In memory of the old caudillo, this month's "battles" post at GFT is the twin engagements of Yaguajay and Santa Clara, December 1958; the end of the Batista Era and the final military acts of the Cuban Revolution.
Bearded revolutionaries, rum and coke, sugarcane, makeshift tanks and mountains and sinister secret policemen...
One of the many "war criminals" given a show trial and executed was COL Rojas, the badass copper of the Santa Clara police station. He insisted on giving the final words of command to his firing squad in the tradition of firing-squad-heroics everywhere. Here he is, poor sod, his hat flying off as the bullets rip into him.
The good colonel wouldn't be the last man to die "for the revolution" and, as we now know, Fidel left, feet-first, just this autumn, long after I suspect the Cuban people would have been pleased to see the back of him.
For all the good that he may have done - and he DID do good, in his autocratic manner - Caastro's legacy is in the main part no less dictatorial and no less unjust than the man he replaced this month fifty-eight years ago.
Supposedly COL Rojas is said to have given his killers a warning of this, on that day he faced the line of rifles, that sounds in retrospect, frighteningly prescient.
The last words he said - before giving the command to fire - were: "Muchachos, ahora tienes tu revolución. No la pierda."
"Boys, now you have your revolution. Don't lose it."