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Comandante Juan Almeida in life

f0025499The Cuban people always considered it the third most important figure of the Cuban Revolution after Fidel and Raúl. Along with Armando Mestre, Almeida met the young Fidel at the University of Havana following the Batista coup of March 10, 1952. A revolutionary was born.

He came from a humble family, the second of 12 siblings, raised in the Havana neighborhood of Poey. By nine years of age, he was helping his parents support the family. He cleaned shoes, held a spoon like a bricklayer and scissors like a barber.

He was among the young rebels who assaulted the Moncada in 1953; went into exile in Mexico after being imprisoned with Fidel, returning on the Granma to fight in the Sierra Maestra.

He is the same modest, Black man who, in the battle of Alegría de Pío responded to a call to give up, shouting: No one here surrenders! The revolutionary who left a deep mark among those who lived through the war with him, inhabitants of Santiago’s eastern mountains, who had him as their delegate of the Party Political Bureau in Oriente; on his subordinates in the Central Army; on the men and women of the Party and deputies, in short, on everyday Cubans who identified him as what he was: Hero of the Republic of Cuba.

The humanity that always accompanied him, his guerrilla spirit, his books and songs, that penetrated deeply into the cultural heritage of Cubans, mean that he is, and will always be, in the hearts of our people.


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