Havana, (EFE).- Several thousand young people, led by the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and his predecessor, Raúl Castro, participated this Thursday in the torchlight march to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the birth of the hero of the homeland José Martí (1853-1895).
The traditional nocturnal procession started on the steps of the University of Havana, in the heart of the Cuban capital, and descended just over a kilometer to the Fragua Martiana, a monument that commemorates the writer and independence leader.
Walking at the head of the march were Díaz-Canel, wearing a sports jacket with the colors of the Cuban flag, and Castro, in his olive green suit as an army general – the highest position of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) -, in a of his few public appearances since he left office in 2018.
An act dating back to 1953
Between Cuban flags and slogans in favor of the revolution and its leader, former President Fidel Castro, the delegation toured downtown Havana in an unusually cool and unpleasant atmosphere due to a cold front that put out some torches.
The vice president, Ramiro Valdéz; the Cuban Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero; the president of parliament, Esteban Lazo, and the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Public Health and Culture, Bruno Rodríguez, Ángel Portal Miranda and Alpidio Alonso, among others.
Members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC, the only legal entity) also participated in the march, such as Rogelio Polanco, head of the Ideological Department, and Roberto Morales Ojeda, head of Organization.
The torchlight march, an initiative of the late former president Fidel Castro, is one of the main mass events convened by the Federation of University Students (FEU) and the Union of Young Communists (UJC) throughout the year.
At midnight on January 27, 1953, the first March of the torches in memory of Martí took place on the occasion of the centenary of his birth.