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COLONEL CORNELIO M. DE ROJAS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 11/30/1897 - HFSID 218102

 

CORNELIO M. DE ROJAS
The Colonel who fought for the independence of Cuba and whose execution was ordered without any trial by the popular Government Official Ernesto "Che" Guevara, writes a letter to Commandant Antonio Martinez to inform him that he had promoted him for Lieutenant Colonel of the Liberation Army and about his new title and the militaries he had ordered to join his forces.
Autograph Letter Signed: "C.M. de Rojas" in iron gall ink. 9½x8½. Fully Translated in English: "Commandant Antonio Martinez Cambon. Commandant: I have the greatest pleasure to communicate you that on the 20 of this month I decided to propound this General Barracks of this division your promotion to Lieutenant Colonel of the Liberation Army, position that you would occupy if the superior approbation is positive. At the same time, I inform you that since today on, you held the title of 1st. Chief of the Regiment "'Cardenas', whose force you will command immediately. I have also ordered to incorporate to that force to Commandant Pablo Rolando as 2nd. Chief, Captain Jose Genaro Menoscal, assistant, Ensign Jose Magrinot as flag-beared, and Tenant Agustin Gobel, at your service. Yours in Fatherland and Liberty in Campaign, November 30, 1897. The Chief of Brigade. C.M. de Rojas." Cornelio M. De Rojas (d.1959) was a Colonel who fought for the independence of the island of Cuba. He is a controversial figure, loved by many but hated by many too. He was representative of the old Cuban regime and he was anti-Communist, so, he was rounded up and his family was promised by Ernesto "Che" Guevara that he would not be harmed in anyway. Nevertheless, Guevara was aware that a figurehead of the old regime would need to be eliminated. So, without even ordering a trial for De Rojas he ordered his immediate execution and Cornelio asked to speak with Captain Oten Menzana and once the meeting was granted, he told Oten and Santin from behind bars that he didn't want to suffer in his execution and told Oten: "get the best shooters, and Oten, I know you are also a good shooter, participate too" Oten denied to do it and responded: "that is the only thing I cannot do, I am your friend". So, without warning, millions of Cubans turned on the television to a nationally televised execution in Santa Clara of Cornelio M. De Rojas, the colonel who refused a blindfold and walked to his execution, and even his family witnessed firsthand as the crown of Cornelio's skull was separated from his head by a powerful rifle shot. The sight of this caused his wife of forty years Blanco Rojas, who was watching the execution from home, to die of a heart attack. That live display is considered by many as having been an example, meant to inject fear into anyone who would defy the revolution. In his youth, Cornelio had been a revolutionary with political concerns, who joined the expedition that disembarked in Jibara with Emilio Laurent and Gustavo Aldereguia, who was a doctor in Cienfuegos, leader of the Communist Party and a very close friend of Julio Antonio Mella. Multiple mailing folds. Edges frayed. Lightly toned and sealed. Pencil note on front (unknown hand). Creases darker on verso. Otherwise, fine condition.


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COLONEL CORNELIO M. DE ROJAS  


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COLONEL CORNELIO M. DE ROJAS

Died: January 1, 1959 in Santa Clara, Cuba





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