HAVANA – General and hero of the Cuban Republic Jose Ramon Fernandez Alvarez – known popularly on the communist island as “Gallego” and one of the longest-lived leaders of the Cuban Revolution – died on Sunday in Havana, local media reported. He was 95.
Fernandez was reelected to the National Assembly in 2018 and also served as an adviser to the Council of State and Council of Ministers, as well holding a seat on the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee.
He had backed the insurrectionist movements against the Fulgencio Batista regime in the 1950s and – after the triumph of the Revolution led by Fidel Castro – Fernandez occupied numerous responsible posts within Cuba’s top leadership, including serving as the country’s vice president.
At the time of his death, he was serving as president of the Cuban Olympic Committee and as a reserve general within the country’s armed forces.
Fernandez was born in Santiago, Cuba, in 1923 to Spanish parents and in 2009 he was awarded the Golden Medal of Asturias, while in 2004 on his last visit to Spain he received the title of “favorite son” of the city of Oviedo, which had awarded it to him in 2000. He was also made a Hero of the Republic of Cuba by the Havana regime.
According to the state-run Cuban News Agency, which did not specify the cause of death, the remains of the historic leader will be cremated and “after that, funeral arrangements will be announced.”