In the last 10 days, five generals died in Cuba. So far, the cause of death is unknown.
No official media has reported the cause of death of the high-ranking military officers in the last weeks, in view of such uncertainty, doubts arise whether they died of natural causes, of some disease, or if the deaths were related to the protests on the island.
Five generals die in Cuba
The death of Cuban Brigadier General Armando Choy Rodriguez, the last of a group of military men who were part of the Castro regime’s leadership, was announced on Monday night, July 26.
On Sunday, July 25, the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR) also reported the death of Reserve Brigadier General Manuel Lastres Pacheco, who fought as a soldier in the Sierra Maestra guerrilla under the orders of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Seven days ago, the death of Reserve Generals Rubén Martínez Puente and Marcelo Verdecia Perdomo was announced, as well as the death of the head of the Eastern Army, Major General Agustín Peña.
When rumors began to circulate about the death of the high-ranking officers, Cuban authorities gave less relevance to these events, since the last two cases of deaths have not been published in the written press.
Choy Rodríguez: led the “Cuban Revolution”
“Brigadier General Armando Choy Rodriguez passed away last night (…), reach his family and friends our heartfelt condolences”, can be read in the terse message of notice on the death of the Cuban military man, which does not offer further details on the causes of his death.
Choy Rodríguez, the last of the deceased, was born in 1934 and was one of the founders of the “26th of July Movement” that led the “Cuban Revolution.”
He was appointed general by dictator Fidel Castro in 1962 and was in charge of leading the group for the sanitation and development of the Bay of La Havana, and also served as a delegate of the Minister of Labor in the city’s port.
Manuel Lastres Pacheco: pupil of “Che” Guevara
Manuel Eduardo Lastres Pacheco joined Fidel Castro’s guerrilla in 1957 and was under the orders of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. He later followed orders from Camilo Cienfuegos in the invasion of western Cuba.
After 1959, he was Battalion Chief in the so-called fight against bandits, Brigade Chief, Infantry Division and of the Territorial Troops Militias (MTT) and was also in command of Cuban troops in Angola.
Ruben Martinez Puente: shot down planes carrying exiles
Martínez Puente died last Saturday at the age of 79. The military officer was accused of having transmitted Raul Castro’s order to fire missiles from MiG fighter planes of the Cuban Air Force to shoot down the planes carrying exiles.
The attack occurred over international waters, although the Cuban government alleged that the planes had entered the island’s airspace.
Martinez was director of the Military Agricultural Union of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and a deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power in the VII Legislature.
Marcelo Verdecia Perdomo: Fidel Castro’s Bodyguard
On Tuesday last week, Brigadier General Marcelo Verdecia Perdomo, who was Fidel Castro’s bodyguard in the Sierra Maestra, also passed away.
The general traveled with Fidel to Cienfuegos in the “Caravan of Freedom” at the beginning of the Revolution, served as Battalion Chief of the militia during the Bay of Pigs invasion and participated in the “Fight against bandits” in the Escambray.
Verdecia Perdomo was founding president in Cienfuegos of the Association of Combatants of the Cuban Revolution and worked with the regime and the institutions of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) throughout his life. Last April he received the status of “Hero of Labor” of the Republic of Cuba from the hands of the tyrant Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Agustín Peña Pórrez
A national television report said that Peña joined the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) through the Camilo Cienfuegos Military Schools (EMCC).
“During his time in the institution he held different positions, from platoon, company and tank brigade chief,” the note said.
He was in charge of the military regions of the provinces of Granma, Holguin and Ciego de Avila and also headed the Army Logistics Department.