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Martires Pinareños
(Martyrs of Pinar del Rio, Cuba)

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[When known, the names are given with and without the punctuation marks to aid in searching]

"The instruments of control used by the [Castro] government have ... included censorship, but also the positive use of television, radio, films and the press... Street and city names have not been changed... The names of hospitals and sugar mills, schools and factories, usually commemorate some dead hero of the recent past... Older heroes of the 1930s ... are also commemorated". Cuba: Pursuit of Freedom by Hugh Thomas, Harper & Row NY 1971 page 1462.

In addition to July 26 Movement members, the government also made heroes of all the men who died in battle or protest against Batista, even those from other political organizations who didn't generally support Castro.  The families of these people were given titles such as "Widow of a Martyr of the Revolution" and were "encouraged" to make public appearances, and to perform other duties as required although they didn't support the government of Castro.  The government also named districts of the CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, better known as "block watchers"), after such heroes.

By making all the local heroes "martyrs" of the "Revolution", the government tries to reach a broad base of supporters and gives the impression that these men fought for the present government which is a false impression.

The list below shows the party affiliation, or non-affiliation, of each "martyr".  The majority are NOT July 26 Movement members.


Jacinto Garcia Menocal is singled out as an example of the brutality of the Batista government and one of the reasons the Cuban people wanted a change.  What they received is not necessarily what they wanted.

6 out of 13 listed as being killed in 1958 were killed by Menocal

Jacinto Garcia Menocal. Major.  Servicio Inteligente Militar. SIM (Military Intelligence Service or Special Police) in San Cristobal in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. His suicide was reported in Revolución on 4 Jan 1959 before being captured by the authorities and before he could escape, like his bosses had done. Five of his men were executed on 14 Feb 1959.

The "Revolutionary" tribunals usually only caught and tried the lessor members of the Batista Dictatorship.  Most of the higher and more significant men fled Cuba only to establish or finance exile organizations that waged a continuing propaganda and armed struggle which has lasted over 40 years.  The five men who followed Major Menocal's orders were executed on the 14th of February 1959 by firing squad.


A...  Sanchez Capote, José [Jose] "Cheo".  PHOTO Corporal.
B...  Vigoa Garcia, Orlando B.  PHOTO Policeman with National Police.
C...  Mosquera Valdés, Mario [Mosquera Valdes, Mario]. PHOTO  Soldier.
D...  del Cristo,  Orestes.  PHOTO Soldier.
E...   Paula Ramos, Juan P. PHOTO Soldier.


Although they are not on the "official" list, the following four men were the last to be killed according to Esteban Ventura Novo. They were detained in the evening of December 26, 1958. Tortured on the 27th. Hanged by the neck on the 28th of December, 1958.

1... Ramón Pérez Lima, PHOTO  age 22, 1st year of Engineering in University of Havana,
      2nd Year at Villanueva. Instructor of Matematics.
2... Javier Calvo Formoso, PHOTO  age 21, Instructor at Belen and President of the
      Confederaciones Universitarias Catolicas, professor of Psychology at Belen. Medical
      student in Havana and of Psychology in Villanueva.
3... Jose Ignacio Marti Santa Cruz, PHOTO  21 years old, Born in Santiago de Cuba,
     Oriente. Third year of Engineering in Universidad de Villanueva
4... Julian Martinez Inclan.  PHOTO   ...

Another source mentions a fifth:

5... Manuel Sábalo

[REFERENCE:  Photos published: Vocero Occidental 25 July 1959.  Biographical information:  Catalogo del Museo De Los Martieres, Pinar del Rio, 1960.]
[NOTE: Both of these references are not complete and should be taken accordingly]

Name – Organization Affiliation – Date of Death

1... Acosta, Lázaro [Lazaro] "El Pandeao". PHOTO Revolutionary. Medical student.
      Killed in 1958.
2... Amarán [Amaran] Mamposo, Roberto. PHOTO  Tercer Frente de la Cordillera de
      los Organos. Killed 5 Dec 1958 by Menocal.
3... Arenado Llonch, Ormani. PHOTO Directorio Revolucionario.
      Died in the Palace Assault 13 Mar 1957.
4... Barredo Díaz [Diaz], Isidro. PHOTO  Revolutionary.
      Killed by Menocal  29 Nov 1958.
5... de Armas Rodríguez [Rodriguez], Dr. Isidro. July 26 Movement. Killed in battle
      17 Aug 1958. No Photo.
6... Echevarría [Echevarria] Acosta, Enrique "Kike". PHOTO  Palace Attack.
      No date of death.
7... Fernández Viñas [Fernandez Venas], Ceferino. PHOTO  Revolutionary.
      Killed by Menocal 10 Aug 1958.
8... Ferro Macías [Macias], Rafael "Ferrito". PHOTO  Revolutionary.
      Killed 18 Aug 1958.
9... Gonzalez, Carlos. PHOTO  (Not listed in the Pinar del Rio Museum)
10... González Coro, Ramón "Monguito Coro" [Gonzalez Hernandez, Jose Ramon].
        Directorio Revolucionario, fought in the Escambray. Killed 17 Dec 1958. No photo.
11... Guiteras Holmes, Antonio. Directorio Estudiantil. Died 1935. No Photo.
12... Hernández [Hernandez], Arroyo, Lazaro. July 26 Movement. Killed in the Moncada
        Attack 26 Jul 1953. No Photo.
13... Hernández León, José Manuel "Chepe" [Hernandez Leon, Jose Manuel]. PHOTO
        Ortodoxio.  Killed in the Palace Assault13 Mar 1957.
14... Hidalgo Díaz [Diaz], Carlos. Revolutionary. Killed 24 Oct 1958. No Photo.
15... Legón [Legon] Padilla, Justo. PHOTO  Revolutionary. Medical student.
        Killed in 1958.
16... Lores Oliva, Gustavo. Revolutionary. Tortured to death June 1958. No photo.
17... Maragoto Lara, Celso.   PHOTO PRC O/A. Killed 24 Sep 1957.
18... Medina Cardentey, Gerardo. PHOTO  Revolutionary.
        Killed in the Palace Assault 13 Mar 1957.
19... Mendez Alfonso, Roberto.   PHOTO  (Not listed in the Pinar del Rio Museum)
20... Pacheco Medina, Celestino. Revolutionary. PHOTO
        Killed in the Palace Assault 13 Mar 1957.
21... Portilla Gomis, Fernando "Pepe". PHOTO  Directorio Revolucionario, Triple A, O/A.
        Killed 26 Dec 1958 by Menocal on orders from Esteban Ventura.
22... Saidén [Saiden or Zaiden] Rivera, Pedro.  PHOTO  Revolutionary, Palace Assault.
        Killed 27 Nov 1957.
23... Saíz [Saiz] Montes de Oca, Luis.  PHOTO  Directorio Revolucionario, July 26
        Movement. Killed 13 Aug 1957.
24... Saíz [Saiz] Montes de Oca, Sergio. PHOTO  July 26 Movement.
        Killed 13 Aug 1957.
25... Sánchez, Pedro Raúl "Laíto"  [Sanchez Rodriguez, Pedro Raul "Laito"]. PHOTO
        Revolutionary with "Ferrito". Killed 23 Oct 1958 by Menocal.
26... Téllez Valdés [Tellez Valdes], Pedro .  PHOTO  Partido Revolucionario Cubano.
        Killed in the Palace Assault 13 Mar 1957.
27... Valdes Mendoza, Giraldo. PHOTO Killed by Menocal. (Not listed in the Pinar del
        Rio Museum)

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