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COLONEL CORNELIO M. DE ROJAS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 218103

 
CORNELIO M. DE ROJAS
The controversial 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 General Fernando Gomez congratulating him for his service and that people from inside and outside La Habana expects news from him
Autograph Letter Signed: "Cornelio de Rojas" in iron gall ink. 8¼x6¼. Fully Translated in English: "General Fernando Gomez Antolin Martinez Gamboa. Dear friend: I am very satisfied with your performance in the mission I entrusted to you. So, receive my congratulations. Pio {illegible} asks me with persistence about you in the letter I just received from him, information that many people from La Habana and from outside request him, and at the same time he wants me to hug you in his name. He will tell Magrigal that Arturo delivered his letter and that his mother and other relatives had the pleasant surprise to see freed a person that had been considered dead since eight months ago. Yours, Cornelio de Rojas. March 31, 1898." 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. Pencil notes on front (unknown hand). Lightly soiled. 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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