15 de julio de 2024

Radio 26 – Matanzas, Cuba

Emisora provincial de Matanzas, Cuba, La Radio de tu Corazón

The (Dis)Enchantment of Terrorism.

With a total of 65 departments and seven floors, the El Encanto store was not only a work of great architectural value for Cuba, but also one of the largest and most opulent stores in the Havana capital.

 

With a total of 65 departments and seven floors, the El Encanto store was not only a work of great architectural value for Cuba, but also one of the largest and most opulent stores in Havana’s capital, which also became the nerve center of commerce on the island.

Founded in 1888 by the Spanish brothers Jose and Bernardo Solis and nationalized after the revolutionary triumph of 1959, El Encanto was part of the list of unfortunate buildings that succumbed to the growing wave of terrorist activities orchestrated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and its followers, in their eagerness to destabilize the country.

It was precisely on April 13th, 1961 when Carlos Gonzalez Vidal, then an employee of the building and disaffiliated with the Cuban government, sabotaged the facility which, thanks to a pair of incendiary flasks containing C-4 plastic explosive, was reduced to rubble and twisted steel beams.

It is estimated that the material losses amounted to 20 million dollars and, in addition to the ten people injured in the blazing inferno, 43-year-old employee Fe del Valle Ramos lost her life when she was trying to rescue the funds of a delegation of the Cuban Women’s Federation that were sheltered in the building.

The fire at the El Encanto store marked a turning point in the fight against terrorism in the country and, although it was part of the ill-fated Operation Pluto, which would fail with the victory of the rebels at Playa Giron, it demonstrated the capacity of resistance and mutual support in the face of adversity as symbols of national strength, while reaffirming the unity of the Cuban people as an incentive to defend their Revolution.

Written by Yadiel Barbón Salgado.

 

 

 

 

 

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