History of the Struggle against Bandits in Yaguajay
The struggle against bandits took place in Cuba between 1960 and 1966. Yaguajay´s territory of was one of the most remarkable scenarios in this war. In fact, these criminal bands had its operations center in the Escambray, and for that reason the Revolution government decided to begin in November of 1960 what was known later on as the “Cleaning of the Escambray”. The struggle against bandits in Yaguajay and in the other regions of the country counted with more than 60 000 labor militiamen(people soldiers), that integrated in combat battalions under the Commandant Dermidió Escalona direction headed the military operations against the bandits on November 29 1960. At the beginning of 1961 the contrarrevolutionaries organizations proliferated in Cuba, its main objective was to organize the internal subversion. In this way, dissident diffusion through Radio Suaw and trough diverse librettos and propagandas dedicated for this end started. Other plans were subsidized by the Central Agency of Intelligence (CIA), between February and March of 1961. In this place several plans were orchestrated to support the invasion to Cuba. In this sense mercenaries were trained in the Guatemala Base and in Florida, which disembarked by the east of the capital carrying weapons and the necessary teams to carry out terrorist acts, among those, several attacks against Revolution leaders stand out and especially to Fidel Castro Ruz.
The Struggle against Bandits in Yaguajay and its Main Actions
The prevailing situation at that time in this mountainous territory was very difficult. Gradually the contrarrevolutionaries activities were intensified and outlaws bands were organized. The struggle against bandits in Yaguajay and in general in the mountainous area of the Escambray became more and more necessary. These bands had chosen the favorable geographical situation of the elevations of the Bamburanao Sierra of and whole mountainous territory, because it allowed them to hide easily. Some of them were experts of the territory, since they had been members of the Rebellious Army and they had been raised in the north part of Las Villas. An outstanding case of these outlaws was Arnoldo Martínez Andrades, natural of Mayajigua. At the end of the 1960 some peasants informed of the existence of bands by the Calienes area. Immediately an operation was coordinated to carry out a confrontation against such bandits. This operation was commended by lieutenant Alberto Cane and lieutenant. Ricardo Zolán, bosses of the 37 squadron in the old tyranny barracks. Quickly a group of revolutionaries dresses as civilians and with American weapons were transported to Calienes area. This group was formed by a boss – José Mario García López -, a second boss – Hornedo Medina Jorge – and 3 squads – 1st Miguel Medina Blunder, 2nd Renato Mesa and 3rd Rafael Luis Sánchez – until completing 18 members. This unit had two guides, one named José Antonio Quintanilla Rodríguez and the other José Ramón Téllez de Mayajigua. This operation didn’t go as expected because of the betrayal of José Ramón Téllez stepchild that according to further information warned the group of bandits where the ambush was. This individual later did time in jail and he left then to the United States.