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The Martyrs of December Ninth 1957 in Holguin
The monument of the Seis Columnas (Six Columns) to honor the martyrs of December ninth, 1957 in the Cuban city of Holguin. Photo: Amauris Betancourt
Holguin remembers today the killing of nine worthy children in December ninth 1957. The six courageous revolutionary fighters were terribly assassinated in the Cuban city of Holguin 58 years ago by the troops of tyrant Fulgencio Batista, commanded in that northeastern town by sick minded Fermin Cowley Gallego.

In the place their corps of were found there rises today a monument to honor Manuel Angulo Farran, Ruben Bravo Alvarez, Atanagildo Cajigal Torres, Ramon Flores Carballosa, Mario Pozo Ochoa and Pedro Rogena Camayd, whose only crime was having opposed the tyranny to see Cuba free from the bloodthirsty tyranny of Fulgencio Batosta.

In order to understand the events, we should go back to the 23rd of November, 1957. That day was executed by a revolutionary commando the bloodthirsty colonel Fermin Cowley Gallego in Holguin downtown.

The sadly famous figure launched a chain of murders since he was appointed chief of the Military Regiment No. 7 in Holguin in the fourth of May, 1956.

One of his saddest feats was the killing of the 16 men on board the expedition of the Corinthya yacht, but also the massacre of 23 revolutionaries in December 1956, an event known in Cuban history as the Pascuas Sangrientas (Bloody Easters).

Then, the Directive Board of the revolutionary movement "Movimiento 26" ordered the execution of the bloodthirsty colonel Fermin Cowley Gallego. To achieve that complicated mission, they organized a commando that first tacked him down.

Later, as an aftermath of Cowley's execution, repression increased and a wave of arrests, interrogations and tortures followed.
The tyranny sent another henchman, lieutenant colonel Irenaldo Garcia Baez, who had the mission of catching the men that killed Cowley.

Among the many the detained ones were the six worthy revolutionaries mentioned above.

All of them were members of the Movimiento 26 de Julio, who despite the cruel tortures they were subjected to, said no words that would jeopardize the life of their partners.

Before such virile and worthy stance, the bloodthirsty troops of tyrant Fulgencio Batosta took them to the city under the pretext of taking them to the courthouse, but instead, they were cowardly murdered on the highway to Holguin, early in the morning of December ninth, 1957.

Today, a monument rises right there, which people call Seis Columnas (Six Columns) and that represent their broken lives.

The six worthy martyrs of the Homeland are represented there, and 58 years later, people remember the sad day when those true patriots were killed.

They say that their courage was so strong that Atanagildo Cajigal Torres told their killers that: "...when freedom comes down from the Sierra Maestra Mountains, Cuba will be forever free."

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