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Posted August 20, 2004 by publisher in Cuban History

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Moment of death comes to Colonel Cornelio Rojas, Batista chief of police in Santa Clara, as firing squad bullets rip through him and send his hat flying.

From Life magazine - Castro in Triumphant Advance to Havana - January 19, 1959

  1. Follow up post #1 added on March 07, 2006 by morgue

    cornelio rojas wasn´t a nice guy…....he was a %&#! murder who tortured young people.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on August 15, 2006 by Marielena Torres Rojas

    Col. Cornelio Rojas was my great grandfather and he was a great and honorable man in his last words before being shot he expressed to those around to not let the all of the blood shed during the revolution be in vain.  He wasnt a coward he stood before the firing squad without a blindfold and commanded his own death he was the one that said “ready, aim, fire.” Not many would have the courage to do such a thing. I just wish that people would actually investigate history and research things before trying to drag a good mans name threw the mud he never tortured any young people as has been stated. He was a family man and was fighting for the freedom of cuba.

  3. Follow up post #3 added on August 15, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    Thanks for writing in the Havana Journal.

    Did he work for Batista?

    How was he involved with La Revolucion?

    Why was he killed?

    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on August 16, 2006 by Marielena Torres Rojas

    You are welcome and I am glad you have mentioned my great grandfather in your site. He did not work for Batista he was a National Policeman long before Batista was in power and earned his military status of Colonel working his way up the ranks and not paying anyone off as sometimes happened in his time. He was a true revolutionist who didnt fight for the government but for the freedom of cuba. Even before this revolution he was involved in other revolutionary activities such as a group that was fighting agansit the president Machado in the 1930s unfortunately I am uncertain fo the actual year(s). 

    As far as his death it is so famous because he was not given a trial at all! It is also known as a mistake of the revolution because they were afraid of his rank and clout and worried he would be able to fight agaisnt Castro. My great aunt went to Camilo Cienfuegos pleading Cornelio case when he was in prison. In this meeting Camilo told my great aunt Josefina Rojas that there was no reason for him to be killed because they didnt have anything against him but when he picked up the phone to call to find out why they had taken him prisoner Cornelio had already been killed. Since there was no reason to kill him in several documents after his death were complied of lies in order to justify such a horrible act.

    In addition in the United Nations charter of war policy or prisoner of wars policies I am unsure what it the full name of this document but in it is stated that when a man is put to death by firing squad no explosive ammunitions is to be used. In Cornelio case the last shot was at close range to his head and an explosive bullt was used that it why in many photos taken when he is on the ground a huge peiece of his head and face are missing. This act is considered illegal to the united nations and was also condisered a dishonorable act.

    If you would like to know any further information feel free to ask me. I have also fowarded your site to several family members.

    Thank you for the chance to clear this up.

    Marielena Torres Rojas

  5. Follow up post #5 added on August 16, 2006 by Marielena Torres Rojas

    Hello again, I just wanted to clarify on the point where I mention the document of the united nations even though one does exsist in which the guidelines of an execution by firing squad are detailed information can also be found in the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention also states that no prisoner of war should be convicted much less put to death with out the oppurtunity to present his defense. It also states that upon conviction with the penalty of death the execution will not take place for sometime after I can not currently remember the time frame. In any case my great grandfather was never given a trial and was executed within a day or two of his caputre he was killed on 7 and believe to have been caputred on the 5th or 6th. It is also stated in another article of the Geneva Convention that any prisoner of wars killed must be given an honorable burial. In Cornelio case his body was thrown into a mass grave which was a huge hole in the ground with dozens of other bodies. In no way shape or form was this an honorable burial.

    In short his human righst and rights as a prisoner of war were terribly violated.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on August 17, 2006 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    Thanks for the insight into Castro’s early days as President of Cuba. That’s a terrible way to die.

    Sounds like Colonel Cornelio Rojas was caught up in the “house cleaning” done by Castro.

    As you know, Castro is not known for his human rights achievements.

    Cuba consulting services

  7. Follow up post #7 added on July 09, 2008 by Larry Daley


    On August 17th 1931 Cornelio Rojas was fighting against Machado at Gibara as a group leader under Manuel Balan.  The best reference, so far is in de la Peña Rubio, Nicolás 2004 Gibara: Combates bajo el sol de agosto. Ediciones Holguín, Holguin,  Cuba page 66 in a report by communist Feliano Maderne.  Please read this citation with caution since it was written under Castro government control.

    Larry Daley (Garcia-I~niguez Enamorado)

  8. Follow up post #8 added on July 09, 2008 by Larry Daley

    Sorry that should have read

    Marielena not Mariela

    my apologies


  9. Follow up post #9 added on July 10, 2008 by Larry Daley


    There is mention of Cornelio Rojas (apparently the father of your great grandfather at:


    “After Calixto Enamorado led the Tunas Brigade in the actions such as Breñosa and las Arenas.  With Menocal and his brother Carlos he disobeyed his fathers orders and helped make the bloody and failed attack on the Guamo fort near the Cauto estuary. Calixto, with his father and his father’s army, entered Bayamo, where it is said in family history he could not get off his horse since his pants were worn through at the seat.

    When the assault on Santiago was made he was found blocking the armies of Spanish General Luque so that these forces could not aid the besieged forces of General Toral trapped by the American and Cuban forces in Santiago.  In these circumstances he took over the towns of Guabasiabo and San Andres.  Calixto ordered Lieutenant Colonel Cornelio Rojas to take over the port of Gibara as the Spanish evacuated that plaza.  He was notified of peace on August 18, as he was fighting the Spanish in what seems to have been the last battle of the war at Auras.  At the end of the war he was promoted to Brigadier General. “

    take care and be well


  10. Follow up post #10 added on July 19, 2008 by Larry Daley

    Mas sobre Cornelio Rojas en Gibara en Agosto 1931


    Two additional citations

    Sergio Carbo In: de la Peña Rubio, Nicolás 2004 Gibara: Combates bajo el sol de agosto. Ediciones Holguín, Holguín page 90. “Recuerdo que atraído por su porte resulto pedí a Cornelio Rojas que organizara una descubierta de caballería. Pero todo fue inútil, era asunto no de valor, sino de disciplina quebrantada, de moral colectiva.” 

    second citation in my manuscript Narrations of War in Cuba: “However, Mambi veteran Manuel Balán still has organized forces which include Capitan Cornelio Rojas and gradually pulls his leadership group together in the countryside about a six kilometers (“legua y medio”) from Gibara until the 24th. (August 1931)” original data taken from Peña Rubio pages 116-117.

    if you have any further info please advise at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  11. Follow up post #11 added on August 19, 2008 by George Cruzat

    I think is very refreshing to see a web-site that displays murders with such ease. Such a lack of respect for life should be punished , then again your entire island nation is a clear example of that punishment , your biggest attractions are underage prostitutes and your biggest export is your own people in interubes . GREAT JOB .
    In 1940 you guys actually had a decent group of people who actually respected your right to vote. It only took you 12 years to ridicule and make fun of your ELECTED officials and your constitution . Now what do you have ... almost 56 years of continuous dictatorships ... AGAIN GREAT JOB !
    And please stop dwelling on your past .. cant you see that anything that has brought you to where you are today as a nation is obviously crap. Your decaying country is more than enough evidence of that.
    Perhaps you should try to learn something and look forward to a much brighter future.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on August 19, 2008 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    agree Cuba is far from a pefect country and has numerous major problems, but the above doesnt even come close to describing the Cuba I know.

  13. Follow up post #13 added on August 20, 2008 by Mako with 172 total posts

    George , you are a simp.

  14. Follow up post #14 added on September 18, 2008 by Sandra Rojas

    Hello Marielena…
    My name is Sandra Rojas and Cornelio was my great uncle.
    My Fathers Name is Humberto Rojas son of Cornelio (Nello) Rojas of Juansais. We are from Puerto Padre,Cuba and currently live in Miami. I guess we`re family…if you know recognize any of this information please let me know. I t is nice to meet new unknown family members.
    lots of love,

  15. Follow up post #15 added on September 18, 2008 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    thanks perhaps you should also be reading http://www.foroholguinero.com/

    there is a section on relatives there

    take care and be well


  16. Follow up post #16 added on December 31, 2008 by Philip P. Pasqualino, Jr

    Hi Folks, I just tried the google search and asked for Cornelio Rojas, Chief of Police in Santa Clara back in 1959….......and all this pops up. Very interesting.I guess that the ladies who have provided information….are my cousins….....when Cornelio Rojas was in Gibara back in 1931.I was not born….but my Mother, Anna Laura Rojas Masferrer de Grave de peralta…........had married my Dad, Philip pasqualino on 8 Sept 1930 in Holguin….......I am not 100%.......but Cornelio Rojas is one of my Great Uncles and I remember that my mother told me about the day that Cornelio was shot and the Hat flying off….....It was probably the most famous picture of the year…......For the guy who does not care about Cuba….Sorry about that..That person probably does not care about MY country America as well…...........You folks have done a great job.Thanks for bringing me back in time.Phil pasqualino

  17. Follow up post #17 added on December 31, 2008 by Rolando P. Masferrer Betancourt

    I left Cuba in 1959 at the age of 10. I recall the last time I saw Coronel Cornelio Rojas y Fernandez alive was when he visited my father in October of 1958. My father Dr. Rodolfo Masferrer Rojas questioned Cornelio because he got to our house in a taxi and unarmed.
    Rolando P. Masferrer Betancourt
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  18. Follow up post #18 added on January 22, 2009 by Alberto Rojas

    Hello my name is Alberto Rojas and Col. Cornelio Rojas was my Great Grandfather. My Grandfather is the son of Col. Cornelio Rojas and also has the same name and I am the son of Rafael Rojas. I am not very updated on my great grandfathers story so may someone please fill me in. Thank you.

  19. Follow up post #19 added on January 22, 2009 by Rolando P Masferrer with 1 total posts

    To Alberto Rojas, I’m Rolando Masferrer and my email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  please contact me as I would like to ask you questions about your family.

  20. Follow up post #20 added on February 15, 2009 by Darrowfan with 2 total posts

    I first saw the film of Col. Rojas’ execution several months ago on a documentary about the Cuban Revolution, although he was not identified. The narrator simply told of mass executions by firing squad as the clip was shown. I always wondered who he was.  After doing some research, I discovered his identity.  In Jon Anderson’s biography of Che Guevera, Col Rojoas in mentioned only in a footnote on page 372.  The footnote says simply:

    “One of those shot, according to historian Hugh Thomas, was Colonel Cornelio Rojas, the police commander.  At the moment of his execution, Rojas asked to be allowed to give the firing order, which was granted.”

    There is no other information on Colonel Rojas given. The book is entitled “Che: A Revolutionary Life” and was written by Jon Lee Anderson.

  21. Follow up post #21 added on February 15, 2009 by Larry Daley

    The Rojas family were a long standing group of patriots, both the father and grandfather of Cornelio Rojas were Mambi, that is they fought for indepedence against Spain.

    This Cornelio Rojas also fought against the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado in 1931 in Gibara.  As far as I know he had been chief of police in Santa Clara way before Batista came to power the second time.  His chief “crime” in Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s mind seems to have been a raid on a local communist headquarters when that party was illegal in Cuba ... there is more ...

  22. Follow up post #22 added on February 16, 2009 by Darrowfan with 2 total posts

    I would be interested to know much more about the circumstances of Col. Rojas’ execution. Your mention of the raid against the Communists intriques me, as much of the book I mentioned above deals with Castro and Guevera’s dealings with the PSP, as the communist party in Cuba was known at that time.  Apparently, Castro was keeping his distance from them during the 1956-1959 period, because he feared that the involvement of Communists would “taint” his revolution. Guevara, however, seemed to have had less qualms about dealing with the PSP.

    In the footage of Col. Rojas’ execution, he seems to have simply accepted his fate. This may sound strange, but it seems to me that he decided to be a “good sport” about his execution.  I do wonder though, did he try to defend himself after he was captured? What, if any, conversations did he have with his rebel captors prior to being shot?  Let me know if you have any source material on this. Thanks.

  23. Follow up post #23 added on February 16, 2009 by Larry Daley

    One way to look at Castro’s relationship with the official Cuban communist party is to consider him (as various authors affirm) recluted between 1944 and and 1948 by the covert wing of that group.  This group apparently was founded at the same time as the regular Stalinist communist party by “Fabio Grobart,” the senior stalinist agent in 1924 or 1925 Cuba.

    In this view: Fidel Castro was trained to take part in complex team killings, e.g. that of Manolo Castro.  It seems highly probable that the assassination of Gaitan in Bogota, Colombia F. Castro was a “spotter” (finger man).

    “Juan Vives” affirms that Fabio Grobart was in Santiago de Cuba the day before the assault on Moncada.  Apparently arriving on the Soviet vessel “Zora;” yet there is no record of his capture during the round of communists that took place the next and following days

    Whatever, Fidel Castro allowed Guevara to kill off any of the agents that had tracked down communists during the Batista time, or before.  Some escaped and from these we have learned scattered information on these matters.

  24. Follow up post #24 added on February 17, 2009 by Malo

    Hopefully one day we can enjoy looking at a picture of Fidel Castro in his Addidas track suit dangling from the business end of a hangman’s noose.

  25. Follow up post #25 added on February 17, 2009 by lauren mergert

    George have you ever even set foot in Cuba let alone read a book about it. You talk as if it is the Cuban citizens fault that someone took over there country. I have been there and seen it first hand, You cannot talk badly of the country or Castro to this day so it is obviously not the past. Its people like you who sicken me and make me feel like there is no hope for ignorance to cease.

  26. Follow up post #26 added on February 18, 2009 by Anatasio


    You might want to pay attention to what others have to say in this thread. It is obvious by your labeling of Rojas as a “murder” that you haven’t the slightest idea what your talking about. In Santa Clara - he was widely respected as an apolitical. He was not a Batistiano or any other sort of “ano.” He was simply a ranking member of the National Police.

    Again we see an ignorant mind making assumptions. How about we have a few milicianos come to your home, arrest you and shoot you all within days - just for the hell of it? I’m guessing you’d enjoy that -  since you seem to advocate it for other innocents.


  27. Follow up post #27 added on February 24, 2009 by Canuck

    I have lived and worked in Cuba extensively doing documentary film work over the years. I have lived with many different families and spoken with many an old timer who “was there”.

    What you are all glossing over here is the fact that Cornelio Rojas was only in and could only be in his position under the supreme and evil dictatorship of Batista if and only if he carried out orders to order numerous executions after mock trials of Cubans fighting to throw off the yoke of American backed tyranny.

    I am sorry his family and others cannot admit this and come to terms with it.

  28. Follow up post #28 added on February 25, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    the “technique” of mock trials followed by execution is far more readily attributed to modus operendi of the present Cuban government than to the Batista regime, which tended to merely kill and throw the bodies out on to the streets and highways.  However, direct killing became more favored and used to a far greater extent (than in the Batista Regime) as the Castro regime extended its power.  This was particularly true during the suppression the supression of the Guajiros in the middle provinces from 1960 to about 1966).

    By the way I have not found any verifiable linkage between Cornelio Rojas and murders…

    Larry Daley

  29. Follow up post #29 added on February 26, 2009 by Canuck

    It seems apparent that you have spent very little (or no time) living in Cuba and with Cubans these past 30 years. our observations appear to be based on testimony from ex-pat Cubans and CIA dossiers.

    The USA has blockaded Cuba for 45 years. As well the fact that she is living in close proximity to and under the dark shadow of the largest terrorist regime since Stalin, protection of the will of the large majority over the US influenced 10 or 20,000 dissenters who long for a free market, capitalist economy has not been an easy road. The USA is now swinging sharply towards national socialism with the collapse of that very Friedmanite “greed market economy” which took down the world and brought about a depression. Castro was right in forsaking it so long ago.

    By the way - you will find very little verifiable linkage between the atrocities committed by Batista’s henchmen - most of whom somehow developed, as time passed and through the filters of history, into kindly gentlemen based on a few close family members who never knew the atrocities “grandpa” participated in.

    If in the remote chance, his execution was a mistake, the USA in it’s attempt to control our world has been responsible for countless innocent deaths. Kissenger, Bush, Bush, Rumsfeld, Chaney, et al are and will always be war criminals.

  30. Follow up post #30 added on February 26, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    You have defined yourself as an inconditional supporter of Castro

    enough said

    Thus, unless you can provide any directly pertinent material I will ignore your posts, and I strongly urge all others to do the same,

  31. Follow up post #31 added on February 26, 2009 by Canuck

    Simply an academic who is an adamant non-supporter of the USA and ALL it stands for. Perhaps re-read Dalhousie Professor Isaac Saney’s “Cuba: A Revolution in Motion”.

  32. Follow up post #32 added on February 26, 2009 by grant

    Many people in control acting without authority will do arbitrary acts. This may have been one of them. On the other hand as chief of police he may have been part of Masferrer murderous group.

  33. Follow up post #33 added on February 27, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    Although Rolando Masferrer and Cornelio Rojas were related and were both from Holguin families, they had very different political history.  Cornelio Rojas had a record of fighting for democracy in the Machado era. 

    Rolando Masferrer had been a leader of the Cuban communist party, had fought in Spain and after having been wounded twice in battle, he was crippled and then became and executioner (along with Vitorio Vitalle aka, “comandante Contreras”)  for communist factions on the Republican side.  Masferrer was notorious for this, to the point having entered the literature (e.g. in the “Shadow of the Wind”) as a famed assassin. Masferrer, broke with the communists most publically a reception at the Soviet Embassy in Havana, where he was tallking to Enrnest Hemingway ... Later, following the 10th of March 1952 Coup,  after initially wanting to resist Batista he joined forces with Batista. It is not clear if Rolando Masferrer, was a covert communist infiltrating the Batista apparatus, what is clear he was a long standing rival of the upcoming Fidel Castro who was already a member of the covert “black” communist apparatus, directed by Fabio Grobart.

    Cornelio Rojas became chief of Police during the democratic era of Cuban history, and did not have a record of abuses of power.  He was strongly anti-communist.

    If you have documentation of abuses by Cornelio Rojas please advise.

    Larry Daley

  34. Follow up post #34 added on June 16, 2009 by Barbara Rangel

    My name is Barbara Rangel granddaughter of Col. Cornelio Rojas, Chief of Police in Santa Clara during the 1950’s.  I wanted to clarify and educate others in the light of truth, my grandfather was captured and killed by the God father of modern terrorism, Che Guevarra and the assasin Fidel Castro for the only purpose to create terror, they wanted to eliminate my grandfather because he was a man of great courage, son and grandson of Generals:  Cornelio Rojas Escobar and Cornelio Rojas Hurtado;  both fought prominently in all of Cuba’s wars of independence, my grandfather was a beloved pillar of the community, well known for his pubic service and philanthropy. He was captured by Che Guevara, and was executed on national live tv without the opportunity of a trial.  His human rights were violated as he was denied a trial, after his execution, he was buried by Che’s firing squad, a mass grave we imagine, Che Guevara did not even give us the solace of a funeral, allowing his family to put a cross or flowers on atop my murdered grandad.
    My family suffered tremendously, its not easy to see your father killed on national tv, my mother Blanca Rojas gave birth when she saw my granddads head blown away, Che’s goons had surrounded our house and deprived my mom to live the house, a mid wife had to be called to help her with the labor,
    my brother Silvio gonzalez was born on the same bed my granddad use to sleep in, can anyone imagine, what a trauma this was, what does a person do? cry for the death of a father or laugh for the birth of your son, how can anyone possibly ever forget or forgive such horrific acts.  Yet some people like Angelina Jolie, Carlos Santana, Gisele Bundchen, Jonny Depp, Mike Tyson have a tatoo of a cold killer? I could never understand such ignorance! My grandfather never killed anyone, died like brave man are suppose to, yet Che Guevara begged for his life when he was captured in Bolivia when he was trying to infiltrate communisn, but luckily he was capture, his last words before he died were “I am worth more alive then dead” these are words of a coward, unlike my granddad Col. Cornelio Rojas who’s last words were ” there you have the revolution take care of it” and he said aim fire!  what man does this?
    only a man with military blood and courage.  I am so proud of who my ancestors are, I only wished that all those people that admire Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, would do some research and learn the real truth.  For the information of many ignorants I want to share the fact that there are aproximately 1900 documented victicms of Che Guevara, among those figures there were teenagers and a pregnant woman. 
    Thank you for the opportunity to write and educate.
    Yours truly,
    Barbara Rangel

  35. Follow up post #35 added on June 17, 2009 by Larry Daley


    It is so sad.

    BTW I have been reading the Tad Szuc interviews of Fabio Grobart (the master Soviet Agent in Cuba from about 1924 to almost the end of the 20th century).

    Grobart clearly states that the objective was to rid Cuba of anticommunists, whether they had been with or against Castro.

    Guevara also purged rebel army

    will post Grobart quote later ...







  36. Follow up post #36 added on June 17, 2009 by Yolanda Diaz with 5 total posts

    Canuck, were you there in 1959 when the so called “mock” trials were conducted? I was..I saw many a good man being executed just because they happened to be working or holding a position in Batista’s government. That in itself did not constitute that these men & women were guilty of anything as you indicate..how old were you then? Did you live in Cuba? or are you just feeding info here that you’ve gotten “second hand”? I’ve lived thru the horrors, including televised murders of many good, decent family men who were just guilty of holding jobs in the prior regime because they had families to support..please do not continue the fantasy of all Fidelistas. That old man has lived longer than he deserved. But, there is a just God who will call him to task one day. The hell will be forever. Think about this. Oh, yes, I almost forgot!! if you’re a Fidelista, you do not believe in God, not the God that all decent human beings believe in. I will pray for you.

  37. Follow up post #37 added on June 17, 2009 by Larry Daley

    This is what Grobart says of Guevara in this regard:
    Abraham (Fabio) Grobart, in Georgie A. Geyer Collection. Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford, California Box number 9 Folders 33-34 Szulc interview of Grobart 14 page 77, as transcribed by Castro government typist of Consejo de Estado June 6, 1985.  (Fabio Grobart was the lead Soviet Agent in Cuba for most of the 20th Century after his arrival on the Island in 1924. Grobart’s words clearly point out that that Ernesto “Che” Guevara was in essence a communist style political commissar and executioner rather than a guerrilla leader, and his duties-even during the War Against Batista-including purging rebel ranks. As this passage demonstrates: ) “… FABIO GROBART.- A los que dirigen abajo; por ejemplo, el “26 de Julio” tenía dirigentes derechistas y tenía dirigentes izquierdistas, dirigentes que estaban a favor de la unidad y dirigentes que estaban influenciados por las idead anticomunistas, es decir, unirse a los comunistas en cualquier actividad era una tarea sumamente difícil para esta gente, si hubieran podido lograr todo sin los comunista, mejor, porque había una tendencia, una corriente anticomunista dentro las filas del “26”, corriente que fue combatida por Che Guevara, fue combatida por todos los (“dirigentes honestos,” this is crossed out and replaced by a person with unsteady handwriting very possibly the aging Grobart himself by “más destacados”) que estaban en la Sierra Maestra.  …”

  38. Follow up post #38 added on June 22, 2009 by antfreire

    Regardless of the crimes that Cornelio Rojas or any of the people shot on tv in the first days of the revolution might have committed, (there were many crimes committed by the Batista Regime)  the act of shooting them on tv was the most horrific act of terrorism ever done.  Not even the nazi criminals were executed in front of a camera.  By doing this Castro showed the cuban people what he was going to do with anyone oppossing him and his revolution.  Only the worst of Islamic terrorists have been capable of doing something as horrifying as that.

  39. Follow up post #39 added on June 22, 2009 by Larry Daley

    Anfreire is correct, it did not matter what they did the objective was not justice, not even crude justice or mere revenge it was terror ...

    So far I have not been able to document any crime that Cornelio Rojas committed ...

    So very very sad ...

  40. Follow up post #40 added on August 04, 2009 by Barbara Rangel

    Dear Larry,

    I wanted to let you know about the documentary made by Agustin Blazquez called ” Covering Cuba 7.  He has just notified me of the preview which can be seen in Youtube.  This documentary is in english which is great, because many anglos do not know how many victims of Che Guevara are out there.  This documentary will have my mothers testimony, her name is Blanca Rojas and mine as well; regarding the capture and execution of my grandfather Col. Cornelio Rojas. 
    Just wanted to keep you posted on what’s happening, as you have been very informative about my granddad.

    Thanks for all your comments!

    Best regards,
    Barbara Rangel

  41. Follow up post #41 added on August 05, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    Thank you for the information could you post the URL for the Youtube item

    thank you


  42. Follow up post #42 added on August 05, 2009 by Barbara Rangel

    Hi larry,
    This is the link:


    Thank you

  43. Follow up post #43 added on August 06, 2009 by Barbara Rangel

    Hi Larry,
    I sent you the link… let me know what you think, also wanted to know if you could post in the Havana Journal?

    Best regards,
    Barbara Rangel

  44. Follow up post #44 added on August 06, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    Yes I can post here, went to site but it was just an introduction so far ...

    the best


  45. Follow up post #45 added on August 06, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts

    see also:


  46. Follow up post #46 added on August 08, 2009 by Alberto N Jones

    Although I lived at the time in Oriente, 300 miles from Santa Clara, as teenagers we were acutely aware of the presence of this individual and his criminal actions, not through Radio Rebelde or Granma, but through Bohemia, CMQ, Carteles, Prensa Libre and most other media supportive of Batista and his upper class friends.  Cornelio Rojas was no different than the other heads of the Army or Police in every province, cities or township.  They detained at will, torture was their weapon of choice, by ripping out eyes, cutting off male genitalia, inserting hot metal in female vagina or hanging people upside down, to have them drown in their body fluids.  Thousands of small crosses and monuments alongside the highways, roads or vacant lots in Cuba, honors the victims of these sub-humans turned into monsters at the US School of the Americas in Panama, where they all graduated in similar bestiality as Sosa Blanco, Piedra Nogueruela, Salas Canizares, Chaviano, blanco Rico, Aguero, Mansferrer and his Tigers, Tabernilla Dolz, Carratala, Ventura Novo (the worst of them), Merob Sosa, Roberto y Lutgardo Martin Perez, and on and on…..

    Any attempt to justify these criminals by family, friends or Cuba-haters,  is as cruel as re-murdering their victims.  History cannot be re-written or soften through ignorance.

  47. Follow up post #47 added on August 09, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    The “information” you present is inaccurate in so many ways I do not know where to start.

    Roland Masferrer, was and may still have been a communist had trained in Cuba and in Spain with communist party instructors.

    Bohemia was, as most of the press, strongly anti-Batista

    Esteban Ventura Novo relied very heavily on communist informers who gave much information on non-communist resistance to Batista

    The number of dead killed by Batista associates was never ever nearly as large as you state.  The only highway killings that i remember well (ouside of Oriente) where those killed at the traffic circle on the Via Blanca near Cojimar; these few poor fellows were killed by Pedraza (to revenge his son’s murder) when he
    came out or retirement.

    Blanco Rico may well have been an communist infiltrated into the Batista repressive apparatus and Castro was very annoyed when he was killed.

  48. Follow up post #48 added on August 09, 2009 by antfreire

    To the fellow that wrote #46 I say this.  To my knowledge none of the officers that you mention in your posts aver attended The Escuela de las Americas.  There were corpses of young cuban boys found in streets and empty lots during those days.  Something terrible that should have never happenned.  But they were not pacific protesters either.  They were what today we call terrorist that in those days were called heroes.  When they were taken before the law,  the judges, because of fear from repraisals of because of their revolucionaries convictions would either let them go or give them insignificant jail time which made them even more popular.  The press was very irresponsable and exagerated many stories about torture and murders, for example many times it was said that the prisoners of the Moncada attack were castrated, however you now know how many Children Castro has.

  49. Follow up post #49 added on August 10, 2009 by Alberto N Jones

    Are we arguing about party affiliations or proven murderers?  What difference does it make to hundreds of mothers, wifes, sons, murdered by Los Tigres de Mansferrer, what party he belonged to?  Mention that name today in Oriente and older people still shivers because of his bestiality.  If any of these proven assassins did not attend the school of the Americas, where then did they learn the same technique of plucking out finger nails, beating detainees into a pulp and leaving their bodies by the side of the roads to rot, as we have seen throughout Latin America?  Was it not desecrating the dead what they did, when over 50 coffins containing the bodies of those killed during the Moncada garrison attack or murdered after being caputred, when their coffins were left in the scorching sun on the sidewalk of Avenida Victoriano Garzon in Santiago de Cuba, on 7/27/53?  Can those posting in #47 and #48 categorically deny the existence of these mass murders, by demonstrating that hundreds of crosses across Cuba are fake or fabricated?
    Lt. Sarria, who captured Fidel Castro, became famous only because he disobeyed Coronel Chaviano’s instruction to murder every captured prisoner, for which he was court martialled and jailed. At this rate, we may soon have another posting denying the monument built by the Barbadian government, honoring 73 innocent people blown up in mid-air by Posada Carriles, another surviving member of Batista’s army of murderers.

  50. Follow up post #50 added on August 10, 2009 by antfreire

    In other words, what you are trying to say is that, since there were always political murders in Cuba why shouldn’t the Castro people do the same?  It is an interesting rationalization although I don’t agree with it.  And I Im not going to argue with you about who murdered more or who made the worst murders.  You just continue being the typical antiamerican pro communist Latin American, and I will continue enjoying the system.  It will be not long before we all know who is right and who is wrong.. .....but, please, don’t try to justify the Castro crimes just because something symilar was done before.

  51. Follow up post #51 added on August 10, 2009 by Larry Daley

    Masferrer was a brave man and he was wounded twice during the Spanish Civil (circa 1936-there 1939), but is also wise to remember that there he acted as an assassin for the communist faction of the Loyalists. 

    Then the Stalinist communists even murdered their allies the Anarchists of the POUM.

    You need to read Soviet and Polish history to know it was Iron Felix Dzerzhinsky chief of what became the KGB who trained Fabio (Abraham) Grobart in Poland around 1920.  After arriving in Cuba from Poland about 1925 Grobart in turn prepared the training for Rolando Masferrer and less directly for Fidel and Raul Castro in Cuba.  So if you want to look for training grounds for horror you might also mention the dungeons of the Lubyanka in Moscow.

  52. Follow up post #52 added on August 10, 2009 by Larry Daley

    When Masferrer broke with the overt communist party and especially Juan Marinello, at the Soviet Embassy in Havana in the presence of Hemingway,  Grobart is on record defending Masferrer ...

    One can view—proving it is more difficult—thatboth Masferrer and Castro were covert KGB agents. 

    Thus one could postulate that Masferrer’s alliance with Batista was to his advantage and also that of Cuban communist party because it allowed the establishment and further arming of a thug shock force that might well have been to their advantage if Castro failed.  That way the communist had a militarized militia whether Batista won or lost.

    In this light the murderous rivalry between Castro and Masferrer as such as when they were in rival gangs (Muchachos de Gatillo Alegre) in Havana, can be seen as merely an internal struggle for future leadership of the Cuban communist party.

  53. Follow up post #53 added on August 10, 2009 by Alberto N Jones

    Knowing when certain individuals are wrong, they have no facts, are devoid of an argument to prove their point, most tend to engage is what was known in Cuba as CANTINFLADAS, talking a lot, without saying anything.  Another worn out tactics, is to call name, label anyone as communist, terrorist, taliban or Bin Laden, to silence through fear,  those willing to unmask their Cuban communist victim fallacy, their purported political exile diploma, with which they extracted millions of dollars from the US Treasury, many have never worked in 45 years in this country, are living wealthy lives in Plantation and other gated communities with riches generated from the hate-industry.  Probably, knowing about the existence of such personalities, is why one of my Professor would limit the questions in his final test to: When, Where, How and Why?  Maybe these seeking cover to portray Manseferrer as an Hero or Grobart as a communist, would have to focus on a single answer, Was Colonel Cornelio Rojas an Assassin, Yes or No.  Same to all others named above and more to come upon request!

    hoping to silence anyone willing to blow up their victim fallacy, their purported exiled prerrogative or with what they have drained the United States Treasury

  54. Follow up post #54 added on August 11, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    If you do not know that Fabio Grobart was a communist agent

    If you do not know that Masferrer was brave, eventhough he was a vicious assassin, and at least for a time a Batista supporter

    Your credentials are neglible in this forum

    and your “trolling” tactics are reprehensible

  55. Follow up post #55 added on October 05, 2009 by Larry Daley

    Additional Information re Manuel “Lico” Balan

    Since Cornelio Rojas y Fernandez was with old Mambi Manuel Balan Ramirez at Gibara in 1933

    One could surmise that he also was with Balan in November 1933.  What follows is an excerpt from a cable to the New York Times at that time.  The cable was written by J.D. Phillips spouse of Ruby Phillips who took over his job when he was killed in an accident.  This excerpt makes clear that Balan was very much against communism as was Cornelio Rojas ... and consequently Guevara must have obtained a list of anti-communists to get of immediately.  Any way here is part of the cable (remember Phillips knew Cuban politics very well):

    Phillips, J. D.  in Special Cable to the New York Times 1933 Raid Reveals Plan For Revolt In Cuba.  One Band Captures a Town Prematurely—Movement is Anti-Communist The New York Times, September 23, 1933.  HAVANA, September 22,—An unofficial, nation-wide military movement, ostensibly intended to wipe out communism is believed to have been revealed today by the capture of the town of Manguito, Matanzas Province, byt a guerrilla band under the leadership of Rodriguez Duarte and Gabriel Barreto.  … Colonel Lico Balan, leader of the August, 1931, rebellion against former President Machado at Gibara, commanding a band of about 300 men, is still in control of Gibara, on the north coast of Oriente Province. …”

  56. Follow up post #56 added on October 05, 2009 by BERNIE

    After reading thru all these comments I have determined
    that the word HISTORY. should be interpeted as HIS STORY.
    and everybody will believe only his story of what has transpired???

  57. Follow up post #57 added on October 05, 2009 by Larry Daley

    Not quite with time an approximation of the truth will emerge ...

  58. Follow up post #58 added on November 11, 2009 by Coyote 1

    I’d like to add that I lived in Santa Clara, on and off, until I was 17 years old (1961). My grandfather commented, after listening about Coronel Rojas savage public execution, that he was a good man, a career officer from way before Batista’s time, and a brother Free-Mason (to my grandfather) in the Logia Progreso in Santa Clara, whose members dedicated themselves, as all good freemasons, to lofty ideals of fraternity and social democracy.
    Also, a friend of mine, native of Santa Clara, who lived there until he was 18 years old or so, and who knows a lot about Santa Clara and its people , was also there at the time of Cornel Rojas execution, he wrote to me about this gentleman; he says:
    <<Coronel Cornelio Rojas, Chief of Police, Santa Clara and gandson of a General of the War for Independence [was] a career soldier, who, ironically,saved the live of two “bomb planters” and also of a teenager nicknamed Marel, who was in the car with Chiqui Gomez Lubian Urioste when the bomb in Totó’s car exploded and killed him and the brother of Quintín Pino Machado, who is a tremendous @#$#@% communist. This beau gest of saving the live of that bunch of @#$#@%  did not spare the poor Coronel from the contempt that Che Guevara felt for all career soldiers. His courage to save the lives of so many did not count for anything for he was executed by orders of the Argentinian assassin.>>

  59. Follow up post #59 added on November 11, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts

    Coyote 1

    Thank you if you know more please add it here

    the best

    Larry Daley (GArcia-I~niguez Ramirez Enamorado)

  60. Follow up post #60 added on November 14, 2009 by Coyote 1

    Very interesting info in this historical forum, Larry Daley. What gave you the idea –if I may ask- to begin a blog about Coronel Rojas? I was always hunted by his inhumane murder made public, ever since I saw it on TV in Santa Clara way back then.
    Also, Larry, I remember the “raid on the local communist headquarters” in Santa Clara: I lived in those days about half a block from their headquarters on Calle Cuba. I must have been nine or ten or so and was sleeping for it must have been the wee hours in the morning. I was suddenly woke up by the loud sound of glasses being broken. The following morning, as I got out of my house, I found out what that terrible noise had been: the party’s huge, big neon sign which read “Partido Socialista Popular” was scattered all over the street.
    Other bizarre case of an innocent career officer being executed (assassinated), Larry, was capitán José J. Castaño Quevedo(of the BRAC); he was shot at La Cabaña under direct orders of the infamous Dr. Guevara for having compiling lists of Cuban communist for that state organism BRAC, as was his job at the time.  A very interesting link on this subject is found at: http://www.autentico.org/oa09253.php
    Keep up the good historical job, Larry!

  61. Follow up post #61 added on November 14, 2009 by Coyote 1

    Larry, just a quick note to correct Alberto N Jones # 49 entry when he says, “… Posada Carriles, another surviving member of Batista’s army of murderers.”

    Posada Carriles never worked for Batista; in fact, he was at first involved with the Revolution and later move into exile into Mexico and later into the States (1961) where he worked for the CIA and finally Venezuela where he worked for the DISIP. (cf., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Posada_Carriles#Early_years_.281928_-_1968.29 )

    I read somewhere he used to worked for Cuban Intelligence before he went into exile, but can’t find the web site. Do you know if this is true?

    A curious anecdote happened to me and Posada (whom I’ve never met face to face): Up to when I was 4 or 5, I lived in Cienfuegos, just across the street from Posada’s parents house (his father had a bookstore in that city). My uncle tells me that one day, he saw Posada aiming his bb-gun from the roof of his house and take a few shots at me, who was standing on the balcony of my house. Luckily he missed, but not my grandfather who went immediately to complain to his parents. Posada was a teenager then, he was born in 1928 according to Wikipedia.
    My uncle also told me, that Posada used to use his bb-gun from the roof of his house to hit the bells of the Jesuit church just a short distance from there. He had the jesuit running for cover for a long time.

  62. Follow up post #62 added on November 14, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts

    Coyote I Thank you for your interesting and valuable input.

    My interest arose because of a number of reasons, not the least was Cornelio Rojas’ participation in the 1931 Gibara rising against Machado.  It seems that Guevara’s hatred was not for any of this but because Rojas had once ordered a police raid against a communist headquarters ...

    Let us keep the details flowing ...


  63. Follow up post #63 added on November 14, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    Your description of the raid on communist headquarters in Santa Clara is most interesting do you have a precise date or can you estimate it?

    the best


  64. Follow up post #64 added on November 14, 2009 by Coyote 1

    First, Larry, I must correct myself: apparently Posada Carriles did work for Batista’s secret service. Wikipedia does not mention this, but other sites do. Sorry about that, Larry. But there is so much info out there that after a while you don’t know what it what and who is who. Never the less, we historians must keep plowing for the truth.

    In reference to the raid on Santa Clara PSP headquarters I must guess it was around 1953 or even 1952 right after Batista took over power. It was a nite to remember and very impressionable on a young kid like me.

  65. Follow up post #65 added on November 14, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    thank you although in Prio’s time communists were also being chased down. Matter of fact it was Prio not Batista who chased Fabio Grobart out of Cuba ....

  66. Follow up post #66 added on November 14, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts

    BTW I am no historian

    my training is in Plant Physiology and Biophysics ....

  67. Follow up post #67 added on November 14, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts

    By 1933 with Stalin’s genocidal tactics:

    Satter, Raphael G. 2009 (accessed 11-13-09) Diary that helped expose Stalin’s famine displayed, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jp3RmOWBug3DV2S3i7Jge22_livgD9BUMVJG1

    it was clear that communists were a plague on the Earth.

    And yet some like Guiteras (circa 1933) is on record for wanted collective farms to avoid what he considered the formation of a class small rural property owner (Kulaks).  And yet even in 1949 the communists of Guanabacoa were celebrating or conmemorating Stalin.

  68. Follow up post #68 added on November 15, 2009 by Alberto N Jones

    Apparently Mr. Larry Daley, Coyote, Antfreire and others, seems to have a personal connection/affection for Col. Rojas, who they have tried in vain to exonerate from his tragic past.

    No revision of history, not HIS STORY, will ever be able to erase Col. Rojas violent past in Santa Clara.  Everyone knows that after the attacks on the Moncada barracks on 7/26/53, the bulk of the struggle against Batista’s government took place in Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Bayamo, Holguin and Havana, not in Santa Clara.

    Why is it, that after the collapse of Batista’s government, the head of the Police in Guantanamo was released one week after and the head of the army was sentenced to two years in prison for deriliction of duty?

    Why then was Col. Merob Sosa in Bayamo, Col. Sosa Blanco in Havana and Col. Rojas in Santa Clara treated differently?

    We know that most members of the SIM or Military Intelligence Service, the BRAC, or Bureau Against Communist Activities, Tigres de Mansferrer or Mansferrer Tigers, Chivatos or Informants and others, were all subjected to very severe sanctions or the firing squads, because of their brutal track records of torture, murder and dissappearances.

    The fact that Lt. Calley lives a peaceful life in Georgia after the tragic events of Son My or My Lai, the fact that Gen. Vides Cassanova is enjoying Florida lifestyle, tens of Ton Ton Macutes who murdered thousands in Haiti are living in luxury in Queens, New York or those who ripped babies out of the arms of their parents in Argentina and Uruguay and have spread them across the world and nothing have happened to them, is no reason to pretend it did not happen.

    We should extrapolate from these horrific acts, come together and create an environment where these things never happen again, once the culprit knows, there will be no hiding place for them in the world.

  69. Follow up post #69 added on November 16, 2009 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts

    Alberto N Jones please present data and if you can resist please do not troll ...

  70. Follow up post #70 added on November 16, 2009 by Barbara Rangel

    To Alberto Jones,
    The only tragic and violent past my grandfather Col. Cornelio Rojas encountered was when the cold killing machine named Che Guevara order my granddad’s execution without the opportunity of a trial.
    If you have the names of anyone my granddad ever tortured or murderered please feel free to post.  Otherwise, wash your mouth with soap before talking about my grandad.
    For your information, if anyone has an affection for my grand father, was because he was very brave, son and grandson of Generals that fought in Cuba’s war of Independence against Spain.  My grandad fought for Cuba’s democracy, was a military man way before Batista.  A man of great courage, not any man can stand in front of a firing squad refuse to be blind folded and give out the firing orders, only a man with military blood and courage could do something like that. His last words were ” There you have the revolution take care of it”. 
    Unlike the coward Che Guevara who’s last words were, ” I am worth more alive then dead”  These are certainly the words of a coward!
    Che Guevara was an international terrorist and mass murderer, during his vicious campaigns to impose communism in countries throughhout Latin America, Che Guevara trained and motivated the Castro regimes’ firing squads that exectued thousands of men, women and children.  Over 4,000 deaths are documented to have taken place in Cuba, mostly firing squad execution, in the first three years after Fidel Castro’s takeover (1959-1962). Che Guevara was one of the regime’s chief executioners during this period and is said to have acknowledged ordering “several thousand” executions. All took place without affording the victims fair trials and due process of the law. 180 documented victims from 1957 to 1959. 14 exected in the Sierra Maestra. 10 executed in Santa Clara , 156 executed at La Cabana Fortress.  I can provide all of their first and last names.

  71. Follow up post #71 added on November 17, 2009 by Larry Daley

    Barbara and all:

    Yes Guevara’s executions are underestimated.  I know of some especially that of Rene Cuervo a rebel who Guevara had executed ... and there are a number more who I describe in my book in preparation running title “Narrations of War in Cuba.” These dead are not counted in the estimates described above

  72. Follow up post #72 added on November 17, 2009 by Coyote 1

    Larry, that sounds like a good book to read. Please let me know as soon as it comes out. I’d like to buy one. In fact, I was thinking -judging by your writing in this blog- why doesn’t he write a book after gathering first-hand accounts of this and many other issues in the Cuban history of the past 50 years or so. Maybe even begin a new blog about the PSP and first hand account like mine about “The Nite of the Broken Glasses” (as I like to call that nite they ransack the comizars office in Santa Clara and other important cities). Maybe a lot of people in Kuba and out have lots of things to say about that night, where were they, what did they see, who was involved, what happened to PSP members? etc, etc. Good luck w/your book!

  73. Follow up post #73 added on November 18, 2009 by Larry Daley


    That is a great idea of yours. The “night of the broken glasses,” is a great title/ You might publish a brief summary of it in such a site as Guaracabuya.  http://www.amigospais-guaracabuya.org/

    There are a number of Authentico’s there who might help provide additional information, on those and related events.

    From that time there is also a Castro—communist account—I will dig it up—of Fabio Grobart being smuggled out of Batabano to Mexico, disguised in striped pants to look taller, and pretending to be a stutterer to disguise his odd accent. He was supposed to be a cook, I bet the crew got indigestion ...

    I am working on my book every morning hope to submit it to a publisher some time next year.

    the best


  74. Follow up post #74 added on January 03, 2010 by Gina I. Sosa

    Dear MariElena,  Your grandfather as many father’s, grandfathers and great grandfathers were man of honor.  Proud to see you are trying to clear his name, as I to am doing with my Father Lt.Cornel Merob Sosa Garcia.  I invite you to find me on facebook and also to contact me directly for a project I am working on, a project that is in honor of all these man of honor.


  75. Follow up post #75 added on January 03, 2010 by Larry Daley


    El Oro de Guisa is near family land.  During the action at Pino del Agua (II) it seems that Merob Sosa was elsewhere. However, if my memory of reading is correct the Tigres of Masferrer were part of the relief column…

  76. Follow up post #76 added on January 06, 2010 by alovies2009 with 2 total posts

    With respect to post #58, submitted by Coyote1: I was doing some research on the Cornelio Rojas execution and came across some information that corroborates the story about the deaths of Chiqui Urioste and Julio Pino Machado, though it doesn’t come right out and state tht Col. Rojas came to the aid of the survivors of the premature explosion of the bomb in the car. But the basic facts are there and tend to give credence to the rest of the story. The information can be found at http://www.cdict.uclv.edu.cu/cat-biografia-de-chiqui-gomez-lubian-urioste.  Sorry I can’t supply the link itself. This is the site of the Universidad Central “Marta Abreu” de Las Villas. Interesting story.

  77. Follow up post #77 added on January 06, 2010 by Larry Daley


    I read the material cited at that address (recovered it as a google catch). Several things struck me on first reading

    (1) It is a Cuban government site which since it follows the dictum of Lenin that all is moral if it favors its cause is by definition suspect.

    (2) One notes that a matter that this action was in the “Directorio” domain and yet it is presented as part of Castro’s efforts.

    (3) The Humbolt 7 victims are presented with no reference to Marquito’s betrayal.  In the trial of Marquito it became clear that he was authorized to betray them by Fabio Grobart, although any further remarks were truncated by Castro himself.

    In a related matter one notes the Merob Sosa was clearly not at the site near El Platano and the Banqueo del Oro at the time of his alleged crime.  However, one can note the presence of the Tigres de Masferrer .... In this one must note that Rolando Masferrer Rojas had been a formal communist, and although he made a public break with the party he continued to subscribe to its philosophy. In this regard one has to consider Masferrer’s past as executioner for the left in Spain and the site of his alleged break with the communist party which was the Soviet Embassy in Havana, talking to Ernest Hemingway (KGB agent Argo) and the attempted intervention (or was is recruitment as KGB agent) by the same Fabio Grobart. *

    *Historia del Partido Comunista de Cuba
    By Jorge García Montes, Antonio Alonso Avila 1970 page 362

  78. Follow up post #78 added on January 06, 2010 by Larry Daley

    This is a mention of Masferrer in my book in progress, now named “Love and War in Cuba” (title Larry Daley copyright@2009) I have the citations and they will be cited in that text but they are not included here.

    “He was a nightmare walking, when I was with Castro’s rebels in the Sierra Maestra.  Then I knew that he was in Batista pay and that his Tigres killed many without remorse and in consequence he was much hated and even more feared, among us rebels.  And yet then I did not know that Rolando Masferrer Rojas had been executioner for the “Reds” in Spain, he was a rival of Castro in the ranks of the chosen by Fabio Grobart (see Masferrer appendix).  All I knew was that we were really scared of him …  ”

  79. Follow up post #79 added on January 06, 2010 by Larry Daley

    RE: Rolando Masferrer Rojas

    Found in Mary Farrell Foundation Collection


    Document id number 1993.07,13.10:28:16:500410

    Document Date 4/4/1978

    Originator CIA

    Rolando Arcadio MASFERRER Rojas (201-42669)

    Former Cuban senator and self-admitted former Communist. Quite active in early 60’s in various anti-Castro activities in the U.S. Recently served four and one-half year sentence received U.S. neutrality laws.  No indication headquarters has been in touch with subject at any time.  Born 1918 in Cuba; typifies worst elements in former regime of Batista.  Name connotes ruthlessness, assassination, torture and extortion,  Still considers himself to be a Maxian Socialistl has been virulent critic of U.S.in past.

  80. Follow up post #80 added on January 06, 2010 by Barbara Rangel

    With Respect to #76,
    If Col. Cornelio Rojas did in fact aid the survivors of said explosion it was because my grandfather had a good heart, he was known for helping many people.  He helped vaccinate many campesinos.
    After all, he was the the chief of police in Santa Clara so there’s nothing abnormal of him showing up at the scene. He was also General Inspector of Cubas National Police.
    Please do not associate my grandfather with Masferrer,  they were both from Holguin, but had different political history, Col. Cornelio Rojas always fourght for Cubas democracy, as well as his father and grandfather Col. Cornelio Rojas Escobar and Brigadier Cornelio Rojas Hurtado whom fought for Cuba’s Independence against Spain.
    Masferrer was a leader of the Cuban communist party but later he publically broke with the communists at the Soviet Embasy in Havana and joined forces with Batista.

  81. Follow up post #81 added on January 06, 2010 by Barbara Rangel

    Hi Larry,

    I was invited by the producers of the Glenn Beck show (fox channel) for an interview regarding my grandfather Col. Cornelio Rojas.  The show will be about communism and it will air probably in a week or so, I will keep you posted.
    Thanks for continuing to inform and educate.
    Best regards,
    Barbar Rangel

  82. Follow up post #82 added on January 07, 2010 by Larry Daley


    Congratulations of your TV appearance.

    BTW the only reason I placed mention of Masferrer in the article is that it seemed necessary to place him in that context as balancing note, and because it may well have been Masferrer’s Tigres, not Merob Sosa’s men who killed those Guajiros near Banqueo del Oro.

    BTW2 It is my considered opinion that it is highly probable that Masferrer moved from the public Cuban communist party to be a covert aparachek of Fabio Grobart his previous Soviet contact who met him at that time.  The Havana Soviet Embassy was not the best place to renounce communism.

    In this view Masferrer’s role would be to develop a militia to support a communist coup to take over Cuba; thus Cuba was caught between two communist efforts one lead by Masferrer and the other by Castro. 

    Grobart it seems was acting as if master chess player to trap the Island for the Soviet empire, and was setting in place two pincers movements, like Stalin directing the attack in Berlin, or Lenin setting up two monsters Stalin and Trotsky to fight it out so that most ruthless and skilled would win.

  83. Follow up post #83 added on January 07, 2010 by Larry Daley


    Citations for the presence of Tigres at Pino del Agua includes:

    Pérez River, Roberto 2006 La guerra de liberación nacional: formación y desarrollo del Ejército Rebelde page 56

    These should be read with caution since they are Castro government publications

  84. Follow up post #84 added on January 10, 2010 by Barbara Rangel

    Hi Larry,

    I was wondering if you can do some research on my grandfathers father:  Cornelio Rojas Escobar also a General.  It would be great if you could find something, unfortunately I have not been successfull.
    BTW… just learned that the special will air 01/22/10 (fox channel) @ 5:00 PM
    “Glenn Beck Show”  Hope you can watch it,  that way you will match the face with the comments.  My mom Blanca Rojas, will also be on this special.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Barbara Rangel

  85. Follow up post #85 added on January 10, 2010 by Larry Daley


    This is a start for you

    Soto Paz, Rogelio 1950 Los Verdaderos Generales del 95. Bohemia February 26. 1950, 42(9) 128-144. Page 143 General de Brigada Cornelio Rojas Hurtado, Remedios, septiembre 16 de 1833, enero 18 de 1921 vivio 86 a~nos

    According to Search Results from Carlos Roloff’s Mambí Army Data Base http://www.cubagenweb.org/mil/mambi/search-mambi.htm Cornelio Rojas Escobar (father Cornelio mother Rita) is listed as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Roloff list. He joined the war of 1895-1898 on May 12, 1895 and lead 2.3.1-IR2 That is the 2nd Corps, 3rd Division, 1st Brigade (Santiago de Cuba Province), the Ocujal Brigade (infantry)

    General Cornelio Rojas Hurtado is listed at: Generals of the Cuban Army of Liberation 1895-1898 http://www.cubagenweb.org/mil/mambi/generals.htm
    The biographies are in: Ejército Libertador de Cuba 1895-1898 by Mario Riera Hernández

  86. Follow up post #86 added on January 10, 2010 by Barbara Rangel

    Thank you Larry this a definitely a great start!

    I am very grateful!
    Barbara Rangel

  87. Follow up post #87 added on January 20, 2010 by Barbara Rangel

    The special interview of me and my mom airs this Friday @ 5:00 (fox channel) Glenn Beck Show.  If you google Glenn Beck you will see a preview of friday’s program see:  TRhe Revolutionary Holocaust, you will hear my voice as my grandefather is walking towards the firing squad.  Hope you can see the show and/or record it. 
    All my best to you,
    Barbara Rangel

  88. Follow up post #88 added on January 22, 2010 by olga

    its amazing what communist would do to preserve their demented system. My father never once made a public display defending the revolution yet he was jailed because his family members were not castro sympathizers. Fortunately he was released but he was lucky. Dont you lame brains know that castro put anybody in front of a firing squad who ever looked at him funny. Cuba is in shambles becuase of that demented dictator. He is/was worse than hitler. At least Hitler killed everybody and spared them the grief of seeing their families torn apart and alienated and then spared them from having to see family members suffer and lead lives with no hope of ever climbing out of the rubble of communism.

  89. Follow up post #89 added on January 22, 2010 by lily

    it really kills me when people in the US (I am one) talk about people in history without checking the facts. For example I see people in my school wearing Che Guevara shirts (its a fashion statement)—I dont think so. You losers dont know how many people were killed by this man. Read books. Read both sides and decide for yourself.  Whats even funnier is that if I wore a Hitler shirt (which I would not do) I would be reported to the school and not be allowed to wear it (Im sure). Everytime I see some loser wearing a Che Guevara shirt, that shirt should just as well be saying ” I am an ignorant person who doesnt check facts”

  90. Follow up post #90 added on January 22, 2010 by bernie

    If the T-shirt statement of the killers is so offensive why are there so many of them available.?? Thruout history the road is filled with killers.  Who would you want to start with in the past century??????
    FDR (pearl harbor) Truman (atom bomb) Stalin (gulag) Hitler (jews)
    Eisenhower (pow Germans) Kennedy (Vietnam) Johnson (Vietnam)
    Nixon (Vietnam/ Cambodia) Pinochet (Chile) Bush sr. (Iraq/Panama)
    Reagan (Grenada) Bush jr. (Iraq/Afghanistan) Obama (Iraq/Afghanistan/Haiti)???
    Che G. was a piker compared to the above???
    Get with it—” its the future killers you should be worried about”????

  91. Follow up post #91 added on January 22, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Che famously defended killing somebody for stealing a condensed milk can.

  92. Follow up post #92 added on January 22, 2010 by Mario Lorie

    I was 13 years old when Colonel Rojas was executed. His execution was televised in Cuba so that anyone thinking of fighting against Castro’s revolution would be aware of the consequences of doing so. I do not know what kind of a man Colonel Rojas was. But to this day, I am now 63 years old, the image of Mr. Rojas being executed and his skull exploding into small pieces from the barage of rounds being fired is still vividly engraved in my brain. I do know that Mr. Che Guevara was responsible for his execution and for many others that he carried out himself personally, all of this in the name of Fidel Castro’s revolution. It amazes me to see Che Guevara being glamorized in many places and many young people wearing Che T-shirts. The problem we have today is that we do not appear to learn from the lessons of history. Mao was the worst murderer in the history of mankind, followed by Stalin and Hitler, yet our history books only seem to focus on Hitler, not that I am praising Hitler, he was also a murderer, but could this possibly be due to the fact that most of our media is leftist?

  93. Follow up post #93 added on January 22, 2010 by Larry Daley

    One should note that Pinochet’‘s count is less than Guevara’s and some of that was in fighting the communist militias of Allende.  It does not mean I condone what that dictator did, but one has to take into consideration the circumstance in which the Chilean military found itself, for they knew if they lost they would be executed “Che Guevara” style ...

  94. Follow up post #94 added on January 23, 2010 by BARTOLO

    El coronel Rojas fué un asesino y pagó por todo el mal que causo a muchos mártires que dieron su vida por la patria y el socialismo.  Nadie le puede negar que fué valiente en sus últimos minutos pero eso no es suficiente para ser de alguien una buena persona.

  95. Follow up post #95 added on January 23, 2010 by Larry Daley


    Truth is not found through proclamation.  If you have data to contribute please present it.


  96. Follow up post #96 added on January 23, 2010 by Barbara Rangel

    To #90 because there are many ignorants and communist sympathizers like you!!

    Al No. #94 Bartolo: Los martires de verdad fueron: Lt. Col. Cornelio Rojas Escobar y Brig. Col. Cornelio Rojas Hurtado que peliaron en la Guerra de Independista contra Espana, ellos son los ancestros de mi abuelo Col. Cornelio Rojas y dieron su vida para mantener la libertad y la independencia en Cuba, hasta que llego el asesino que tu defiendes.
    Si tienes documentacion como los nombres de esas personas, porfavor publicalos.
    De lo contrario, no entres mas a esta pagina con tus mentiras.
    Obviamente eres un comunista ! 
    Barbara Rangel

  97. Follow up post #97 added on January 25, 2010 by Felipe Pasqualino Rojas Masferrer

    Hi Barbara…......maybe you can e-mail me and I can share some family information….....Great information on the Glenn Beck show…Our families History shows that we have many who fought against Spain in 1898….....please keep fighting for the Good name of your grandfather…........Abrazos, Felipe

  98. Follow up post #98 added on January 25, 2010 by alovies2009 with 2 total posts

    I watched the lenn Beck show the other day, and noticed that the clip of Cornelio Rojas’ execution was a little more extensive than that which I have seen on the internet. Just how much more footage of the scene lading up to the execution is there? And how can it be accewssed. Any information would be appreciated.

    Al Ovies

  99. Follow up post #99 added on January 25, 2010 by Barbara Rangel

    Thank you Felipe, It has been a long battle, but I finally achieved what I have wanted for a very long time; reach the american people and let them know who was Che Guevara and what communism can do to a family.

  100. Follow up post #100 added on January 25, 2010 by Barbara Rangel

    To#98 you can google it:  Glen Beck Fox News and click on “The Revolutionary Holocaust”

    My segment:  Glenn Beck- The REAL Che Guevara

  101. Follow up post #101 added on March 12, 2010 by marco with 5 total posts

    I was born and raised in Santa Clara. Left Cuba when I was 17 years old. I was a 1st Lieutenant in the Rebel Army, Seceretary to The Municipal Commissioner (Alcalde) and later Assistant to The Governor.

    Cornelio Rojas was a good friend of many people in my family—my uncle and grandfather. I had the opportunity to know him and spend some time with him on several occasions. While I was a revolutionary—like many young people of my generation, I was very proud to know this honotable, corageous and compassionate man. I still remember the last time I saw him, shortly before I left Santa Clara headed for the countryside to fight the dictatorship. I will never forget his words to me—as he knew that I was a revolutionary. They are the same words that he spoke shortly before he feel assasinated by thundering and criminal fire. He said to me: “Your father, uncle and grandfather are destined to be buried by history.(He and my father had fought against president Machado). You will win and you will someday run the country. Do not do what we did—do not let your revolution be stolen from you.” That is the last time I saw him alive. It was at the Ganuza Beach near Santa Clara. When I returned to Santa Clara he had already been murdered. And without a trial or the opportunity for any of us to testify on his behalf. We would have testified on his behalf becuase many of us were alive because of him. A good frriend of mine, later a Comandante de la Revolucion, Rodlfo de las Casas (may he rest in peace) was one great revcolutionary who owed his life to Cornelio Rojas. And so did many others including me.

    Those who would say otherwise either lie or do not know the true history of that era. Intelligence is limted but ignorance and stupidity have no limits.

    If any of his relatives wants to know more about this good man do not hesitate to contact me. And you can feel proud of being a descendant of a “buena estirpe.”

  102. Follow up post #102 added on March 12, 2010 by marco with 5 total posts

    Canuk…are you older than 15? The interesting thng about all of this is that most of this people never lived in Cuba nor participated in any of the events that are being discussed here…

    For your information, young ignorant ones (the ones who are making those disparaging comments without any knowledge of the facts)I am a Social Democrat (almost a Socialist) who abhors what Fidel Castro has done to Cuba and the Cubans….He is a traitor to that beautiful and pure ideal that we had. He double crossed all the martyrs that fell in the struggle against Batista….

    And whoever said that Cornelio Rojas was apolitical does not know either that he was a very political man. He was not a Batistiano. He thought that he could be an agent of change… He was an honorable man who felt the pain of what was going on. I talked with him many times about the subject…and I am alive.

  103. Follow up post #103 added on March 12, 2010 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    Please post all of the material you know on Cornelio Rojas, including his actions at Gibara in 1931 and his struggle against Machado in 1933, as well as his action against the communists in Prio’s time.

    Thus at least here in this blog

    history will not forget him.


  104. Follow up post #104 added on March 13, 2010 by marco with 5 total posts

    By the way…In the case of the shooting of Manolo Castro, while this was a sort of complot or conspiracy, this was the act of a single shooter—-Fidel Castro Ruz. He hid in a place around the Habana University and when Manolo Castro walked by Fidel shot him on the back. There is a lot more to the story but time and spce do not allow me to tell it all at this time…some time in the future. Fiudel Castro was implicated, during his University times, in at least, two other homicides.

    The mas he feared the most was Rolando Masferrer (El Cojo). Masferrer made Fidel kneel before him, while he had a pistol on his head, and made ask for forgiveness for the killing of Manolo Castro who was a friend of Masferrer. The, Fidel was allowed to join Masferrer’s group—on a sort of probation. During the Cayo Confetti events the final rupture between Masferrer and Fidel came about.

    Masferrer threw Fidel out of the boat after slapping him a couple of times. Another story for a later time. From this events came the myth (Fidel always managed to turn everything around to his benefit—and to feed his ego) that Fidel had jumped overboard and with a knife between his teeth swam all the way to Habana among the sharks….I suppose that the sharks paid him professional courtesy and left him alone.

    Yes, we were told all of this, but at the time we simply took it at government propaganda and the gossip of those who did not want Cuba liberated from Batista. The emotional reaction typical of young people of our age at the time and the glamour of being “revolutionaries.” A very complex subject, however. Stupid? Yes, we were. Our elders told us and we would not believe them or pay attention. I remember telling my father that he had a 1933 mentality…we would move the future. The rest is history.

    Two wrongs will never make one right.

    I am sorry that I cannot relate much about Cornelio’s actions at Gibara in 1931 because I am not too familiar with those events. While I know about it, I do not know enough, first hand, to be objective or factual. But, I will tell you later about his fight against communism…

    Cornelio was not an uneduvcated man. He had a certain degree of education and culture and was very familiar with the communist ideology and doctrine. Probably a lot more than most people of our time in Santa Clara. At that time there were only a few intellectuals who were familiar with that doctrine. I was not.

    Cornelio was very well informed and had been a fighter against Machado. He saw the formative years of the Communist Party of Cuba. The Communist Party of Cuba was known (more history)as the Socialist Popular Party (Partido Socialista Popular). At first they were allied with Batista..at the end of Batista they allied with Castro. Does that tell you antyhing?

    And for your information (those young ignorant ones) 90% of the Rebel Army was not poor guajiros and laborers. The revolution was carried out by the sons of the middle class and young students. The “proletarian revolution” is not even a myth..it is an outright lie. And the book written by Enriquito Acevedo Gonzalez (whom I know pretty well) “Los Descamisados” contains more lies than Fidel’s speeches.

    And the recent movie by Benecio del Toro about Che is as far removed from the actual events as I am from the Moon…Yes, some of those events did happen but not like the movie portrays them…remember, I am from Santa Clara.

    But enough for today…at a later time I will be more consice and concentrate on exact events as lived and seen by me.


  105. Follow up post #105 added on March 13, 2010 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    Thank you, very much for the data on Cornelio Rojas, this adds much to the record on him ... It seems clear that he was not a killer but an honorable man ... anything more would also be much appreciated.

    There are other versions of the death of Manolo Castro, placing him a little further east in down town Havana at El Cinecito. Where it seems that Castro while directly involved was not a shooter but “a finger man.”  And it also seems that the person shot at the University, which I know fairly well below the wall somewhere near Orestes Ferrara’s magnificent residence , was a policeman who was testifying against or accusing Castro (this is from memory of things told to me).  Still you well may be correct, will check it out.

    The part of Castro’s attempt to kill Masferrer, I heard probably first hand was that Masferrer said he recognized Castro by his “caderas anchas y amplias” as he ran away ... these two versions are not necessarily in conflict. since it seems clear that Masferrer spared Castro’s life.  However, Castro is not a forgiving person and is believed by many for ordering that placement of the bomb that killed Masferrer.

    This does not mean that either version of the Castro-Masferrer incident is correct or incorrect, it just means that these events were seen and remembered differently by different witnesses. There is a well recognized phenomena called the “fog of war” in which witnesses to the same event report different even contradicting versions. .... 

    Thank you again


  106. Follow up post #106 added on March 13, 2010 by marco with 5 total posts

    You are very correct Larry in your sstaement about the fog of war. In law we call it something else. We study that in law school concerning the statement of winbesses to same event and how they have a different perception of the same event.

    Having said that, what is true is that Fidel shot Manolo Castro in the back and he was the shooter. I do not know about Fidel’s attempt to kill Masferer in those days. But I do know, or should I say, I have very few doubts about Fidel’s agents killing him here in Miami. I have a friend who was very close to Fidel and who witnessed most of those events and even had discussions with Fidel about it. He wrote a book in which he relates some of those stories.

    The policeman of which you speak was a corporal of the University security whom Fidel shot without warning while the corporal was sitting down on a chair not expecting that Fidel would shoot him. The corporal was not testifying, as far as I know. He had managed to offend Fidel’s ego by reprimanding him in front of his friends.

    I will talk to my friend who wrote the book and give you more information.

    The events at the “cinecito” involved someone else and in that Fidel was not the shooter but the “finger man” as you very well said. He was more of a “lookout.”

    I will write on that some other time as I recollect it.

  107. Follow up post #107 added on March 13, 2010 by marco with 5 total posts


    I will later tell you also about the death of Manuel “Piti” Fajardo. We were pretty good friends and my brother-in-law was his aide for some time at the “Ciudad Escolar Camilo Cienfuegos.” My brother-in-law was the accountant/comptroller for the project and was with Piti hours before he was killed. Another one who managed to offend Fidel. It was over the execution of Porfirio “El Negro” Ramirez, Plinio Prieto, Sinesio Walsh (who was commander)and others in Santa Clara at “La Campana” in October 1960—-one month before I left.

  108. Follow up post #108 added on March 13, 2010 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    Thank you. That would be most appreciated.  Plinio Prieta was a brave man, my stepfather Enrique Sanz Sariol belonged to his Autentico group, but managed to reach an embassy and escape.

    Here is some of what I have on Dr. Manuel Fajardo, from my book in preparation:
    “Love and War in Cuba”

    Enter a stranger called “Fajardo”
    In the summer of 1956, a stranger who introduced himself as something something” Fajardo arrived at La Casa de los Generales.  He must have arrived by jeep, fording the clear Bayamo River, and come up the rising road above the cliff.  No one of the family was around to meet him except for me, so with but a few servants and workers, only the forested mountains, and green hills watched.  So proudly alone I was the first one to greet him.  He told me he had an arrangement with Uncle Marcos to lease land to graze his cattle, and would like to see them.  Impressed by his confidence in me, I, a nineteen year old, proudly made a verbal agreement that when he came back, with a horse for Fajardo was not a montuno and could not merely walk up those steep mountainsides, I would take him there to the heights of Los Numeros. 
    Fajardo would be an important Castro Rebel, and like so many other rebels, he was doomed to live only a few years more.  My brother, Lionel also remembers “Fajardo” a physician (who almost certainly Manuel “Piti” Fajardo Rivero), who would become one of the physicians attending Castro rebels. 
    For certain this Fajardo was the same man who owned the cattle that Uncle Marcos somehow “lost” on his land.  Given his local, if citified, origins, the visiting “Fajardo” must have been the doctor who owned the cattle that fed on Tío Min’s pastures, some of which were by the Cuervo’s store in Guama.  This Dr. Fajardo knew of the Cuervo family because he would have to pass by their store and their house, the only other buildings for miles along the way, to see Tío Min and to bring, take and monitor his cattle.  I imagine he would stop at that store, the only such place in many miles around, to take refreshment or to buy something to eat there. 
    In my memory is seems it was very soon, probably the next day, when “Fajardo” showed up again at the Casa de los Generales this time with a horse, and asked the servant to tell me.  Then Uncle Calixto Leonel and the rest of the adults were there.  They refused to take him there to Uncle Marco’s land and told me in no uncertain terms I should not, I could not, act as guide.  Terribly embarrassed and humiliated because of the rebuke of my elders, because this had forced me to break my word.  And more than that steeply immersed in family legend, I felt shamefully dishonored because my words were not followed by deeds. I had not lived up to my juvenile image of my famed ancestors.  After a while, the deeply disappointed Fajardo went away.
    In retrospect Fajardo was probably scouting the terrain for Celia Sánchez’s resistance group he belonged to in Manzanillo (a port city to the west relatively close to Bayamo);  as mentioned above “Celia,” all in the mountains would learn to call her using only her first name soon, was then preparing to support Castro’s long planned landing.  Uncle Calixto Leonel at that time was looked at with some distain by most of the rest of the family because he had quit the democratic Authentico party and now was part of Batista faithful in Bayamo; he probably knew something was going on, but he certainly did not tell me.  Still as far as I know, Fajardo was not arrested at that time. 
    School started, and I returned to Havana. Those Fajardo cattle were never heard of again.

  109. Follow up post #109 added on March 13, 2010 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    Violent events began to happen rapidly; at the end of November 1956 Frank País’s and his men would rise in decoy revolt in Santiago to the east, and Celia Sánchez would take her women warriors to the field of battle to support Castro’s landing in the west of the province south of Manzanillo, where as mentioned above Dr. Manuel “Piti” Fajardo Rivero was allied to her group in that city, and probably was waiting for wounded in the clinic he shared with Vallejo another rebel doctor.  Castro coming from Mexico would land in December, 1956.  Crescencio was with Celia Sánchez and they rescued Castro and his remaining rebels, after the defeat at Alegria de Pio, and took them to safety in the heights of the Sierra.  Next Spring the Directorio Revolutionary and the Accion Autentica would attack the Presidential Palace (see chapter XXX). 
    Dr. Fajardo or (Manuel) Piti Fajardo Rivero was forced from his “underground role” in Manzanillo and joined the high sierra rebels in March 1958.  Piti, even though an experienced guerrilla fighter, died in the next war supposedly in an ambush and cross fire on November 29, 1960.  He then had been chief of operations in the Escambray Mountains at the time fighting against anti-Castro forces in the “War Against the Bandits.”
    It is said Dr. Fajardo, was killed by his own men, in a “friendly fire” accident.  Doubt lingers since Castro’s officers often came to such an obscure and “accidentally” but Castro-convenient ends, and Cuban government sanctioned histories are not reliable.  Fajardo some say he died of a single shot to the temple, a wound more characteristic of an execution than a battle.  Encinosa on the other hand reports that he died of a rifle wound in the skull (bullet not found or caliber not mentioned) and he also had a bullet wound from the a secret police type hand weapon—a Czech 7.62 mm pistol—in the knee.  In addition he was said to be negotiating a bloodless surrender of those anti-Castro rebels which was against the kill on surrender rules laid down by the Hispano-Soviet officers who were directing the repression at that time.  When arranging a kill Castro moved so adroitly behind the fog of war to make it difficult to acertain what happened except their was a dead victim and thus since many of his own people died “accidentally” that, one never knew for certain what was fate and what was planned betrayal.  Even now in the dictators doddering old age, it is still most dangerous to be close to Castro.
    Before meeting the good doctor, the name Fajardo was well known to me because that was the last surname of the best known lyrical poet of 19th Century Cuba Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo.  We learned and recited his poems in school.  I really like his romantic poetry (romantic poetry in Latin America was and still is considered a macho way of wooing), even the most venerated Cuba patriot Jose Marti used it “to get into the pants” of innumerable women. Marti even wrote a poem to one of my grand-aunts Leonor García Velez, but she loved another (David Whitmarsh) and that is story for elsewhere in the book.  It is highly probable that Dr. Fajardo (given the common area where they lived, the extensive intermarriage of principal families and the relatively low populations in those times and above all the striking physical resemblance, see Figure XXX) was somehow related to this poet.

  110. Follow up post #110 added on April 15, 2010 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts

    Barbara Rangel:

    Writes to inform of additional footage on Cornelio Rojas:

    “Artist Steve Pichan, who wrote a song after seeing my interview on the Glenn Beck Show.  His musical video is now on Youtube,  the title of the song is “You dont know Che”  Throughout the video there are pictures of my grandfather Col. Cornelio Rojas and one of me at the end of the video. This is like a tribute to my grandfather and I am very greatful to Steve Pichan and Director Agustin Blazquez. “

    forwarded by Larry Daley

  111. Follow up post #111 added on April 25, 2010 by warnski with 2 total posts

    Hmm….Che Guevara was an animal. How can anybody in their right minds idolize a man that quoted the following: “If the nuclear missiles had remained we would have used them against the very heart of America, including New York City,” Che Guevara confided to the London Daily Worker in November of 1962. “We will march the path of victory even if it costs millions of atomic victims…We must keep our hatred alive and fan it to paroxysm.”

    On another note:  With no disrespect to Barbara Rangel: I have no proof, but I find it hard to believe your grand father was a saint in all this.  I totally understand your love for him as I would have for him as well if he’d been my grand father.  We have to understand one thing:  These were terrible times and people do terrible things because of it.  Of course this doesn’t excuse genocide or crimes along that nature.  My gut says that your grandfather was a as good as he could have been during the times and unfortunately that is what got him killed.  I do not think he was an angel in all of this though. If he did in fact do everything by the book legally…..then he was a saint.

  112. Follow up post #112 added on April 25, 2010 by Larry Daley with 43 total posts


    And yet you provide no proof

  113. Follow up post #113 added on April 25, 2010 by warnski with 2 total posts

    I believe I admitted that.  This was my gut feeling regarding Rojas.  Since there is no proof , one would have to stand on the side of him fighting for all the right reasons.  Maybe Rojas was a saint, who knows?

    There is semi-proof regarding the conversation between the London Daily worker Che Guevara gave though.  Although I admit it is hearsay, but it appears to have been said from what I read.  Whether or not he would have followed thru with it remains to be seen as the russians moved out of Cuba. 

    You have to think that this is why Kennedy stood his ground, don’t you think?  The whole US vs CUBA thing (castro,Che Guevara) is still a thorn in the USA butt.  Why do you think they still hold sanctions against this country, yet have friendly relations with the Russians.  What do u think? 

    I just started reading on this and certainly I’m no expert.  I have respect for Barbara Rangel though.  I totally understand her stance on this.  I’m a realist but with a touch of an optimist.  If that makes any sense….smile

  114. Follow up post #114 added on April 27, 2010 by Barbara Rangel with 4 total posts

    No one said he was a saint, but I tell you this…. he certainly was a HERO!!
    My grandfather was a military man, way before Batista came into power, a man that loved democracy.  He was an honorable man that did not deserve what Fidel Castro and Che Guevara did to him.  My grandfather was simply doing the job that any Chief of police would do, which is to maintain order. 
    Not too many men would look at death in the eye, and do what he did.  It takes a lot of guts to refuse to be blind folded and give out the firing orders.
    Fidel Castro and Che Guevara wanted to copy the “Red Terror”  so they used my grandfather to show the people what would happen to anyone opposing communism and their ideologies.  My grandfather was never accused of mistreating anyone or abusing power.  He was a family man, son of patriots that fought prominently for Cubas War of Independence against Spain.  His ancestors had liberated Cuba until Fidel Castro took over and imposed communism.  Fidel Castro and those close to him are responsible for maintaining the internal blockade against his own people.

    I assure you, that I have never seen any saints….. but, I sure have seen the devil, and he has been lashing with hate and repression, our people and our island for 51 years.  One day this devil will burn in hell!!!

    Barbara Rangel

  115. Follow up post #115 added on January 04, 2011 by roberto beato

    I was 9 years old when the fusilamento of colonel Rojas was forcibly shown to me and fellows students at the Colegio De Belen.To me and my friends that was so horrific that its still embedded in my brain.This was the begining of Castros and Che terror tactics in Cuba.Also remember Las patrullas juveniles that they started with young kids like myself to turn in parents that might be in discontent with the revolution.My grandfather was Eduardo Beato,chief engineer during Machado,he was the person responsible for building el malecon and la carretera central.Loved by many Cubans by his honesty and love for the country.When I told him about the movie we were obliged to watch in my school,Belen,he started crying and told me,“chonguito"this is the beginning to the end of our beautiful country.How true this is!!!

  116. Follow up post #116 added on January 04, 2011 by Larry Daley

    Initiation in Murder of Ernesto “Che” Guevara

    Not everybody is capable of committing mass murder, it takes special indoctrination, and possibly youth.*  More over, only aberrant individuals can continue to do this for a number of murders.  This is one reason why the Nazi’s turned from the bullet to the gas chamber.  However, the Communists did not.  Apparently communist practice is to select asocial individuals for this abhorrent task.

    “The first kill (of those who can be manipulated to do it L.D.) is often the clumsy, inexperienced, and impulsive act of a “virgin” to homicide. Reminiscent of the adolescent fumbling in a car’s back seat.” ** Individuals who are capable of such killing are usually also sexually abnormal, and for them it is an issue of control. Different ethnic or national derivation is also a traditional choice for executioners.*** 

    Ernesto “Che” Guevara fits both into categories.  The description of Guevara taking a maid forcefully literally behind his aunt’s back and his execution of an individual “The Teacher” said to be a extremely strong individual who pretended to be Guevara to seduce women qualifies him sexually.  And of course his common Argentine assumption of “pure European” ethnicity made him perceive himself as different from the “Indio” of Guatemala, and later the racially mixed Montuno, and Güajiro of Cuba, and of course Batista and much of his armed forces.

    Thus it seems rational that communist executioner Jaime Rosenberg**** of Guatemala, would have picked Guevara as a tool for his murders something that has been suggested by a number of authors.*****  However, despite easily shown association between the two there is no actual proof this existed.  However, to expect such proof under the circumstances of civil war and subversive cell structures is to demand far too much especially considering for communist movements are both secretive, keep poor records, and have little respect for objective truth.  Thus at the present time and level of scholarship we will have to content ourselves with plausable probability.

    *For example: Browning, Christopher R. 2004 Chapter 10.  Initiation to Mass Murder. The Józefów Massacre. In: Violence in war and peace : an anthology Edited by Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Philippe Bourgois, Blackwell Publications, Maiden, Massachusetts ISBN-10 0631223495, ISBN-13 9780631223498 pages 101-108.

    **Giannangelo, Stephen J. 1996 Background and Development. The psychopathology of serial murder: a theory of violence/ Praeger. Westport, Connecticut   pages 36, 39.

    ***For example: Ketchian, Sonia 1993 Anna Akhmatova, 1889-1989: papers from the Akhmatova Centennial Volume 1989 Conference Bellagio Study and Conference Center, June 1989, Volume 1989 Berkeley Slavic Specialities ISBN-10 0933884826 ISBN-13 9780933884823page 93 “… in Yeats the martyrs and the executioners likewise belong to different ethnic groups.”

    ****UP 1954 Guatemala Executor Says He Saw Many Murdered. San Antonio Express, Wednesday July 7, 1954 page 5A GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala —(UP)— A former “chief executioner” for the Guatemalan Communists said Tuesday that before the Red regime fell he saw “huge mounds” of murdered anti-Reds piled in secret police headquarters.  Former Civil Guard Sgt. Reglnaldo Achila confessed to members of the new anti-Communist government Tuesday that he tortured political prisoners for the Reds but denied he took part in any murders.  HE ADMITTED, however, he witnessed “many murders” by the Red secret police. Rebel officers said they know that more than 400 murders were committed by the Reds during the regime of pro-Communist President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. Achila once was one of the most feared men in Guatemala. But Tuesday he stood trembling before rebel leaders when questioned about Red atrocities.  “Si, senor,” he told rebel officers when asked if he tortured anti-Communists. “I may have beaten a few prisoners—but they made me few prisoners—but they made me do it. I only followed orders.”  Former Police Chief Rogelio Cruz Wehr and secret police head Jaime Rosenberg were the men who ordered the torture and murder of the anti-Red political prisoners, he said.  Cruz Wehr and Rosenberg fled Guatemala before the rebels overthrew the government, but about 2,000 other suspected Communists have been jailed. Rebel chief Col. Carlos Castillo Armas has promised “swift justice” for the Reds.  ACHILA SAID THAT most of the murdered persons he saw in secret police headquarters had been drowned in bath tubs by a team of Red “executioners” who held the victims’ heads under until they were dead. The rebels charge Achila was the “chief executioner.”  Some of the other victims were shot at the police headquarters, he said.  The tortured bodies of victims of the Red purge reportedly have been found in mass graves by the rebels in Esqulntla, Antigua, San Lucas and in the outskirts of the capital. Other persons still are missing.

    **** Diaz-Verson, Salvador 1997 (accessed 1-2-11) When Castro Became a Communist: The Impact on U.S.-Cuba Policy. Institute for U.S.-Cuba Relations Occasional Paper Series, Vol.1, No.1 November 3, 1997 http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/diaz-verson.htm “3. In September 1957, the Bolanos Report analyzed and assessed the Mexico City based Soviet operations in the Caribbean. The Bolanos Report, issued by Gloria Bolanos who was the former private secretary to the late Guatemalan President Carlos Castillo Armas, resulted from material supplied by Armas’ personal intelligence staff in their attempts to penetrate the Soviet center in Guatemala including the Asistencia Tecnica (AT) - technical assistance set up in 1955-1956 as an espionage cell by Colonel Jaime Rosenberg and Ernesto “Che” Guevara and linked to Fidel Castro. Bolanos “concluded that the failure to recognize the Castro movement as `an operation conceived and executed by the Caribbean Comintern’ reveals inexcusable `mental paralysis’.” A year and a half later, the authoritative British publication, the Intelligence Digest, corroborated Bolanos’ assessment of the Castro movement. Nathaniel Weyl, Red Star Over Cuba: The Russian Assault on the Western Hemisphere (New York: Devin-Adair, 1960), pp.114-118. “By 1957, the Intelligence Digest was able to publish detailed reports about the Communist affiliations of leaders of the Castro movement…It was published on two occasions and sent to a key list of several hundred United States Government officials concerned with Latin America…” Id., p.175. “In the spring of 1958…[T]he United States Government could, at this juncture, have released the voluminous information in its files, showing that the Fidel Castro movement was Communist-infiltrated and Communist-controlled. It could have made it clear that the United States would consider the victory of the Castro movement a threat to its security.” Id. pp.178-179. Nathaniel Weyl who had been a Communist in the 1930s was in the same unit as Alger Hiss. Weyl was a Latin American specialist who knew the top leaders of the Cuban Communist Party.”

  117. Follow up post #117 added on January 04, 2011 by Barbara Rangel with 4 total posts

    Please tune in this Friday 01/07/11 @ 9:00
    I will be a guest on Blogtalkradio.com with host Cubanarama regarding the execution of my grandfather Col. Cornelio Rojas whom was executed 52 years ago this coming friday by orders of Che Guevara.
    Thank you,
    Barbara Rangel

  118. Follow up post #118 added on January 07, 2011 by Marta Sosa

    I invite everyone to visit my website:
    http://WWW.CUBANARAMA.COM where all shows are posted.
    Hope you can make it tonight…

    Thank You!


  119. Follow up post #119 added on March 14, 2011 by Glenn Beck

    Col. Cornelio Rojas tortured and killed many innocent people…. There was a revolutionary tribunal that found eyewitness accounts and instruments of torture….that’s why he was executed, not killed at sight.

  120. Follow up post #120 added on March 14, 2011 by Laurence Daley

    “Glenn Beck”

    Since blank statements have little if any historical value, do the readers a favor by providing additional information and please cite it formally.

    Larry Daley

  121. Follow up post #121 added on May 12, 2011 by Sylvia

    Si puedes hacer llegar este mensaje a Blanquita la hija del difunto Coronel Cornelio Rojas Fernandez, dile que soy Sylvia Rojas, hija de Geronimo Rojas Cano, hijo tambien del General Cornelio Rojas Hurtado de Menodoza.
    Me gustaria le hicieras llegar mi telefono en Miami, 305-226-6419.  Estoy muy interesada en hablar cone lla.
    Vivo en mexico y estoy pasando una temporada en Miami.
    Muchas Gracias.

  122. Follow up post #122 added on May 21, 2011 by Larry Daley

    Sylvia Rojas:

    Si sabes algo de Cornelio Rojas Fernandez durante
    la sublevacion de Gibara de 1931, o durante su accion contra los comunistas durante la Republica lo agradeceria que lo notas aqui.

    Como debes saber la sublevacion de Gibara fue infiltrada y destruida por los comunistas quien entonces tenian como meta principal, no tumbar a Menocal pero al contrario distruir las fuerzas democraticas de Menocal y Mendienta. 

    Tengo un capitulo sobre esto en mi libro en preparacion “Love and War in Cuba”.

    Larry Daley (nieto de Calixto (Garcia-I~niguez Enamorado)

  123. Follow up post #123 added on May 31, 2011 by Larry Daley

    It seems that the unforgivable sin

    of Cornelio Rojas

    in the eyes of Guevara

    was his participation

    in the closure of Hoy

    during the democratically elected

    Prio administration:


    Guerra Alemán, José 2007 La Clausura de Hoy In: Cuba Infinita Tomo. IV Editorial Véritas, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico pages.66 and 82.

    the communist Hoy

  124. Follow up post #124 added on June 04, 2011 by Barbara Rangel with 4 total posts

    Hola Larry,
    Espero estes bien.. como va tu libro “Love and War in Cuba”.
    Queria dejarte saber que tengo una foto en color de “Generales de las Guerras Independentistas”  (generales de las 3 guerras) y por supuesto tu abuelo el General Calixto-Iniguez Enamorado esta en la foto.  Creo que seria bueno publicarla en tu libro. 
    Dejame saber si estas interesado.
    Saludos cordiales,
    Barbara Rangel
    Nieta del Col. Cornelio Rojas Fernandez

  125. Follow up post #125 added on June 04, 2011 by Larry Daley


    Gracias, la fotographia me seria util.

    Si mi lo puedes mandar a daleyl(signo arroba)peak.org lo agradeceria

    Si mi memoria de lecturaa no me falla su abuelo estaba en uno de los regimientos de mi abuelo Calixto Enamorado (hijo de Calixto Garcia I~niguez). Como tambien fue Pedro Gamboa, quien se alzo contra Batista en el 1933 en la finca Guama en tierras familiares



  126. Follow up post #126 added on June 04, 2011 by Barbara Rangel with 4 total posts

    No tengo un scanner para enviarla por email. Tengo la foto fisica.  Tedria que enviartela por correo.  Si quieres llamame a mi cell para ver como te la hago llegar: 305-978-2455

  127. Follow up post #127 added on July 14, 2011 by the question man

    I just saw the killing of Colonel Cornelo Rojas and I wonder, when Batista was in power, there were missing over 20,000 people- man, woman, and childern- if the good Colonel was such for the people and was the chief of police… how do you explian the missing people.

    I don’t think he was an innocent man, In Santa Clara alone, the people feard the police, your Grand Pa, Great Uncle, was no different then Hitler Himself, The People from Santa Clara said that your innocent GRAND PA killed over 5,000 people himself - Know what your talking about…

  128. Follow up post #128 added on July 14, 2011 by Laurence Daley

    Question man:

    First: that 20,000 is a wildly inflated number, and was first published in Bohemia I think in at the beginning of 1959.  And it has been thoroughly debunked ...

    Still Batista’s goons did kill people ... although nowhere near what Castro has killed or let die ...

    One of Batista’s goons was a rival communist Rolando Masferrer who had been an executioner for the socalled Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. Masferrer was a long time rival of Castro and they
    had tried to kill each other a good number of times.

    Apparently the chief stalinist agent in Cuba Fabio Grobart came up with a dual pronged plan to take over Cuba for the Soviets.  He apparently assigned Masferrer and some of his buddies such as Otto Meruelo to infiltrate Batisa’s ranks. 

    Then Grobart had set up Castro with secret communist support to take over if Masferrer failed.  And engineered the betrayal of non-communist resistance to Batista, most famously using Marquito to betray the survivors of the attack on the Palace (March 13th 1957).

    Castro’s landing in Cuban in December of 1956 was almost as big a disaster as his attack on the Moncada barracks on July 1953.  However, the Romerico Cordero communist organization, many years underground in the Sierra Maestra set about the rescue of the survivors. 

    Cordero’s second in command the bandit Crescencio Perez and Celia Sanchez rescued Castro, recovered some of the lost weaponry, and provided guides to the mountains.

    Now Masferrer was very familiar with this tactic and the principal communists involved.  So he took
    his gang of killers (Los Tigres de Masferrer) and followed the Batista troops up the mountains setting about trying to eliminate his communist rivals by the ways he learned in Civil War Spain.

    This made a horrible circumstance, communist killers on both sides isolating and killing their rival communist agents.

    Meanwhile Batista claimed correctly he was fighting communists (among others) however what he did in essence was to badly hurt the non-communist pro-democracy resistance to Batista.

    Meanwhile Castro, was loudly proclaiming he was not a communist, and his agents were also betraying the non-communist resistance ...

    As you can gather this was a real nightmare, and all it assured was that one communist would come out on top.  Either Masferrer would overthrow Batista, or Castro would win.

    This is a very brief summary of events, for more details I hope to soon publish my book “Love and War in Cuba” which gives considerable highly researched data on this matter, plus the memories of my family and myself.

  129. Follow up post #129 added on July 14, 2011 by EducateYourself

    For the ignorant person who said Che’s last words were,“Do not shoot, I am more dead than alive.” hIS ACTUAL last words were “I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, coward! You are only going to kill a man!” Just so you know.

  130. Follow up post #130 added on July 15, 2011 by the question man

    Good for you Mr. Daley, I hope your book becomes a best seller, : the amount of people missing was over 20,000 - Cornel Rojas, was not an innocent man. I saw it on youtube, were FOX NEWS said that Rojas was an Innocent man, what at a joke, what do you expect from a NAZI Network…  if all things were great in CUBA before Castro, then why did Castro happen…

  131. Follow up post #131 added on July 15, 2011 by Larry Daley

    Proclaiming a assertion

    does not make it true

    let us see some details

    So far all I have seen here

    or elsewhere is that Cornelio Rojas

    closed as communist newpaper ...

  132. Follow up post #132 added on July 21, 2011 by the question man

    Mr. Daley, what you need to do is go to Cuba and ask the people, who live Santa Clara…

  133. Follow up post #133 added on July 21, 2011 by Larry Daley

    And what would I learn from a Castro jail.  Even though some of the older ones might know from fifty years ago. However, could they speak the truth since they are under the thumb, and the constant drum of propaganda, of the Castro regime.

  134. Follow up post #134 added on July 21, 2011 by daleyl@peak.org

    A tactic used

    by the Castro crew

    for over fifty years,

    in which commonly

    defamation is followed by execution,.,

    Here is an 1958 example, in which Raul Castro defames

    some who are fighting Batista, and after that

    these anti-Batista fighters are executed.

    Tutino, Saverio and Ana María Palos 1979 Breve historia de la revolución cubana. Ediciones
    Era, Volume 65 of Serie popular Era, Mexico

    Page 173 “…Eran las bandas de los “escopeteros”, mandadas por individuos
    que buscaban sacar partido del momento para sus beneficio personal. Raúl Castro
    ordenó proceder contra los jefes, separándolos de sus seguidores, Hizo fusilar
    a los más deshonestos.  A sus seguidores, por el contrario, los enroló en sus filas y los instruyó en la disciplina y la acción, haciendo de muchos de ellos magníficos combatientes. …”

    Notice no names, not even numbers ...

  135. Follow up post #135 added on August 04, 2011 by the question man

    I just wonder, if everything was okay in cuba, with batista, why did the cuban people support Castro, I know one thing all the people who were exile, and built there future in florida, were the people who controlled cuba, they had the money, which were mostly white, now your here in the states you pass as white you vote replican…your the main reson why cuba is the way it is today, with the embargo, cuba can’t grow, what most of you want is go back and controll the country commercialize it, like it was before, rape her and make her a bitch to the State’s…

  136. Follow up post #136 added on August 04, 2011 by Laurence Daley

    Castro had said many times he was for democracy and freedom.  Batista had proved he was not ...

    The Castro take over was about six months after victory over Batista and after he had taken over much of the apparatus of government and terrorized most with his constant executions.

    He was guided by Soviet agents, primarily Fabio Grobart who had returned to Cuba, after being thrown out by the democratically elected Prio Administration, Castro took over complete power.

    Castro supported his moves using the old aparatchiks of the Cuban communist party, the technical repression apparatus imported mainly from eastern European Soviet controlled states, and massive weaponry imported from the Soviets.

  137. Follow up post #137 added on November 01, 2011 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Sorry. Comment spammer has been banned.

    Probably best to turn off comments altogether.

    Members can start a fresh discussion in our Castro’s Cuba forum.

    Cuba consulting services

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