Friday, July 24, 2009
Rolando Masferrer Rojas
Rolando Masferrer Rojas (1918-1975), born in Holguín, July 12, 1918 (*), in Oriente province, better known simply as Rolando Masferrer, was a Cuban guerrilla leader, lawyer, congressman, newspaper publisher, member of the Cuban Communist Party and political activist http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:VVR1qytPCr4J:cuban-exile.com/menu2/2rolando.html+%22Rolando+Mas.. http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:P8oXEr4JHYwJ:cuban-exile.com/doc_076-100/doc0085.html+%22Roland...
Rolando Masferrer Rojas (1918-1975), born in Holguín, July 12, 1918 (*), in Oriente province, better known simply as Rolando Masferrer, was a Cuban guerrilla leader, lawyer, congressman, newspaper publisher, member of the Cuban Communist Party and political activist http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:VVR1qytPCr4J:cuban-exile.com/menu2/2rolando.html+%22Rolando+Mas.. http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:P8oXEr4JHYwJ:cuban-exile.com/doc_076-100/doc0085.html+%22Roland... He was killed in Miami, United States, on October 31 1975. (*).
Masferrer was a member of the Joven Cuba organization as a teenager.
Civil War Spain
He later formed part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade brigade in the Spanish civil war and he also was a member of Cuba's Communist party. He was wounded in the left foot in Spain, and in Europe is said to have been an enforcer for Joseph Stalin much feared for the thumping of his wounded gait when he approached his victim (*).
He was rival of Fidel Castro in the bloody feuds of the trigger happy Action groups and subject of at least one failed attempt by Castro to kill him. Masferrer also participated, with Castro, in the Caribbean Legion plot Cayo Confites (See Ameringer, 1995) to overthrow Dominican Republic Dictator Rafael Trujillo. He was elected to the Cuban House of Representatives in 1949.
Masferrer was a staunch supporter of Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista. He was not only a Senator in the Batista government but more importantly the leading founder of Los Tigres de Manferrer, a guerrilla organization set up to protect Batista from other para-military groups and to support Batista militarily. In this period he published two papers Tiempo in Havana and Libertad in Santiago de Cuba which of insulted Francisco Franco, but without positive reaction among other leftwing Spanish Civil war exiles (Paz, p. 132).
During the final years of the last Batista regime to (the end of 1958), Masferrer and his tigres operated in Oriente province; often, it is said, out headquarters in Victoria de las Tunas, others say in Santiago, Manzanillo and Bayamo (*) where he had an array of exotic weapons including very lethal large caliber “air rifles.” At times his followers penetrated the Sierra Maestra with stealthy silence, terrifying some local Escopeteros who without time to react or appropriated weapons to face him fled before his forces; then the “tigres” vanished. In this fashion the Tigres apparently too stealthy to be opposed raided and killed through out the foot hills of the Sierra Maestra (*). He is known to have threatened Franciscan priests in Manzanillo (de Paz, pp. 81-82). The present Cuban government accuses Masferrer of 2,000 killings, but also says that the Tigres were careful to remove all evidence (*).
A most ingenious and intelligent, if ruthless, man Masferrer, plotted to buy vast “La Hacienda Sevilla” and divide up the land so as to reward the local guajiros for informing on Fidel Castro in the first months of his operations in the Sierra Maestra. This connection may or may not explain the attempted betrayal of Castro by Agrarian Organizer Eutemio Guerra (see Morán 1980) (*).
Regardless that Masferrer had been a Communist supporter, after Fidel Castro took over Cuba's presidency on January 9, 1959, Masferrer had to abandon the island, because Castro accused him of stealing 10 million dollars. He left in a boat, landing in Miami.
US 1960s and 1970s
In the United States, he befriended such mafia bosses as Santo Trafficante and Jimmy Hoffa. He established the 30th of November organization, with the purpose of killing Castro. Masferrer was also known for mistreating Cubans residing in Florida, extorting money from them for what he said was "to help Cuba".
From Miami, according to some reports, he and CIA member Richard Bissell planned an assassination attempt on Castro. But, seventy seven days after Castro had assumed power, the would be assassins that had been sent to Cuba, were arrested by Cuban police, and the attempt failed.
Shortly after, Masferrer organized another group to try a second attempt on Cuba's leader. Among them was the infamous Armentino Feria Perez.
September 26, 1960 Masferrer sent an expedition of four boats to Cuba. One boat reached Cuba, three Americans: Allan D. Thompson, Anthony Zarba and Robert O. Fuller were caught and eventually executed (*).
In December, 1960, the Miami Herald, reported that Masferrer was leading a small group of fifty three people who were polishing their killing skills at a ranch owned by multi-millionaire Howard Hughes. Masferrer might have intended to hire a few of them for his organization.
In the early 1960s, Masferrer was associated with El Tiempo, a Spanish-language newspaper, edited by S. Ross, in New York City.
In 1961, Masferrer met with President John F. Kennedy, presumably to talk about Castro and the situation in Cuba. But Kennedy disliked Mansferrer's radical and fanatical personality, and the two never established any publicly known conversation after that.
In the 1960s Masferrer plotted and accumulated weapons to invade Haiti so as to have a base, free of US law, to attack the Castro government of Cuba which had foiled direct attempts to land http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:G-h5rDI7UgMJ:cuban-exile.com/doc_351-375/doc0357f.html+%22Rolan...
Among Cubans, Rolando Masferrer is widely regarded as a terrorist.
Masferrer was killed by a car bomb in 1975.