28 de mayo de 2024

Radio 26 – Matanzas, Cuba

Emisora provincial de Matanzas, Cuba, La Radio de tu Corazón

Blas Roca, communist leader and exceptional revolutionary.

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«… teacher and conductor of communists for more than half a century, unbending fighter who for almost three decades led the first Marxist-Leninist party in Cuba.»

«An exceptional man of singular virtues and extraordinary talent has passed away. An exemplary revolutionary who dedicated his entire life to the cause of the humble, teacher and leader of communists for more than half a century, an unbending fighter who for almost three decades led the first Marxist-Leninist party in Cuba.

This is how Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz referred to Blas Roca Calderío at the mourning farewell ceremony of this outstanding member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, at the José Martí Revolution Square, on April the 26th, 1987.

The figure of Francisco Wilfredo Calderío is intrinsically linked to the history of the Cuban revolutionary struggle.

He was born in Manzanillo, on July 24th, 1908, in the bosom of a humble family. Of almost self-taught formation, since he could only study up to the fourth grade of primary education, he nevertheless had access to innumerable texts of progressive social content.

At the age of 21, in 1929, he joined the Communist Party. As general secretary of the Manzanillo Workers Federation he participated in the shoemakers’ strikes of that year and in the longshoremen’s strike of 1930. In 1931 he was charged with organizing the Party in the Oriente and was elected member of its Central Committee. Together with Lázaro Peña and Jesús Menéndez, he built a trade union center that united all the currents of the working class.

He was arrested in July 1932 and imprisoned for a year in Guantánamo. In prison he wrote works that circulated clandestinely. Around this time he would begin his journalistic activities in the service of the working class. Thus, he published the mimeographed newspaper Voz Proletaria and collaborated in Mediodía, Noticias de Hoy and was part of the board of directors of the monthly magazine El Comunista.

At the end of 1933 he moved to Havana, where he met Rubén Martínez Villena. In 1934 he was elected general secretary of the Communist Party, when he was only 26 years old, and traveled to Moscow as Cuba’s delegate to the VII Congress of the Communist International.

He served as director of the newspaper Hoy, press organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, which went public on May 16th, 1938. In 1940 he was elected delegate to the Constituent Assembly and national deputy for his party in several legislatures. He created and directed the Fundamentos magazine and collaborated in Gaceta del Caribe, Mella and La Última Hora. He was general secretary and first vice-president of the Popular Socialist Party. He actively opposed the coup of March 10th, 1952 and fought against the Batista dictatorship from the underground.

After the triumph of the Revolution he was a member of the National Directorate of the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations and later of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution of Cuba. He was director of the newspaper Hoy until it merged with Revolución to give rise to Granma and was the first president of the National Assembly of People’s Power when it was constituted on December 2nd, 1976.

Blas Roca was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and its Political Bureau since its foundation in 1965, and ratified in all congresses until his death after a prolonged illness on April 25th, 1987.

Due to his active revolutionary life, Blas Roca became one of the most relevant figures of the Cuban and Latin American workers’ and communist movement, dedicating his whole life to the cause of the humble.

Written by Claudia Ortega Valido.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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