There are lands that give birth to heroes › Cuba › Granma

There are lands that give birth to heroes › Cuba › Granma
There are lands that give birth to heroes › Cuba › Granma
From dawn to dusk Rogelio, Orlando and Bárbara work the land of untamed Santiago de Cuba. Photo: Radio CMKC Revolución, Yasmin Tortoza and Endrys Correa Vaillant

A trio of Santiago residents are a reference “in food production, with machetes, hoes and a lot of will, with no other desire than to contribute to the Homeland,” as said Rogelio Batista García, one of the three Labor Heroes of the Republic of Cuba who They enhance the cooperative-peasant sector of the eastern province.


Rogelio Batista García, although octogenarian, remembers in great detail that memorable May 17, 1961, when the First Congress of the Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) met, “which united the Cuban peasantry, those who became owners of the land.” who worked after the promulgation of the First Agrarian Reform Law, in 1959.

As very valuable treasures, he preserves the more than 40 medals received, and that gold star that, on his chest, says that he is a Hero “of the work on the land, first in the sugarcane fields and still in the various crops and the livestock part, in which I am a national reference, with milk production and the raising of cattle and sheep and goats,” commented the descendant of Canary Islanders, “but pure Cuban.”

The satisfaction with what has been done and the commitment to the present are palpable in this man who loves the cooperative movement: «I founded the Sabino Pupo agricultural production cooperative (CPA), and now I am affiliated with the Rafael Hernández credit and services cooperative (CCS). ».

Rogelio, whose first name is Luis, is also proud of the CCS, which, on 427 hectares and with more than one hundred partners, applies science and technology and has several points of sale in the town of Dos Caminos and in the city of Santiago. from Cuba. Likewise, he mentioned, nothing is thrown away and everything is used in a mini-industry that processes vinegars, pickles, pastas and pulps.

«I am a revolutionary Batista, it is the most sacred and important thing until the day I die. I only love one life, and it is that of a farmer,” said the man who invites you to produce, to deliver food to educational and Public Health centers, always appealing to Martí’s maxim: “let him who works it own land and improve it.” ».


Retired, but not retired, he still walks and wanders through the mountains of the Sierra Cristal, “where Eliseo Reyes Rodríguez joined the rebels; “He was a farmer like us, I think we have followed in his footsteps,” said Orlando Serpa Díaz, another hero.

The Revolution triumphed when he was 14 years old, “and I was already cutting cane with my father, having a lot of work. I do not forget that past that today some want to sugarcoat; Life in that Cuba was bitter for the majority,” the farmer recalled.

For several decades, Eliseo Reyes presided over the CPA, with high returns in sugarcane production and which today is in a recovery process, diversifying “everything we can; I no longer preside over the CPA but I have my foot in the stirrup, like the Army General, because we need peasants like Captain San Luis, who, being almost a child, followed Che.

Serpa Díaz has extensive experience in the anap. He participated in several of its congresses, and was awarded, in 2008, the honorary title “which is dedicated to my country, to my people, the one who brings together all the heroes, because they are born from him and others procreate with his example.”

For Orlando, the key to getting out of the complex situation facing the country is to “produce and control; We cannot wait for things to fall from the sky; “You have to keep your feet on the ground, and you have to take care of those who have hands and feet on the ground.”


“I’m crazy for November to arrive to work on my 30th harvest. In the present I haven’t been able to because I’m carrying out the task of producing various crops at the Sabino Pupo CPA.”

That determination – demonstrated with words, gestures and even the act of squeezing her machete – characterizes Bárbara Durades Miclín, Heroine of Labor and Illustrious Daughter of San Luis, a town that adopted her as such, since she is a native of the fields of the neighboring municipality. by Songo-La Maya.

A rural woman and recipient of the honorary title in 2020, she debuted as a worker “in the control of cutting, lifting and shooting; I realized that the macheteros were paid better and I decided to take gloves, a mocha and cut cane with the help of Rogelio Batista, that Hero that we Santiago farmers admire so much.

Very well received by her classmates, she soon learned the tricks to “enter the sit-in and avoid incidents with the machete; “for the best posture to reduce exhaustion and, above all, to deliver the precise blow and not hurt the vine, as well as not leaving cane in the bud.”

After a year, Bárbara was already part of a millionaire platoon, and she herself was a millionaire machete player: «the recognitions and medals came one after another; In the Federation of Cuban Women I joined its National Committee and received the Mariana Grajales Order; However, my five children, my grandchildren, my husband and the usefulness of my work for society are the greatest rewards that I have and that, by the way, I give to my Country.

In both her neighbors and the cooperative members, the image of this woman remains who, just two months after giving birth to her daughter, went to cut cane, “this is part of my life; At that time she would stop cutting and breastfeed my daughter.

The contribution of these three heroes has been decisive for the municipality of San Luis to be ratified as a National Vanguard of the ANAP for the third consecutive time; Similarly, the results of the Sabino Pupo CPA, also Vanguardia at this level, which provides just over 850 people from the popular councils of Dos Caminos and Paquito Rosales, as well as workers and their families, at a very good price, the fruits of the earth.

There are 850 hectares dedicated to sugarcane; In another 107, food, vegetables and fruits are obtained. “Our CPA has been profitable since its foundation,” said Marlene Reyes Aldana, its president. The 198 farmers, of which 150 are cooperative members, are very happy, because in one month the salary can rise to 17,000 pesos.

They have a mass of buffalo made up of 150 specimens, whose milk “we deliver to the dairy industry and also to wineries and educational and Public Health centers. Here we have food sovereignty. “Our dining room and points of sale are supplied from the cooperative’s cultivated areas.”

By touring the land and seeing the intense work of the workers, you can see the cultural attention paid to the cane, the use of irrigation systems – which cover four hectares – and all the work of this model cooperative that, with pride, has delivered to Cuba two Heroes of Labor: Rogelio and Bárbara; who, together with Orlando, dignify the sector in the untamed Santiago de Cuba.

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