Day five

By Paul Harding
January 11, 2012

Rick Ricioppo/JWW

Today, instead of following the group I went with Professor Howell and David to meet a woman named Marta Rojas, an 82-year-old Cuban journalist who was an eyewitness to the attack at the Moncada Garrison. Led by Fidel Castro, the attack is widely accepted as the starting point of the Cuban Revolution.

She told us an amazing story of how she and another journalist were able to sneak photos of the incident past the established military at the time, who were of course lying about the course of events that occurred, and publish a story under intense fear and surveillance from the Batista regime. I decided to do my multimedia piece on her, as she was a remarkable person who I think people really need to see and hear. She also signed one of her books for me, an English translation thankfully, and I’ll start reading it as soon as I get home.

After that we also made a trip to the university, as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was scheduled to give a speech there. We weren’t allowed to get in but we saw and talked to some people on the street about it and found out that none of them even knew he was there. I’m going to write a full story on that as well, as it shows just how ill informed the Cuban people are. Today was the most interesting day I’ve had, and I’m starting to really have fun on this trip.