Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Dignidad Cuba celebrates this International Women's Day advocating for the total emancipation of women all over the world, standing against any kind of discrimination and/or abuse against women, and demanding the right of every woman (and man) to a free and good education.

For all women, here is a Cuban classic, La Bayamesa. This song was first composed in 1851 by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and José Fornaris. This was done to fulfill a request of their friend Francisco Castillo, who was in love with Luz Vazques, a local beauty. On a warm evening March of 1851, Francisco and his friends stood outside Luz's window and serenaded her with the new song. The tradition was that if the girl opened the window and appeared, she accepted the suitor. She did, and years later they got married and had many children.

Some time before Carlos Manuel de Céspedes took Bayamo (see earlier entry, Touching history in Bayamo, on this blog), Francisco got sick and left for Spain for treatment. He died in Madrid in 1867. Luz actively supported the revolutionary cause and was among the very first to set her house on fire when it was decided that the city would be burned. She left for the manigua (scrubland) as all the other Bayameses, where she tended the sick and wounded until she was captured by the Spaniards.

Here's a version of that song dedicated to all women.

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