"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." - President Ronald Reagan
It's been a tough summer for the old guard in Cuba. They are dying so quickly that many are wondering if someone is poisoning their "cafecito," or maybe it's COVID. Who knows for sure? The truth is, they are quickly joining Fidel wherever the bearded one is spending eternity.
Stellar News on Cuban state-run television reported the death of Reserve Brigadier General Hiraldo Antonio Mora Orozco, who passed away on September 16 from COVID-19.
In an announcement from the Ministry of Armed Forces, it was reported that the officer was part of the First Column of the Rebel Army under the command of Fidel Castro and after 1959, he served as an infantry and tank battalion chief, head of the anti-aircraft artillery regiment and the tank division, and the Second in Command of the Juvenile Labor Army, among other duties.
He also commanded troops during the so-called "Escambray cleansing" against armed Cubans who rose up against Fidel Castro's regime and served three tours in Angola with the Cuban military operations that intervened in the war in that country.
"His body will be cremated and his ashes placed in the Veterans' Pantheon in the Necropolis of Colon," said the announcement in conclusion.
According to state-run media, Mora Orozco is the third high-ranking officer of the Revolutionary Armed Forces to die in the past week and a half. He is the 12th to pass away since July 11, when massive protests against the regime shook the island.
From that date on, obituaries for high-ranking officials published by state-run media have been frequent.
Yes, the guys at the state-run media are getting a lot of practice writing obituaries.
There are lots of rumors flying around, as you would expect. I heard they want to "cremate" the old guard so no one can oppose the economic reforms coming. That sounds possible, but who said current leader Diaz-Canel is a reformer? He didn't show it when people rose up over the last few weeks. Then I heard that they are paving the way for the big one or Raúl Castro, who is somewhere either dead or near death. It's possible. Then I heard that their deaths are just another example of how bad Cuban health care is. I like that one because Fidel Castro had to bring in some doctor from Spain, and Raúl Castro is probably being treated by a similar group.
So who knows? All we know is that the old men who sat behind Fidel's longest speeches are fading, and fast. We are up to twelve and wonder who the lucky number thirteen will be.