Rubén Martínez Villena, tireless fighter against the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado (1925-1933), left for posterity his example of impetuosity and daring in fearlessly defying the risks of imprisonment or death, by openly fighting for the dignity of his oppressed people.
Today, on the anniversary of his death (January 16, 1934), all of Cuba recalls his revolutionary effervescence, his leadership in the civil struggle for human rights, sullied by a ruler who responded only to the shabby interests of the United States, whose companies and enterprises controlled Cuba’s economy.
Martínez Villena was one of the founders of the Cuban Communist Party in 1925. He led the Protesta de los Trece (Protest of the Thirteen), a civic action that brought this patriot’s name to public attention.
Suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, he did not stop denouncing the evils of the Republic and declaring war on dictator Machado, whom he named “donkey with claws”.
Villena sick and fithting
He knew Martinez Villena had only a few days left to live, and that he was not complying with medical recommendations, and even so, he organized and led the revolutionary general strike that overthrew Machado on August 12, 1933.
The abnegation and commitment he made to his people and revolutionary ideas, demonstrated the continuity of the struggle for Cuba’s freedom that began with the uprisings of October 10, 1868, followed by that of February 24, 1895.
That is the rebellion that led Fidel Castro to the triumph of January 1, 1959, and not to let the struggle of his predecessors be in vain. That is the rebellion inherited by the Cuban people, that is the rebellion that keeps us defending the glory we have lived in every field.
It is with that same energy that we face today the economic war unleashed by the United States government, which through the blockade is trying, unsuccessfully, to suffocate us.
We will always overcome by following the legacy of our heroes, like Villena, who wrote the glorious pages of our history, to read sovereignty and independence for eternity.