Fidel Castro reflects on Juan Almeida Bosque, African leader in the Cuban revolution


The following is a reprint of Comandante Fidel Castro’s reflections from Granma International on the recent death of Juan Almeida Bosque, Commander in the Cuban Revolution, who died following a heart attack on September 11, 2009. Almeida had been instrumental in the Cuban Revolution up until his death.

I have been watching for hours now on television the tribute that the
entire country is paying to Commander of the Revolution Juan Almeida
Bosque. I think that facing death was for him just another duty as so
many others he discharged throughout his life. He did not know neither
did we how much sadness the news of his physical absence would bring
to us.

I was privileged to know that young black militant worker who would
successively be the leader of a revolutionary group, a combatant at
the Moncada, a comrade in prison, a platoon captain at the time of the
Granma landing, an officer with the Rebel Army — held back by a shot
on his chest during the violent combat at Uvero — the Commander of a
column marching on to create the Third Eastern Front, and the comrade
sharing the leadership of our forces in the last successful battles to
overthrow the tyranny.

I was an exceptional witness to his exemplary conduct for over half a
century of heroic and victorious resistance in the struggle against
the bandits, during the Giron counteroffensive, the Missile Crisis,
the internationalist missions and the resistance to the imperialist

It was a pleasure to listen to some of his songs, especially the one
particularly emotional where he bade farewell to human dreams in
response to the homeland’s call to “win or die”. I was not aware that
he had composed over 300 songs in addition to his literary work, a
source of historical narratives and enjoyable readings. He defended
principles of justice that will be defended at any time and age while
human beings breathe on Earth.

Let’s not say that Almeida is dead! Almeida lives today more than ever!

Fidel Castro Ruz

September 13, 2009

3:12 P.M.

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