One of them was Fidel Castro's bodyguard
The Cuban authorities have confirmed that five Cuban generals have died in unclear circumstances in recent days. According to Western media, this story gave the intrigues a new increase in anti-government protests that took place on the Island of Freedom.
The Cuban government did not explain the causes of death in any of the five. In the death of military leaders, one of whom was formerly the leader of the Cuban Air Force, when they shot down two American private planes in an infamous incident with the compatriot group Hermanos al Rescate, in 1996 there was no sign of “foul play”. writes The Guardian.
But with the spread of COVID-19 around the island and the average number of new infections in Cuba, nearly 8,000, almost eight times more than in early July, foreign observers fear the deaths of five, mostly very older retired military leaders may occur. to the coronavirus pandemic. The youngest of the deceased generals was 57 years old. Most were between 70 and 80 years old. All of these top military leaders appear to have died between July 17 and 26, the Washington Post reported. Some served, others retired, but all had high military careers. The deaths of several generals in a short period of time were due to the fact that the revolutionary vanguard that had led the communist country for six decades had transferred power to a new generation.
The Washington Post cites the opinion of William Leo Grande, an expert at Cuba from the American University, who said that the deaths of Cuban military leaders reminded him of the Soviet Union at a time when such high figures as Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko died, despite their deaths. three years, not nine days.
According to Leo Grande, the death of military leaders may not have much practical effect on the Cuban government given the advanced age of most generals, but it was a “strong reminder that the” historic “generation of leaders who revolutionized and founded the revolutionary regime was leaving the scene quickly. The death of the generals also caught the attention of High Florida Senator Marc Rubio, whose parents fled Cuba in the 1950s, before the victory of the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro. Marco Rubio is known as one of the most vocal opponents of the Cuban government in Florida, home to over 1.5 million Cuban emigrants and first- and second-generation Cuban Americans.
“Nine days.” Five dead generals in Cuba. Very strange, “Senator Rubio wrote on Tuesday, continuing a previously published tweet in which he noted that senior military officials” have been incredibly unlucky lately. “According to 79-year-old Ruben Martinez Puente, a former Cuban air force chief who was indicted in Miami in 2003, but never went to court for an incident seven years ago in which two pilots and two other passengers were killed after a Cuban military plane shot down their Cessna aircraft in international waters.
Martinez Puente died on July 24, according to the Miami Herald, citing a memorandum from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba.
According to American newspapers, among others was Agustin Peña Porres, the former head of the Cuban Eastern Army, who died on July 17 at the age of 57. The Communist Party newspaper Granma published photos of his funeral and quoted a tweet from Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel, who called the warlord's death a “sad news.”
Retired Brigadier General Marcelo Verdesia died on July 20 in Santa Clara. According to reports from the Cuban press, he was 79 or 80 years old. As a teenager, he joined the Cuban rebel army and later became Fidel Castro's bodyguard.
Retired Brigadier General Eduardo Lastres Pacheco died Monday this week. He served under Ernest Che Guevara.
And on Tuesday, the University of Las Villas tweeted the death of 87-year-old Brigadier General Armando Choi Rodriguez.