National Day of Mourning in Cuba Today

A man who helped fidel castro inflict pain, suffering and misery on the Cuban people, Juan Almeida Bosque, died on Friday.  Not in front of a firing squad, not begging for his life, but of a quick heart attack at the age of 82.  One of fidel’s right hand men, he earned the title of ”Comandante de la Revolucion;” only Ramiro Valdes and Guillermo Garcia are left with this “distinction.”

I’m sure all your Cuban flags are at half staff today.  NOT! 

h/t Amy aka Kikita



16 thoughts on “National Day of Mourning in Cuba Today

  1. Claudia and Humberto:

    Well said

    tell me more about Almeida and the UMAP forced labor camps and Miguel Sanchez’s observation of the “little negrito” remark of Guevara. Do you have a formal cition for this …

    I have always respected Almeida for his courage if nothing else, and the fact that he allowed me to resign from the Rebel forces January 17, 1958 (true two “tiros escapa’o” had just missed me days before.

    Another point is that I recall Almeida as being mulato not black … one can clearly observe that in some photographs of Almeida in the cloudy heights of the Sierra Maestra,

  2. Larry,
    Its true that Almeida was mulato and Che is well known to have NOT like anyone who had black or Indian blood.In the case of Cubans…if they were mulatos, they were black.
    One of our great Cuban-Americans writers wrote “Che Was asked what he would do in favor of black Cubans…He answered…THE SAME THING THEY DID FOR THE ROBOLUCION…NOTHING”.
    Hopefully Almeida…mulato or black… is burning in hell with Che.

  3. Henry:

    At my age it is nice to know that my memory works at least half the time (:>)

    I will cite you along with Humberto and Claudia.

    The best


  4. I’m thinking he was greeted by thousands of Cuban souls at the Pearly Gates, who promptly proceeded to kick his ass into the pit of Hell.

    St. Peter was a Cuban at heart.

  5. In a way, Almeida was one of the great success stories of the “revolution.” He came from nothing and was nothing special, but he got the plum role of token black “comandante,” to be trotted out and displayed at every suitable opportunity, especially for foreign consumption, as “proof” that Castro, Inc. was an “equal opportunity employer” (one of his functions was to receive newly accredited foreign ambassadors to Havana). There’ll be a scramble now to replace him, because there are precious few blacks in upper-echelon posts to choose from, though no doubt a new token will be found.

    Almeida got his hands dirty (literally) in the early years with things like the ruthless suppression of anti-Castro rebels (chiefly poor farmers) in the Escambray region, but he was mainly a decorative figure, a visual prop. His chief “virtues” were absolute fidelity to Fidel and the convenient color of his skin. Even though all he did was follow the script and show up to be seen and photographed, he lived high on the hog for 50 years–FAR better than the vast majority of Cubans, black or white. For somebody with no special skill or talent, except, apparently, as a songwriter (!) it was a major accomplishment, of sorts.

    Naturally, he always did what he was told, always agreed with his very white superiors, and always signed on the dotted line as instructed. He knew what his assigned role was and played it faithfully (and very profitably). In other words, he was a very good boy. He did not, however, prevent the summary execution of three young black men for the “crime” of trying to flee Castro’s plantation. That would have been stepping out of line and risking Massah’s wrath. Good boys know their place.

  6. the man Che demeaned and taunted as “el negrito

    Che is well known to have NOT like anyone who had black or Indian blood

    I’ve always been curious of why Che had a afro-Cuban bodyguard Harry Villegas aka “Pombo”
    (Shown here)
    who virtually went with him everywhere – even to Bolivia where Pombo actually survived. Did Fidel give Pombo to Che as a bodyguard to teach the haughty Argentine a lesson? Humberto, what have you found on Pombo?

    Also remember at least publicly, Che always said the right things in reference to blacks and racism. He even had the audacity to lecture the U.S. on the KKK, call out South Africa in 1964 for Apartheid, and call out the US at the UN against “Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin”. Apparently ‘El Chancho’ loved irony.

  7. Can’t be! The Cuban ROBOLUTIONARY VANGUARD IS DYING!!!? But I thought that they were all young! A bunch of spring chickens! I mean, the media is always calling us a bunch of aging instransigents, and didn’t Oliphant have that famous cartoon where we’re all depicted like octogenarians? The assumption was that if were were old, they [who are supposed to be our opposites] are young.

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