Cuban Interior Minister Carlos Fernández Gondín Dies

Havana.- The Interior Minister and Hero of the Republic of Cuba passed away on Saturday due to complications from a chronic disease, according to a press release from the Council of Ministers.

‘With deep sorrow, the leadership of the (Communist) Party and the Council of State informs our people that in the afternoon of today (Saturday), Division General Carlos Fernández Gondín, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and Minister of the Interior, died due to complications from a chronic disease,’ says the communiqué.

The text recalls that Fernández Gondín was born in Santiago de Cuba on July 1, 1938, to a family of workers. He participated in the clandestine struggle against the Fulgencio Batista regime in his hometown at a young age.

He joined the Rebel Army in April 1958 in the Second Frank País Eastern Front, under the leadership of then Commander Raúl Castro Ruz, and participated actively in several combats in that area, the text adds.

After the triumph of the Revolution, Fernández Gondín held several posts, first in the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) and later in the Ministry of the Interior. He participated in the combats in Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) and the struggle against bandits.

He joined the group of the first Cuban combatants who arrived in the Republic of Angola, and when the military mission was established there, he was appointed as its second chief, says the communiqué.

It adds that Fernández Gondín played a key role, along with brave FAPLA combatants, in the defeat of the enemy offensive in the battle of Quifandongo, 23 kilometers from Luanda.

He also carried out major combative missions in northern Angola and he later commanded the eastern front, where he led the occupation of several cities, including the capital of Luena province, thus contributing to establishing a part of the Zambian border in eastern Angola.

The late Division General was a founder of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and a delegate to all its congresses. He was a member of its Central Committee after the 2nd Congress. Since 1993, he was elected a lawmaker in the People’s Power National Assembly. He was a member of the National Directorate of the Association of Combatants of the Cuban Revolution.

Due to his outstanding merits, adds the press release, he received several decorations and orders, both nationally and internationally, including the Honorary Title of Hero of the Republic of Cuba and the First-Degree Máximo Gómez Order on the 40th anniversary of the proclamation of the independence of the Republic of Angola.

The attitude of Division General Carlos Fernández Gondín is an example of fidelity to the Party, the people and the Revolution, says the text. A per his final wishes, the remains of Comrade Carlos Fernández Gondín will be cremated and his ashes will rest in the Pantheon of the Veterans at Havana’s Colón Cemetery, before they are buried at the Mausoleum of the Second Frank País Front, where they will receive the corresponding military honors. (PL), January 8, 2017

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