Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


Antonio Guiteras Holmes: the steepest figure of the national revolutionary movement.

Tamara Caridad Mesa González 23 noviembre, 2019

Antonio Guiteras Holmes was born on November 22nd, 1906 in Montgomery, Pennsylvania, United States, of Cuban father and American mother, Calixto Guiteras and María Teresa Holmes. He moved to Cuba at the age of seven.

He graduated as a bachelor and land surveyor in 1924 in Pinar del Río. It maintains a combative attitude, of opposition to the regime and support for the revolutionary movement and its leaders. Apply for enrollment at the University of Havana on September 22nd, 1924.

He finished his Doctor of Pharmacy studies in 1927, the title was issued on August 20. He was part of the University Student Directory that had an outstanding revolutionary political work at that time. In the stage 1928-1931 he was an outstanding popular fighter. Organizer and leader of the armed insurrection of August 1931, was captured and sentenced to prison, later released by the amnesty decreed.

Main organizer of the armed insurrection of April 29th, 1933, whose most splendid achievement was the assault and capture of the San Luis barracks and the rise of guerrilla columns in the area of ​​Victoria de las Tunas.

In 1934 he was part of the Government of the hundred days, assuming the position of Secretary of the Interior, War and Navy, Minister of Public Works and Communications in the period of September and October.

It dictates at this time strong and radical measures of a popular and anti-imperialist nature such as the implementation of the eight-hour workday; University Autonomy; the establishment of the Ministry of Labor; the creation of the insurance and retirement system for workers; the formation of special courts to judge people that agreed with Machado´s government; the dissolution of the «political» parties that worked with tyranny; recognition of the right of workers to unionize; the reduction of prices for high-need items; the intervention of the North American Electricity Company; the distribution of land to peasants; the seizure of property stolen by tyranny and the purification of debt incurred fraudulently with bankers in Miami.

From the coup of Batista in January 1934 he is persecuted by the minions. His performance as a professional pharmacist is recorded in the bibliography consulted as: 1927-He works in a family-owned laboratory in Pinar del Río; 1928-As a traveler of the Lederle Laboratories, from where he was dismissed for his revolutionary activities.

It is necessary to highlight that he knew how to put his knowledge and professional activity at the service of the revolutionary cause by organizing during his trips autonomous insurrectional nuclei composed basically of young people, workers, students and veterans of 95 and using his knowledge in Chemistry for the manufacture of artisanal explosive bombs which were used in the revolutionary uprisings.

In March of 1935 he founded the Young Cuba, revolutionary organization. He is betrayed in the attempt to leave the country and dies in El Morrillo, Matanzas, next to the Venezuelan Carlos Aponte, on May 8th, 1935.

About Antonio Guiteras, Raúl Roa expressed “that is how the steepest figure, the best tempered mood, the most indomitable will, the most energetic arm and the purest spirit of the revolutionary national movement were lost… Reckless, undeniable, austere, lucid, passionate, generous, boring, Antonio Guiteras was born to die fighting the enemy …, he died in the front line of battle, opposing revolutionary violence to counterrevolutionary violence …”

The Pharmaceutical Worker Day is celebrated every November 22nd in Cuba, on the occasion of the birth of Antonio Guiteras Holmes, a leading revolutionary and scientist, who will dedicate his efforts to the development of that specialty in the country.





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