THE MOVEMENT AND THE UNAVOIDABLE REPLACEMENT
ON THE NIGHT of March 4, the officers again met with me. It was to be the penultimate joint meeting. The last was held on the 7th. About that time there had been a plot to attack my home. The day before, threatened over radio and by the press, I attended a meeting at Guanabacoa organized by the youth, women, and labor boards of my party. Government gangs tried to incite an attack upon us that night. Jorge Quintana, a member of a press organization and sympathetic to Prío, declared that I must not be allowed to return alive from that meeting. The threats proved an asset to the meeting. Three blocks from the plaza where the meeting was to take place, a crowd of 30,000 people assembled. Men and women came prepared to defend us, including police, soldiers, and sailors dressed in civilian clothes.
The political fiesta was full of enthusiasm, a forerunner of the one tendered me on Sunday, the 9th, by the women of Matanzas Province. At 2:43 A.M. of March 10, 1952, I entered gate No. 4 of Camp Columbia to take command of the Armed Forces. Automobiles and carts covered with ribbons and confetti were still circulating in celebration of the sad little carnival season (the following Sunday the carnival would be celebrated with far more joy).
President Prío was at his estate, recovering from a party that night. His chief collaborators were enjoying the music and shows of the cabarets.