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One More Lie About Che Guevara / Cubanet, Tania Diaz Castro

Cubanet, Tania Diaz Castro, Havana, 3 January 2017 — In the Cuban
national press there are many stories of the Castro dictatorship that
are very rarely told. Unfortunately the official journalists do not
investigate before they write and repeat like parrots the official script.

One of these stories is about the armored of Santa Clara and what
happened between the last two days of 1958 and January 1, 1959. Despite
being wrapped in a blanket of badly connected lies, the story is still
used by the national press, and by the government’s own version of a
Cuban wikipedia, Ecured, for the chronologies of the regime, and it
supported above all by the Cuban History Institute.

Just a few days ago, Nelson Garcia Santos, correspondent for the
newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth), wrote an article about the
battle of Santa Clara and the armored train, highlighting the version of
Luis Alfonso Zayas, today a general. Zayas said, “The guards, holed
up on Capiro Hill, opened fire. The crew of the armored train, when they
saw things going badly, retired to the box cars. There, they were
personally liquidated by the forces of Ramon Pardo Guerra.”

The general’s false testimony is as false as were ’s
statements, when he described it as a “… bold attack by Che on the city
of Santa Clara, with 300 fighters, when they faced an armored train on
the outskirts of the city, they intervened on the path between the train
and the main headquarters, derailed it, took the train, made everyone
surrender and seized all the arms.”

In reality, the armored train did not carry shock troops, but rather
dozens of engineers who were intending to repair the bridges and roads
destroyed by the rebels. Derailing it was certainly part of the plan for
a skirmish, but by the time the train arrived on Capiro Hill it had been
sold to Che Guevara by Batista’s military forces, in the person of
Colonel Florentino Rosell, for 350 thousand dollars.

Initially, the buyer was to be Commander Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, as it
appears in his Memoirs and, being a great friend of mine, he told me
this before he died, but Che, cunningly, got ahead of him.

Also in the memoirs of Fulgencio Batista, printed in Miami in 1960,
under the title of Response, he says that: “… the armored train had not
been ambushed by Che, but delivered and sold by Rosell, who with the
money from the sale, about 350 thousand dollars, fled to Miami in the
first days of January of 1959.”

And finally, there is a letter from Che Guevara, written on the same
date to Enrique Oltuski Ozacki, the top leader of Las Villas, which has
never been reprinted in Cuba, whose contents also explains this story
because, in it, Che reproached combatant Oltuski, who refused to rob a
bank to obtain the money he needed.

The purchase of the armored train was so hidden by the leadership of the
new regime that even impartial historians of those years barely
mentioned it, although without noting that since mid-1958, Batista’s
troops were tired of the war, corrupted and in the process of
negotiating with Fidel Castro.

Source: One More Lie About Che Guevara / Cubanet, Tania Diaz Castro –
Translating Cuba –

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