Combatant of the clandestine struggle and liberation war, Manuel Echevarría Martínez, died on the morning of February 12 at 84 years of age, as a result of septic shock.
He was born on December 1, 1933, in the city of Manzanillo. His father was a tobacco grower and his mother a campesina. Echevarría attended public school and enrolled in the Institute of Secondary Education in Manzanillo. He joined the struggle against the military coup led by Fulgencio Batista on March 10, 1952.
Echevarría began to actively participate in the clandestine struggle following the attacks on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons, working alongside student leader Frank País; distributing Fidel’s “History will absolve me”speech in Manzanillo, Campechuela, Niquero, Media Luna, Pilón, and Yara, among other areas; and contributed to organizing the revolutionary movement.
He met Fidel in 1955, and in 1956 joined his comrades in Mexico as they prepared to launch the armed struggle in Cuba and had the honor of being one of the Granma expeditionaries.
After the ambush at Alegría del Pío he was arrested, tried and sentenced to six years in prison.
Following the triumph of the Revolution he moved up in the ranks of the military, occupying various positions within the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), until he was promoted to Capitan and head of the Central Army’s Tanks and Transportation department.
Later he worked in the ministries of Industry, Transport, Construction, and Domestic Commerce.
Echevarría was also stationed in Angola for three years, serving on an internationalist mission.
Throughout his life he was awarded various distinctions for services rendered the homeland, including the Combatant of the Clandestine Struggle and Liberation War Medal, commemorative recognitions for the 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of the FAR; Internationalist Worker; September 28; and the 50th anniversary of the State Security Bodies.
He was also a member of the Communist Party of Cuba.
Echevarría was buried on Monday, February 12, and his funeral was held at the Revolutionary Armed Forces Pantheon in Havana’s Colón Cemetery.