Today was buried in Holguin Alexis Rojas Aguilera, a good reporter, a true friend, a great colleague that everybody admired for being a chaser of news. A heart arrest claimed his life; he tried hard but the fatty boy could not make it this time.
Alexis Rojas Aguilera Seen by Holguin Reporters
I studied sixth grade with him at Oscar Lucero Moya school (1964 - 1965). He was born in Banes but has been living in the neighborhood of Cabal, in Nicaro town.
Our respective fathers had worked together at the nickel processing plant of Nicaro.
I learnt that Alexis loved the sea, the hills, the flora, song birds, and fishing with a fishing rod.
With the passing of time life shaped him as a serious and responsible man, intelligent, thoughtful, fond of the family, trustworthy and unable to rest if he smelled an item of news.
By the end of 1970, I began to work as a chemical annalist at the Comandante Rene Ramos Latour nickel processing plant in Nicaro. There I learnt that he was reporting to Radio Mayari, after being trained as a volunteer reporter; years later I joined him.
When he completed a course on journalism in Santiago de Cuba he became a correspondent of Sierra Maestra daily from the former region Mayari-Sagua-Moa of the fomer Oriente province.
As a Sierra Maestra reporter, he worked for the Basic Industry - a branch he never left. After having worked for the daily of the fomer Oriente province, he was called to report Holguin province for Granma daily (1977-2007).
He later worked for the Holguin province branch of the Cuban News Agency (ACN) and for the last four years at ¡Ahora! weekly of the province of Holguin.
He liked dealing with issues on science, technology, environment, and did it with a refine style. For that reason he won several awards and prizes. He managed to infect with much enthusiasm the colleagues from the Club of Scientific Journalism, one of the best in Cuba.
He was a passionate defender of mining and the nickel industry, the state program Plan Turquino for highlanders, Nipe bay and waters, archaeological sites of Holguin, the Movement of Innovators and Creators. He loved working with researchers, and research institutions, the universities and stories of life and people.
He received several awards and prizes, among them, the Gilberto Caballero 2011; Estrella de Cuba 2012, of the Cuban Journalist Association (UPUC) in Holguin; the Tricolore Prize conferred by Italian Portal Quinta Avenida, as well as the CITMA Prize in 2016.
I am sad - like all my colleagues - for the passing of such a dear reporter.
It is that Alexis was a through and through Cuban. He was a simple man, a perennial chaser of the item of news – no matter howe far it was. His close ally – the cigarrete – helped him calm down his eagerness for work and perfection.
He never buttoned up the top buttonhole of his chair; but loved and defended nature like few, to a point that some time ago he filled his bedroom with birds.
He enjoyed the scent of flowers. He would go into ecstasies with exotic plants and used to go fishing with a fishing rod together with his fishing mate and friend Carlos Escalante (nicknamed Chino), who lives in Boca de Sama - and a victim of terror – with whom the place was a true fiesta.
Alexis leaves a huge vacuum behind among all those that met him, shared with him, and learnt to love him and admire him.
We are all sorry for his parting and for his living wife, Magda Betancourt Parra, a colleague and friend too, and his beloved children; and it that the fatty Alexis knew how to gain everyone's love and admiration. Today, I am writing about him like many of my colleagues because he knew that friendship does not end with death. He will remain alive among us, because he planted a fertile seed that will continue to grow for ever after.