The death of Major General Efigenio Ameijeiras has appalled a good part of the Las Tunas population, especially those who live in the municipality of “Jesús Menéndez,” where the Hero of the Republic of Cuba was also born on September 21, 1931.
Las Tunas, Cuba.- There, in his beloved Chaparra, he made mischief and early graduated as a man when his Spanish father lacked the family. His mother, María de las Angustias, took over the house and taught him the first letters in a very patriotic home.
The burdens of the time made the Ameijeiras move to Puerto Padre in search of economic improvements. Then they tried their luck in Santa Clara, before finally establishing themselves in Havana, where a newly married sister resided at the time.
How many injustices lived together! How much poverty paraded before their eyes! Efigenio knew that his destiny was to fight for a better country. And his first step was being in touch with the youth of the July 26 Movement who were fighting against the cruel dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
Harassed by the satrap police, he traveled to Mexico. There he joined the group that, commanded by Fidel, was preparing an expedition to free Cuba. He came in the Granma Yacht, and after the defeat of Alegría del Pío, he integrated the initial nucleus of the bearded men in the Sierra Maestra.
In 1959, he assumed as head of the National Revolutionary Police, whose battalion led in the fighting of Playa Girón, in April 1961. He also demonstrated his courage in the fight against bandits and in internationalist missions in Angola and Algeria.
Efigenio Ameijeiras was among the people‘s most appreciated leaders. Avid for knowledge, he enrolled at the University of Havana and graduated with a degree in History. In that specialty he presided over a commission in the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
Works such as the trilogy Más allá de nosotros (Beyond us), La clandestinidad (The underground), and La Sierra Maestra (The Maestra mountain range) are due to its sharp pen and its sensitivity. Also his anthological compendium of stories relatos 1956, un año tremendo (1956, a tremendous year), as well as his poems to which he titled El amor todo el tiempo (Love all the time).
The house where Efigenio and his family lived in Chaparra is today a museum that honors the memory of a family bordering the Maceo epic. Indeed, three of the Ameijeiras brothers - Juan Manuel, Gustavo and Ángel - died fighting against tyranny.
With the passing away of Efigenio Ameijeiras, at 88 years of age, a symbol of humility, fearlessness and the Cuban spirit disappears. To perpetuate his legacy, his books, his poems and his work remain. And his memory remains, attached to the sacred seat of the Fatherland.