father Gregorio Urquiola, sss
Bogotá, Colombia, NOTIBIP 73 - September 2021

Last modified on Monday, 15 November 2021 11:35