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Source:  Revolucion (Revolution), Havana, 1 December 1960

Entire nation, headed by Dorticos and Fidel, renders tribute to
Major Fajardo who died in the service of the fatherland -- forceful
accusation of guilty parties.

Santiago de Cuba, 1 December (Cesar Marin, by phone). -- Under a
bright sun, at 1400 this afternoon, the president of the republic, Dr
Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado, and the prime minister, Dr Fidel Castro, as well
as various members of the cabinet and high officers of the revolutionary
armed forces headed the funeral cortege which took the body of the valiant
Major Manuel Fajardo Rivero to his last resting place.

Manzanillo has never had so profound a manifestation of the grief
as that which was recorded during the funeral of the unfortunate Major

About 70,000 persons accompanied the funeral cortege, including
members of the revolutionary armed forces, militiamen, students, workers,
peasants, pupils from the "Camilo Cienfuegos" school city, as well as
members of revolutionary organizations and the people at large.

As the funeral procession passed, the public crowded the sidewalks
and the balconies and the flat roofs of the buildings, expressing profound
sadness at the tragic death of one of the most beloved and heroic sons of
Manzanillo, Major Fajardo.

Funeral Procession Starts Out

The Funeral procession started at 1130.  The pallbearers were
President Dorticos, doctors Fuastino Perez and Julio Camacho as well as
Machado Ventura, as well as captains Pepito Cuza and Juan Escalona,
followed by the mother of Major Fajardo, Dr Francisca Rivero, Mrs Ana
Ledea, mother of the martyr William Solar, and Ministers Armando Hart, and
Raquel Perez, Majors Calixto Garcia, the military commander of Oriente,
Rene Vallejo, provincial delegate of the INRA [Instituto Nacional de la
Reforma Agraria -- National Institute of the Agrarian Reform], Jorge
Serguera, Demetrio Villa Montseny, Victor Mora, Angelito Frias, Lalo
Sardinas, Reinerio Jimenez, Humberto Castello, Gilberto Cervantes, Armando
Acosta, Gilberto Carrero, Captain Cesar Suarez Calana, commander of the PNR
[Policia Nacional Revolucionario -- National Revolutionary Police] in
Santiago de Cuba; captains Jose Fontanilis, Joaquin Mendez Cominch, the
Provincial Coordinator of M-26-7, Dr Rodolfo Puentes Ferro; city
commissioners Hector Llopiz of Manzanillo, Pedro Garcia of Palma Soriano,
Antenor Betancourt of Antilla; the municipal coordinator of M-26-7 of
Manzanillo, Victor Boronat; the organizational secretary of the CTC, Jesus
Soto; provincial commissioner Manuel Aradas Macias; the chairman of the
Circle of Professional Men of Oriente, Dr Rene Beguez Lopez.

The coffin was preceded by 13 trucks loaded with floral offerings.
The cortege remained at the cemetery entrance for a period of 2 hours.  The
crowd which had gathered here was so tremendous that the Red Cross had to
offer first aid to more than a dozen persons who became ill.

1        In making his funeral oration, which lasted more than half an
hour, Prime Minister Dr Fidel Castro, through his moving and vibrant words,
made tears flow from many women, men and children alike who attended the
funeral of Major Fajardo.

With sadness in his face, Dr Fidel Castro constantly kept looking
toward the coffin containing the mortal remains of Major Fajardo, until the
coffin had been lowered down into the grave.  Then an honor guard fired 3
salvos and the trumpeter blew taps.  At that moment, the mother of the
unfortunate Major Fajardo, Dr Francisca Rivero Arocha, pressed the
crucifix, which had been on her son's sarcophagus, against her chest while
she and some other ladies, including the mother of the maximum leader of
the revolution, Mrs Lina Ruz, widow of Castro, prayed.

An old man, who witnessed the burial, broke the silence when he
shouted to Major Fidel Castro:  "Fidel, we are all prepared to die as Fj
Fajardo died, defending this revolution."

Guard of Honor

Throughout last night and this morning, honor guards were placed
around the coffin of Major Fajardo; these honor guards consisted or
representatives of all classes in the city of Manzanilla and surroundings;
the honor guard of the "Camilo Cienfuegos" school city students was
outstanding among these honor guards; Major Fajardo had directed that
school center for a period of 9 months.

The last honor guard was made up of President Dorticos, Minister
of Education Armando Hart; Minister of Social Security Raquel Perez;
Minister of Transportation, Julio Camacho Aguilera; Minister of Public
Health Jose R. Machado.

Dr Castro's Mother Arrives

During the early morning hours, the mother of the chief of the
revolution, Mrs Lina Ruz, widow of Castro, arrived at the funeral parlor on
Luz Caballero, between Lynaz and San Telmo; she was accompanied by her son
Ramon Castro.  Both of them stayed with the mother of Major Fajardo for
several hours before and after the funeral.

President Dorticos

The chief of state, Dr Dorticos Torrado, arrived at the funeral
parlor shortly after 0630, accompanied by ministers Hart, Raquel Perez,
Machado and others; he expressed his most profound grief, in the name of
the revolutionary government to the mother of Major Fajardo.

Arrival of Prime Minister

The maximum chief of the revolution, Dr Fidel Castro, arrived at
the Manzanillo cemetery shortly after 1300; when he ascended the rostrum to
deliver his moving speech, he was followed by a crowd of people who fought
to embrace and greet him. Dr Castro was accompanied by his secretary, Celia
Sanchez; he was also accompanied by the military commander of Oriente,
Major Calixto Garcia, and various ministers and Rebel Army officers.

Biographical Data

Major Manuel Fajardo Rivero was born 30 years ago in the city of
Manzanillo, on 8 November 1930.  He was the son of Manuel Fajardo and Dr
Francisca Rivero Arocha, who was affectionately known as Panchita.  He went
to grade school there and also high school and he also took his bachelor's
degree there and then he moved on to Havana where he studied medicine; he
graduated in 1955.  Major Fajardo married Nidia Ledea Ramirez, a doctor of
pharmacy, and they had two girls; the older one is now 2-1/2 and her name
is also Nidia; the younger one, Debora, is 9 months old.

Major Fajardo and his wife Nidia together took courses in higher
education; during one of these advanced courses, they became engaged.
Major Fajardo was one of the first doctors to join the Rebel forces of Dr
Fidel Castro, along with Dr Rene Vallejo Ortiz, who is currently the
provincial INRA delegate in Oriente.  Major Fajardo had for a long time
been working underground with Major Fajardo and during the phase of the
uprising of the Rebel Army, he was active in the rural areas.  Months after
the triumph of the revolution, Major Fajardo became the director of the
"Camilo Cienfuegos" school city construction project.  He played an
important role in the capture of the fugitive gunman Manuel Beaton, a
fugitive from revolutionary justice.  Most recently, he had been assigned
to Escambray, where, until his death, he commanded operations against the
mercenaries who had started an uprising there.

His Aide Speaks

Major Fajardo's aide during the Escambray operations against the
mercenaries, 1st Lt Miguel Rodriguez, a boy of 15 years, told this
newspaper that the guerrilla tactics and the encirclement operations
launched by Major Fajardo were indeed formidable.  He added that he was a
very hardworing man  and that he was on his feet from 6 in the morning
until midnight.  "He was a man who was determined to do everything and he
was not afraid of anything or anybody.  None of us, who have been close to
him, can believe that he is gone.  He was an extraordinary man, he had an
extremely warn character, he was cheerful and communicative.

1        Captain Silvio Garcia called out to him as he saw him fall in a
pool of blood but the major did not answer, he died instantly.

"Major Fajardo had everyone's sympathy and was liked by everybody,
not only the militia forces but also the Rebel forces.  He got along well
with everybody."

"When Fidel and Celia entered, they fell silent.  They did not
know what to say; they were simply overcome with love and admiration for

A Pupil Speaks

Romarico Lara, a pupil at "Camilo Cienfuegos" school city, spoke
in praise of Major Fajardo.  He said that, during the time he was in charge
of the school city, "he treated us very well.  He was just another one of
the comrades here.  Everybody really came to love him.  We all cried a lot
here.  We will never forget that, as soon as he had taken over at school
city, he threw a Christmas dinner for us.  I cannot believe that he is
dead.  I keep thinking this is all a lie."

Fidel's Speech

Here is the speech made by Dr Fidel Castro which expresses our
grief, based on the shorthand version released by the Office of the Prime

Speech by Fidel

Comrades of the Rebel Army; Comrades of the Militia; Workers;
Peasants; Youths; Ladies and Gentlemen:

We have gathered here today to bury a major in the Rebel Army.
This is an event that is bound to be very painful for all of us today.
First of all, because the fatherland has lost a good son; second, because
the revolution has lost a first-line fighter; and third, because we, who
were his comrades and his friends and his brothers, lost a comrade, a
friend, and a brother.

But, how should we revolutionaries react to the death of a valiant
comrade?  As we look at death, we revolutionaries must straighten up; as we
look at death, we revolutionaries must see what the destiny and the mission
of the fighting man is.  Death comes to everyone but, above all, death is
the only rest for a true revolutionary.

We are all familiar with death.  We were especially familiar with
death during the war, when episodes like this one occurred constantly; we

It would certainly have appeared strange to us, on 1 January, in
the midst of all the extraordinary jubilation of our people, to think that,
before the end of 2 years, less than 2 years from that date, we would have
to meet here, in this heroic city of Manzanillo, to bury another heroic son
of Manzanillo, who gave his life to the fatherland, doing his duty,
fighting against the same interests and fighting against the same enemies
because of whom we have become so familiar with death; and so we became
familiar with the death of all of those who fell in combat or with the
death of those who were day after day assassinated in the streets and in
the rural areas of the fatherland.

1        And you, the people of Manzanillo, who walked with us in the war,
from the very first moment onward, who were our first and our most constant
supporters in the struggle, you, people of Manzanillo, who lived through 2
years of continuous terror and crime, you know and you remember those days
very well.  And the idea that death would not touch our youngsters, the
idea that death and crime would be banished from our fatherland, the idea
that this holocaust, this constant holocaust would spare valiant and useful
lives, that idea made up happy and enabled us to go on; but that idea also
caused us to mistake of thinking that the battle was over on that day.  And
now we must face the reality that the battle began, in a different form, on
1 January.

The Real Culprits

Why did Major Fajardo die?  Who are the men who are responsible
for the death of Fajardo?  Who gives weapons to the assassins because of
whom Major Fajardo died?  Who recruits the assassins because of whose guilt
the fatherland lost a son, such as Fajardo?  Who, if not those who do not
wish to have any justice in our country; who but those who want the
revolution to fail; who but those who want our country once again to become
a land of injustice, privilege, oppression, and crime; who but those who
once again want to dominate our people; who but those who once again want
to seize control of our economy?  Who are the men who are guilty of the
murder of Major Fajardo, if not, first of all, those who from abroad, from
a foreign government, from a foreign country, constantly receive parachuted
weapons which are dropped over a region of Cuba for the purpose of
supporting the counterrevolutionaries and the spies and the traitors?  And
although these weapons invariably and always fall into the hands of the
revolution, they do constitute an important factor here; the enemy keeps
parachuting weapons so that the spies and the traitors can withdraw into
the mountains and wait for further aid from abroad, in order to fight
against the revolution.

The government of the United States is the prime culprit
responsible for the death of Major Fajardo!  The bandits in the Pentagon
and in the intelligence service of the United States are primarily
responsible for the death of Major Fajardo they are the men who have
constantly been dropping weapons by parachute into Escambray, in an effort
to get various groups to rise up there against the revolutionary
government, in order to counteract the operations of the peasant militia;
this is why Fajardo was out there, in Escambray, heading the peasant
militia forces, watching over our territory and trying to put an end to all
of imperialism's attempts to promote counterrevolutionary groups there!
The same criminals who yesterday assassinated so many Cubans are also
guilty of the death of Major Fajardo!  The men who have sold out their
fatherland are guilty here!  The traitors are guilty!  The big privileged
groups of yesterday are responsible for this, the holders of privilege who
refuse to resign themselves to the reality and justice of the revolution!

Fruitful Grief

While there is grief in our ranks, in the ranks of the servants of
the fatherland, there is joy in the ranks of the enemy of the fatherland;
the enemies and the traitors of the fatherland are glad about the death of
a good son of the fatherland but this joy of theirs will not last long
because there is something more than just pain in this grief; there is
grief and there is also valor; there is grief and there is a fighting
spirit; there is grief and there is firmness; there is grief and there is a
fighting spirit; there is grief and there is also a determination to go on
and on; there is grief as we bury a comrade but there is also the resolve
that the enemies of the fatherland, the enemies of our people, will
continue to be defeated in all they may attempt; there is grief but there
is also the firm determination that those who have come to kill our
comrade, those traitors to the fatherland, will perish without glory and
without being mourned by their side.

We feel profound grief as we bury our comrade here who fell in the
service of the fatherland, a comrade who died doing his duty; but the
traitors to the fatherland, the men who have sold out for foreign gold, the
men who want to hinder the march of our country toward progress and
happiness, they will have to face dishonorable death before the firing
squad, unless they fall in combat, which is not very probable because they
prefer to surrender to the generosity of the revolutionary forces.

He Has Earned His Right to Rest

1        Comrade Fajardo has done his duty.  He did it in war, as a
physician and soldier; he did it in peace, and he will always be in the
hearts of the first 500 children of the school city; the name of Fajardo
will always be remembered with love by them.  He did his duty as a
physician, as a teacher, and as a soldier.  And the doctor and the teacher
fell with the soldier here.

It is not easy to live the kind of life Fajardo lived.  To get to
be what Fajardo became, it was necessary to make a hard and long effort,
from the very first days in school until the very last years of his career
as a student; and to become a major in the Rebel Forces, he made a
tremendous sacrifice and he exhibited his valor in our ranks until the end
of the war.  And yet he was only a major because major is the highest
ranks in our army.  And he could not be anything more than a major.
Still, Fajardo was one of those who rendered great service even after he
became a major.

And so we now have one major less in our ranks.  However, how much
more do we prefer one major less because he fell doing his duty than one
major less because he betrayed his fatherland!  And even though we had
traitors here and even though we had some very painful losses in terms of
comrades who fell doing their duty, we nevertheless feel consoled in the
knowledge that we can say this to our fallen comrade, as we look at all of
the dear faces of our veterans, as well look at the faces of the many old
soldiers who went through the war, as we realize that the country has
tremendous reserves, old reserves and new reserves:

Rest in peace!  You have earned your right to rest in peace!  You
have earned the prize that goes to the good!  You have earned the right to
the eternal love of your people, the love of the present generation and the
generations yet to come!  And we are profoundly saddened by the fact that
you will not continue to march side by side with us, that you cannot go on
contemplating with us the magnificent fruits of the work of the revolution;
and we are sad because you cannot go on looking into the new faces of the
new students who come here to this school city which you launched; we are
profoundly saddened because you cannot continue among us, watching your
work grow.

The Fatherland Will Continue to Go Forward

But, amid all this pain, we are consoled because we can say to
you, comrade, that our work will go on!  That, someday, in this city, some
of use will be able to look into the faces of 20,000 children who have been
made happy!  We are glad because we can tell you that the fatherland will go
on and on, cost what it may!  That the struggle will go on, cost what it
may!  And the counterrevolutionaries, the men who have sold out, will
continue to run into men such as you, soldiers such as you, fighting men
such as you, first-line fighting men, capable of doing such as you, capable
as dying as you died, leading your men, doing your duty!

And, comrade, we are glad to be able to tell you and we are
consoled because we can tell you that the enemies of the fatherland, no
matter where they may spring up, no matter what crime they plan to
perpetrate, no matter what treason they plan to engage in, regardless of
where they try to destroy the revolution, and regardless of where they may
try to rise up in arms against it, will be wiped out!

Rest in peace, then, comrade Fajardo!