A Tribute to Those Who Died at Humboldt 7

humbolt-1Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES — Another anniversary of the deaths of Machado Rodríguez, Juan Pedro Carbó Serviá, Fructuoso Rodríguez Pérez and Joe Westwood Rosales was celebrated on the April 20th at the Humboldt-7 building located in Vedado.

Enlivened with the songs of Silvio Rodríguez, the Moncada band and other musicians, now typical at this type of event, the tribute brought together a large crowd of curious spectators, underground veterans from the ‘50s, student leaders, local neighbors etc.

The area had obviously been prepared a few hours beforehand because the leaking gutter next to the building had been cleaned up and the old gate that linked the corridor where Fructuoso and Machadito were killed, had been pulled off its hinges and replaced by a poor equivalent, bearing little resemblance to the original.

Chairs had also been managed to be put out on the street as well as a platform with a screen for showing films and playing audio.

humbolt-2The ceremony lasted for a while, during which the National Anthem was sung, the revolutionaries’ last minutes were played out, before being discovered in the apartment at Humboldt 7 – an utterly pathetic performance in my opinion- and the documentary 38 days was screened, by Rosario Parodi Alfonso, who is also the director of Saturn’s threats.

This film dealt with the 38 days that passed between the attack on the Presidential Palace on the March 13, 1957 and the murder of the 4 young men who belonged to the Revolutionary Directorate (DR); focusing on the character of Fructuoso, who shortly before his death had became President of the FEU (Federation of University Students) and the DR.

humbolt-3There was also a fine arts exhibition and, inside the building, seven abstract paintings made by Gólgota sought to wake up the building’s ghosts.

According to my investigations, which I had carried out a few days before, there are currently no residents living in the building from the time of these events, and some of today’s residents do not even know about the day’s particular details.

When you enter the building, without being amongst the hullabaloo of these boisterous tributes, you can feel history’s energy.

humbolt-4The fact that four young men, younger than me, were killed here just days after having stood up and attacked the tyranny that oppressed them filled me with a strange, distressed feeling.

It was then that I remembered the questions a friend had made to the FEU president, a couple of days before the memorial service: Does the university feel like an inheritor to the bravery of young men like them? What does the FEU do today that is so different from the one in the past, in order to confront new forms of tyranny?

I would have liked to have heard different answers to the ones I heard, so I could repeat them to you without being ashamed to do so.

3 thoughts on “A Tribute to Those Who Died at Humboldt 7

  • Democracy lovers like me have a problem with the Castro family regime and Nicolas Maduro in the current world. Justified criticism of Fulgencio Batista and Senator Joe McCarthy does not in anyway alleviate the Castro’s record.
    What about the anti Castro marches by the brave Ladies in White, what about the 78 men executed without trial by Raul Castro Ruz in Santiago without trial? What about the brave young men who hijacked a ferry in their desperation to escape the Castro regime and were executed nine days later in the 21st century!
    The people of Cuba have suffered successive dictators. Let us be balanced and recognize that dictators are an evil whether of the extreme right or extreme left. I am in favour of the freedom of the people, freedom of expression, freedom of the media, freedom to form political parties and freedom to pursue a better future. Are you?

  • It is amazing to me that even Moses Patterson would seem to justify the slaughter of innocents such as the four famous young “Humboldt 7” men just because, like a latter-day Joe McCarthy, he labels them alleged Communists. What about other slaughters in Batista’s Cuba of the four middle-schoolers whose bodies were famously left in an abandoned warehouse as a warning to the neighborhood, one of the other historic events that sparked pivotal anti-Batista street marches by brave Cuban mothers?. What about the 73 innocents, including two dozen young Cuban athletes, bombed out of the sky by terrorist bombs by Cuban exiles in 1976? Democracy lovers like me had a problem with Fulgencio Batista and Joe McCarthy in the 1950s and have problems with their apologists in 2015. As Jim DeFede, the former great columnist for the Miami Herald so bravely pointed out, the murder of Cuban children is still murder…even if those controlling the narrative propagandize it differently.. .

  • The FEU has been co-opted by the Castro regime and nothing more than a politically – correct university version of the Cuban Communist Party. If you are hoping to see youthful acts of bravery coming from the FEU, don’t hold your breath.

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