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The eternal light of Jesus Menéndez
Jesus Menéndez Larrondo. Photo:  Trabajadores
It was almost 8:30 p.m. of that January 22, 1948, and Cuba lost one of its bravest sons, Jesus Menéndez Larrondo, the trade union leader, the man of integrity, the defender of the workers.

Invited by Francisco (Paquito) Rosales, first communist mayor of Cuba, the sugar leader got off the train that day in Manzanillo, but could not get into that coastal city or meet with local workers.

The assassin Joaquín Casillas Lumpuy, who had the rank of Captain, was determined to take him into custody, despite the parliamentary immunity of Menéndez Larrondo, a member of the Popular Socialist Party to the House of Representatives.

With serenity, the leader of the workers refused and took a few steps, but the assassin took out his gun and fired with fury, to extinguish the existence of who was loved by thousands of people throughout the archipelago.

Days of sadness for the workers of sugar mills, industries and other sectors of the country when they knew the unfortunate news. The mantle of pain extended throughout the national territory.

The child born in a hut of palm boards and guano ceiling in Encrucijada, present province of Villa Clara, had died; the street vendor, the machetero, the sugar purger, the brave young man, the organizer of demonstrations, the promoter of the National Workers' Union of the Sugar Industry, the intransigent revolutionary, who won the love and admiration of many.

The leader who was decisive to achieve the Sugar Differential ceased to exist physically, a modest rise in wages and living standards of workers and peasants linked to the sugar industry, paid rest, the creation of the Retirement and Assistance Fund Social for the sector, the payment of overtime and the hygiene of the bateyes.

There, in the railway terminal in Manzanillo, a city of history, where he fell mortally wounded, a monument is erected in his homage, as an eternal remembrance to who deserves all the admiration of the Cubans.

Hundreds of people from Granma, representing a whole town, will go to this place on January 22, to dedicate songs, poems and words of patriotic reaffirmation, with the emotion of being in the place where a courageous man fell, but where He will always feel his light as an exemplary human and revolutionary.

Written by Yasel Toledo Garnache (ACN)

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